Prefixes Affixes in English Grammar

Prefixes or as they are also called “affixes” form meaningful words when they are attached to the start of a word.

Prefixes don’t have a meaning until they are joined to the start of some other word. It can be a single letter or a group of letters.

For Instance:

  • Im (here “im” is the prefix, whereas possible is the stem)
  • Il (In this word, “il” is the prefix making no meaning until it is attached to the stem “legal”)


Prefix Meaning Example
de from, down, away, reverse, opposite Demotivate, demoralize, etc.
ab Bad/not Abuse, abhor, etc.
il not Illegal, illogical, etc.
mis Bad or wrong Mislead, misplace, etc.
anti Against or Opposite Antiperspirant, antisocial, etc.
pro for, forward or before Proactive, profess, etc.
re Again or back Reunite, Remake, etc.
un Against or opposite Uninvited, unfaithful, etc.