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35 Most Common Prefixes in English with their Meanings

35 Most Common Prefixes in English with their Meanings

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Prefixes! Following is a common prefix list in English with meaning and example sentences to give you an idea of how to identify them easily.


Prefixes are placed before the words to modify their meanings; like suffixes, they are groups of letters that rarely serve a purpose unless attached to a word.

List of Prefixes

  • trans-
  • under-
  • fore-
  • mid-
  • ex-
  • dis-
  • auto-
  • re-
  • un-
  • im-
  • anti-
  • pre-
  • mis-
  • post-
  • ir-
  • over-
  • semi-
  • tri-
  • in-
  • non-
  • inter-
  • sub-
  • super-

Prefixes | Meaning and Examples


  • Meaning: Three
  • E.g.  triangle, tripod, etc.
  • The sum of all the angles of a triangle is 180 degrees.


  • Meaning: Not
  • E.g. inconvenience, infield, innocent, etc.
  • I don’t want to put you to any inconvenience.


  • Meaning: Wrong, wrongly
  • E.g.  misunderstand, misfire, misfortune, misbehavior, etc.
  • This misbehavior will certainly go against his chances of promotion.


  • Meaning: Former, older, out of, away from, lacking
  • E.g.  exhale, ex-wife, excentral, exclude
  • We can exclude the possibility of total loss from our calculations.


  • Meaning: Not, opposite of, reverse
  • E.g. disagree, disappear, disregard, disqualified, disqualify, etc.
  • Lack of education will disqualify you for most good jobs.


  • Meaning: Again
  • E.g. return, remainder, re-useable, refold, regain, etc.
  • She will now begin occupational therapy to regain the use of her hands.


  • Meaning: Against
  • E.g. antifreeze, antipathy, antibiotic, antisocial, anti-war, etc.
  • Lack of antifreeze is a major cause of highway breakdowns.


  • Meaning: Before
  • E.g. prefix, preschool, pre-intermediate, pre-tax
  • But he is heading off to preschool, and we wanted to get him some educational programs.


  • Meaning: Later
  • E.g. post-office, postgraduate, postscript
  • There was the usual romantic postscript at the end of his letter.


  • Meaning: Self,
  • E.g. automatic, automobile
  • The movements of machines are completely automatic, you only need to start and stop the machines.


  • Meaning: Not
  • E.g. unhappy, unfriendly, unpleasant, unwell, etc.
  • This unpleasant incident detracted from our enjoyment of the evening.


  • Meaning: Not
  • E.g. irrelevant, irregular, irresponsible, etc.
  • Thick patchy fog and irresponsible driving were to blame.


  • Meaning: Not
  • E.g. impolite, impossible, immortal, impatient, etc.
  • Don’t be so impatient! The bus will be here soon.


  • Meaning:  Too, in excess of
  • E.g. overlook, overdose, overdue, overall, overconfident, etc.
  • He proved overconfident on the witness stand.


  • Meaning: Half
  • E.g. semifinal, semicircle, semi-final, semiformal, semiannual, etc.
  • I had never been to a semiformal dance before, and now was my chance.

List of Prefixes | Image

List of prefixes | Image 1

35 Most Common Prefixes in English with their Meanings

List of prefixes | Image 2

35 Most Common Prefixes in English with their Meanings

List of prefixes | Image 3



Tuesday 3rd of November 2020

Do I have permission to print the Grammar lists to use with my students?


Wednesday 11th of March 2020

what about bio

Teacher Elo

Tuesday 1st of December 2020

bio means life or living