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PREFIXES

Updated Sept. 1, 2009

Prefixes change the meaning of a word.
For instance, the prefixes
"dis-" or "un-", give words their
opposite meaning :
                    dis + appear (V) è disappear            un + do (V) è undo

 

PREFIXES

their meaning / use

examples

anti + adjective / noun

opposite

anti-clockwise/ anti-climax

anti + noun / adjective

against

anti-theft device / anti-European

co + noun / verb

together

cohabit

dis + verb

negative/opposite

dislike / disembark

il + adjective

opposite

illegal

im + adjective

opposite

impossible

in + adjective

opposite

indirect

inter + adjective

between

intercontinental

ir + adjective

opposite

irregular

mis + verb

wrongly/ badly

mistook / mishandle

over + verb

too much

overwork

out + verb

more

outnumber

post + noun / verb

after

postgraduate

pre + noun / verb

before

pre-arrangement

pro + noun / adjective

in favour of

pro-Unions / pro-European

sub + adjective

below

substandard

super + noun/ adjective

greater than

superhuman

trans + noun / verb

across

transplant  / transcontinental

un + verb / adjective

negative / opposite

unlock / unhappy

under + verb

not enough / too little

undercook / undercharge

 

 A few rules :

• Words beginning with l : we use il-

  il + legal = illegal

• Words beginning with m or p : we use im-  instead of in-

  im + polite - impolite

• Words beginning with r : we often use ir- instead of in-

  ir + responsible = irresponsible.

 

Common mistakes :

You must unconnect  the cables first.     è  You must disconnect the cables first.

They expelled him for disbehaving.          è  They expelled him for misbehaving.

 

 è Many words with a prefix have a base part which never exists without its prefix.
        Examples : immediate, incontrovertible, uncalled-for , …

 

 

                                   This table and the notes are on a PDF document : click
                                                            on its logo to get it

                                    ______________________________________________

 

                           TIME  SEQUENCE

Basic transitional words/phrases
:

First / firstly / at first…            In the beginning / to begin with / to start with

                                                                                     

       secondly                                                                  then

 

Après (dans le sens de "ensuite …", "puis …") se dit "then"

"After" appelle un complément :

                                    * "After the woman told her to go away, she stood there"

   * "After the headmistress' refusal, she took her letters back"

                                                      

        thirdly                                                                     next

            …                                                                         

                                                                                     

            Eventually /finally / in the end

             To conclude / as a conclusion / in conclusion / …


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