Native English speakers routinely squash prefixes and suffixes before and after words to alter their meanings. Often they do it without giving much thought as to what the few letters before or after actually mean. For instance, if someone is being careless, a native English speaker would be quick to say, “Hey, stop acting carelessly,” without hesitating to recall that the suffix –ly means “in the matter of.”
But, oh those poor English learners. It takes time to memorize all our prefixes and suffixes and learn which to attach to what word. (A unicycle is quite different from a tricycle, you know.) It also doesn’t help that English, being that it is the bastard child of multiple European languages, adopted its prefixes and suffixes from Latin, Greek, and Old French.
To brush up on your skills, below is a collection of prefixes and suffixes and their meanings.
|-er||one who performs an action||worker|
|-ette||small version of||kitchenette|
|-ism||condition or doctrine||feminism|
|-ly||in the matter of||quickly|
|-wash||changing the appearance of||whitewash|