Affixes are groups of letters that are added to the beginning or the end of words to make new words. Prefixes go at the beginning of words and often change meaning, whilst suffixes go at the end of words and often change the kind of word (e.g. from verb to noun, or noun to adjective etc.).

'Substandard' and 'pre-cooked' are examples of prefixes, 'hopefully' and 'happiness' are examples of suffixes.

In the classroom
It is very important to teach affixation as it helps learners guess the meaning of new words they find, and construct new forms successfully. Word guessing games can help develop awareness.

Further links:


Research and insight

We have hundreds of case studies, research papers, publications and resource books written by researchers and experts in ELT from around the world. 

See our publications, research and insight

Sign up to our newsletters for teachers and teacher educators

We will process your data to send you our newsletter and updates based on your consent. You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the "unsubscribe" link at the bottom of every email. Read our privacy policy for more information.