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Prefixes: Pre-, Re- and Mis-

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Basics on the topic Prefixes: Pre-, Re- and Mis-

Prefixes – re-, mis- and pre-

Have you noticed how some words change their meaning when you add a syllable at the beginning of a word? Added syllables are called affixes. When you add an affix at the beginning of a word, it is called a prefix. Let’s learn about the meaning of the prefixes re-, mis- and pre- and how they change the meaning of words.

Prefixes – Definition

Let’s look at the definition of prefixes:

A prefix is a pair or group of letters at the beginning of a root word, also known as a base word, that changes the meaning of the root word or adds meaning to the root word. Prefixes are often Latin or Greek syllables, but they do not only change the meaning of Latin and Greek root words.

In this text, you will learn about the meaning of the prefixes re-, mis- and pre- and how using these prefixes changes the meaning of the root word. We will also look at words that feature the prefixes re-, mis- and pre-, so that you will be able to answer the question: what are words with the prefixes re-, pre- and mis?

Prefix re- – Meaning

What is the meaning of the prefix re-? The general meaning of the prefix re- is “back” or “again”. For example, you may reread something that is difficult, which means you are reading it again to understand better.

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Prefix pre- – Meaning

The general meaning of prefix pre- is “before”. One of the words with the prefix pre- (meaning before) is preview. When you preview a movie, that means you are getting an idea of what it's about before watching.

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Prefix mis- – Meaning

The meaning of the prefix mis- is “incorrectly” or “poorly”. For example, when you misunderstand something, it means you didn't correctly understand the directions.

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Prefixes re-, mis- and pre- – Summary

Let’s review what we learned about prefixes in this text. Prefixes are syllables of Greek or Latin origin that can be added to the beginning of root words. Prefixes change the meaning of a word or add meaning to a word. Have a look at the table below to review the meaning of the prefixes re-, pre- and mis-:

Prefix General Meaning Example
re- back, again reread
pre- before preview
mis- incorrectly, poor misunderstand

Want some more practice with prefixes such as words that start with the prefix pre meaning before? On this website you will find interactive exercises with vocabulary with Latin and Greek roots with the prefixes re-, pre and mis-, as well as worksheets, and other activities!

Frequently Asked Questions about the Prefixes re-, pre- and mis-

What is a Prefix?
What is the meaning of prefix re-?
What is the meaning of prefix pre-?
What is the meaning of the prefix mis-?

Prefixes: Pre-, Re- and Mis- exercise

Would you like to apply the knowledge you’ve learnt? You can review and practice it with the tasks for the video Prefixes: Pre-, Re- and Mis-.
  • Understanding the prefixes pre-, re- and mis-.

    Hints

    How do the prefixes mis-, pre- and re- change the meaning of a word?

    What does the prefix re- mean in the word rebuild?

    If you misspelt a word, did you spell it again, before or incorrectly?

    Solution
    1. A prefix is a pair or group of letters at the beginning of a root word. The prefix changes the meaning of a word.
    2. The prefix re- means back or again.
    3. The prefix pre- means before.
    4. The prefix mis- means incorrectly or poorly.
  • Read the passage. Spot the prefixes.

    Hints

    What is a prefix? Where can I find the prefix of a word?

    Look at each word carefully to find the prefixes pre-, re- and mis-.

    Look at the beginning of each word to find the prefix. A prefix is a pair or group of letters at the beginning of a root word.

    Solution

    Words with the prefix pre-: prepare and premarked.
    Words with the prefix re-: recycling, recycle, reduce, reduces, reusing and reuses.
    Words with the prefix mis-: misunderstand and mistreat.

  • Using prefixes correctly

    Hints

    Always read the sentence and think, 'does this make sense?', when choosing the correct prefix.

    Remember:
    The prefix re- means back or again.
    The prefix pre- means before.
    The prefix mis- means incorrectly or poorly.

    If you misread something, will you understand it better? Or did you read it incorrectly?

    There are 4 correct options.

    Solution

    Incorrect Use of the Prefix:

    1. Kala did not understand how to do her homework, so she misread the instructions to get a better understanding.
    Correct Use of the Prefix:
    1. Dee had not read the book yet, but she saw the cover and could predict the ending!
    2. Nari has broken all of his pencils and crayons for school! He has mistreated his school supplies.
    3. Nia precut her sandwich into two parts before putting it into her lunch bag for school.
    4. Kala did not understand how to do her homework, so she reread the instructions to get a better understanding.

  • Adding prefixes.

    Hints

    Always read the sentence and think, 'does this make sense?', when choosing the correct prefix.

    How do prefixes change the meaning of a base word? What does the prefix mis- mean? What does the prefix pre- mean? What does the prefix re- mean?

    Remember:
    The prefix re- means back or again.
    The prefix pre- means before.
    The prefix mis- means incorrectly or poorly.

    Why is it important for an athlete to drink water before their sports match?

    Solution
    1. Kala had to preheat the oven before she could bake the cake.
    2. If the students misbehave, their teacher will get upset.
    3. Nari made a silly face, so they had to retake the photo.
    4. The outdoor football game had to be rescheduled due to rain.
    5. Athletes drink water prematch in order to stay hydrated.
  • Complete each word using the prefix pre-, re- or mis-.

    Hints

    How can the prefixes pre-, re- and mis- change the meaning of a word?

    Always read the sentence and think, 'does this make sense?', when choosing the correct prefix.

    Solution
    1. Kala is wearing one red sock and one blue sock. Her socks are mismatched. Mismatched means the socks do not match.
    2. A wave knocked over Dee's sandcastle. Now Dee needs to rebuild the sandcastle. Rebuild means to build something again.
    3. Kala and Dee always arrive early to the cinema. They like to watch the previews before their film starts. Preview means to watch something before something else.
  • Read the passage and identify the meaning of the bold words.

    Hints

    Read the word and think, 'what does the prefix of this word mean?'

    Use the passage to help you. What other words in the sentence can help you to identify the meaning of the bold word?

    The meaning of the prefix re- is back or again.
    The meaning of the prefix pre- is before.
    The meaning of the prefix mis- is incorrectly or poorly.

    Solution

    The word prepare means to make or get ready beforehand. Kala and Dee will get ready for the party before it starts.
    The word review means to look at or study again. Kala will study her list of guests more than once.
    The word misspelt means to spell in an incorrect way. Kala will make sure that the names on her party invitations are not spelt incorrectly.
    The word rearrange means to arrange again in a different way. Dee will arrange the decorations in many different ways.
    The word misplace means to put in the wrong space or position. Kala and Dee will make sure the presents are not in the wrong place or lost.