List of Prefixes -- American English -- Page 1

This is a list of popular American prefixes. As a passing interest I also looked in the dictionary to see how many words had those beginnings and endings. I then added the number to the right of each so you can see how much that prefix is used. It surprised me as well. I give this list to my students and we go over some selected ones to show them how it works. I start with "tele" which means "at a distance." We then move to "scope" which means "an instrument for seeing" and thus we get from telescope "an instrument for seeing at a distance." We then look at a long word such as "teleconference." "Tele" meaning "at a distance," "confer" meaning to discuss or talk, and "ence" meaning, "act of doing." Thus we have a "doing discussion at a distance."

Prefix Meaning Examples Used
abs from absent, abstract 162
ad, ap, at to advance, approach, attack 2495
auto self automatic, automobile 309
bi two bicycle, bifocal 1756
bio life biology, biomedical 4
com, con, col with combine, confront, collect 4826