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What are affixes? | Reading

Affixes are word-parts that change the meaning of the words they attach to. "Un-" is a great example; when you're not happy, you're "unhappy". "Un-" means "not". It's a kind of affix we call a "prefix". Created by David Rheinstrom.

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Video transcript

- [Instructor] Hello readers. Today we're going to talk about things called affixes. One of the things that I love about the English language is how flexible its words can be. You can take little word parts and stick them together to make new words. If I read something once, I've read it. If I read it again, now I've reread it. That little re thing tells you, "Oh, it's happening again." There are lots of these little word parts in English and we call them affixes. They can come at the beginning or the end of words. At the beginning of words we call them prefixes. Un is a great example of a prefix. It means no or not. When you're upset, you're not happy. You're unhappy. When you are not available, you are therefore unavailable. You see? When we put affixes at the ends of words, they're called suffixes. The suffix ful, for instance, means full of. So if you're full of joy, you're joyful, if you're gratitude, you're grateful, and if you're full of power, you are, say it with me, powerful. You are powerful! Look at all these words you can make. Some common prefixes you might see include re, meaning again as in redo or reread, dis, meaning not or the opposite as in disuse or disobey, mis, meaning wrong, as in mistake or misunderstand. Some common suffixes you might see include L-Y or ly, meaning a way to do something as in happily or snappily, less, meaning without as in harmless or wireless, ness, meaning a state of being, which is another way of saying it makes nouns as in happiness or hopefulness. Oh, did you see what I did there? I took the word hopeful, which already has a suffix in it, it means full of hope, and I added ness to it. Now it's a word that means the state of being full of hope. That's the magic of affixes. They're these word parts that you can snap on to pretty much any word in order to change its meaning. So remember, prefixes are word parts that come at the beginning of words. The prefix pre means before, as a little clue and can help you remember, and suffixes are word parts that come at the end of the word. There are gonna be lists of these affixes for you to study, but what I liked doing when I first studied this stuff was to take those lists and make them into games. Make nonsense words. Write roots and affixes on little index cards and shuffle them up into new combinations and then argue with your friends and family about what your newly minted words mean. Let me shuffle up some right now. (cards shuffling) It's sure to be a dispetrographic time. Dispetrographic. Okay, so that's no rock pictures adjective forming suffix, it's a describer. So, I guess I will not be taking any pictures of rocks. Anyway, you can learn anything. David out.