A prefix is an affix which is placed before the stem of a word

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When do I use non-, ir-/i-, dis-, a-, or un-?

Between using the prefixes non-, ir-, i-, and dis-, a-, or un-, meaning "not (root word) to do something", when is the best time to use each?
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908 views

Is there a prefix for “infinite”?

I was looking for a prefix I could prepend to a word to mean an infinite amount of the thing the word describes. I eventually found someone with the same question, and since there were no answers, I ...
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Etymology for “Mc‑” and “O’‑” prefix in surnames

There is clearly a prefix in names like McDonald, McChrystal, O’Brian, O’Neal. What does this Mc- and O- prefix signify? It looks like Donald, Chrystal, Brian, Neal are perfectly fine names on their ...
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Is there a fraction prefix for “(one-)third”?

I am a mathematician, working with things called 1⁄k-regular polytopes, dubbed thus by Conway. For the case of k = 2, as in ½-regular, it is naturally pronounced and written half-regular. However, I ...
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46 views

Order of prefixes when more than one is present

In Words having two prefixes incorporated the person asking the question is curious about the name for words with more than one prefix. I am interested in knowing the rules dictating their order. Why ...
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1answer
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confusion about the 'ch' sound [duplicate]

i am confused about using the "ch" as there are three sound starting with "ch" as-/k/sound, and like these. is there some important rules to find out word formation?.someone please help me.
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2answers
567 views

Why do we say INcomplete but UNcompleted?

I'm a native speaker and it's just occurred to me that this is a strange irregularity: "The work is incomplete." < Fine "The work is uncompleted." < Less common but still sounds ...
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1answer
49 views

What do you call a tristate when there are only two states?

In programming the word "tristate" is used quite often to indicate an object with three possible states. A checkbox is a good example, it can be checked, unchecked or it can have no value yet. I now ...
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212 views

“Inter-”, “multi-”, “cross-”, “trans-” in relation to disciplines

In academia the words inter-discipline, multi-discipline, trans-discipline, or cross-discipline are used to describe a type of combination between different disciplines or the uniqueness of a field. ...
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16
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9k views

Why “unequal” but “inequality”?

The opposite of "equal" is "unequal", yet there is no word "unequality". Why do we use "inequality" instead?
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2answers
825 views

Is there any dictionary that decomposes an English word into prefix, root, and suffix?

Is there any dictionary that shows the decomposition of each word into these three parts, if application at all? For instance, "incapable" is divided into prefix "in", root "cap", and suffix "able". ...
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0answers
48 views

Hyphenation of SI prefixes

I constantly see variations in the hyphenization of words containing SI prefixes. Nano-, micro-, milli-, etc. But when is it proper to ditch the hyphen, and when should it be included? For example, ...
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226 views

Terminology for a word containing a prefix/suffix or neither

Does terminology exist for discriminating between words which do/don't contain a prefix/suffix? How could I describe this difference in the synonyms 'discontinue' and 'stop'? Here, 'dis' is a prefix ...
4
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1answer
2k views

Are prefixes, as bound morphemes, always separable from their root words?

The root words in the examples below look fine even without a prefix: un + bearable ir + regular dis + able mis + fortune ... but not in these: pro + gress pro + mote Possibly, I ...
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4answers
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“Unconscious” versus “nonconscious” in everyday dialogue

These words have subtle distinctions in related research fields, but even there are often considered interchangeable or just an matter of tradition/trendiness in a particular field. Since I am a bit ...
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1answer
34 views

Is it correct to use un-tinted or non-tinted in this use?

Related forms nontinted, adjective overtint, verb overtint, noun retint, verb (used with object) untinted, adjective Source: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/untinted?s=t One ...
4
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1answer
405 views

Are there many words that come with “a” as the prefix to mean “no, non” like “asymptomatic” and “apolitical”?

I didn’t know the word, “asymptomatic” to my shame, until I heard the following narration in AP Radio news aired on October 27 through AFN network: “Dr. Anthony Fauci with the NIH says CDC ...
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1answer
2k views

Difference between the terms 'famous' & 'infamous'; 'valuable' & 'invaluable'

Question in Short: Why is it that the terms valuable and invaluable mean almost the same thing while the terms famous and infamous are almost semantically opposite in meaning? That is, one is used to ...
0
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1answer
109 views

Why can “trans” be replaced with an x?

I can't think of an example, so I may be wrong about this, but I think I've seen people replace the prefix "trans" as in transport with an x. "Cross" makes sense, as in "railroad crossing", and I ...
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2answers
812 views

Any word followed by “proof” means that something is protected against that word

I was wondering if you combine any word and add "proof" at the and, does that automatically means that it is protected against the first word? For example: Bulletproof - means something that can't ...
4
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3answers
161 views

What is the combining form of 'Christian?'

I recently heard the term 'Judeo-Christian' which caused a thought to strike me. I don't know how to switch the order of the classical compound (word). What is the combining form of 'Christian?' ...
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1answer
96 views

Curious about “en-” and “-en” in the same word…

There’s a motorcycle part called the “enrichener.” To my ears, it sounds like the “en-” prefix and “-en” suffix (in the enrichen part of enrichener) are redundant. Of course, there is also ...
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2answers
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Opposite prefix to 'de'

Given a word, say deregulate, is there a prefix to denote the opposite, rather than simply saying regulate? It seems fairly illogical to have one but I was wondering if something existed.
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3answers
231 views

Should I say “declutter” or “unclutter”?

Which verb is more appropriate (and older) for clearing out my desk: declutter or unclutter and why? I should declutter my desk I should unclutter my desk Dictionary.com defines ...
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What is the story behind “a-” prefix / suffix?

For example, If this van's a-rockin', don't come a-knockin' Here We Come A-caroling (song title) Come on-a My House (song title) I have a few related questions: What is the "a-" or "-a" called? ...
4
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1answer
141 views

Why do we have the prefix “be” in “befriend”? What's the rule? [duplicate]

What is the verb form of the noun friend? I know it is to befriend, but I am confused as to how to teach this to my daughter. When is the prefix be used to make verbs? Is "befriend" an exception?
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What we've gelost — why doesn't English use the prefix “ge-”?

The Germanic languages that I'm familiar with all use a prefix similar to ge- on past participles: German: Ich habe mir den Fuß gebrochen. Dutch: Ik heb mijn voet gebroken. But English ...
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1answer
125 views

Is “omni” a prefix or a root word? [closed]

I always thought it was a prefix, but then doing a google search confused me. I need to explain why a word like "omnipotent" is often mispronounced. If "omni" is a root word, it would be easy to ...
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Is “dispreferred” a mainstream word in English?

I just recently came across the word dispreferred in a linguistic document. I have never heard the word used before, rather I generally hear something like "preferred something else" in everyday ...
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4answers
4k views

Proper term for knowing four or more languages?

If bilingual means you know two languages, and trilingual means you know three, what would be the proper term for knowing four, five or even six languages?
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7answers
3k views

Do “asymmetric” and “dissymmetric” have different meaning?

I get that usually a- (or un-) and di- prefixes mean different things, e.g. uninterested and disinterested. However, both asymmetric and dissymmetric refer to the lack of symmetry (which the NOAD ...
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1answer
171 views

Is a stem word required with a prefix and suffix combination?

Suppose the following lexeme: mononess Consisting of the prefix "mono-" (meaning "one") and suffix "-ness" (meaning "the quality of"), but no stem/root word. Could this lexeme be a valid word ...
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4answers
7k views

“The service is temporarily unavailable” vs. “…not available”

Is there a difference? Both versions are common. If there is a difference, which do I use when, and why?
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2answers
3k views

in-able ? un-able?

Suffix -able adds meaning "being able" to a word. I know that. Prefix in- and un- mean "not" or some negative meaning. I know that. However, when it comes to mixing of these, I am confused. ...
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1answer
444 views

Adding a suffix and a prefix to the word “ocean” [closed]

Is it possible to add a prefix to the word ocean? Also, is it possible to add a suffix to it as well?
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681 views

Biweekly, bimonthly, semi-confused [closed]

There seems to be a fair amount of confusion surrounding the meaning of the prefix bi when used with units of time measurement. Biweekly, according to dictionary.com, can mean either "occurring twice ...
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“Biweekly”, “bimonthly”, “biannual”, and “bicentennial”

What do lengths of time with the "bi" prefix mean"? I have understood bicentennial as once every two hundred years, but biannual as meaning twice a year. Do biweekly and bimonthly mean twice a week or ...
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5answers
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Is there a prefix that indicates that an event recurs four times a year?

"Semi-annually" describes an event that recurs every 6 months. Is there a similar term for an event that recurs every 3 months? (I'm guessing that "semi-semi-annually" isn't the correct answer.) More ...
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3answers
430 views

What is the meaning of unhighlight [closed]

What does the word "unhighlight" mean? Alternately, is it even a word? What would be its usage? I can't find it in my dictionary or on the internet. I am using it in the context of if you highlight ...
2
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2answers
90 views

Use of peri- prefix where sub- and super- are commonly used (Or, is periterranean valid?)

While trying to construct a description of the various train networks of London, I wanted to use the word periterranean to mean "close to the ground", with reference to subterranean (under the ground) ...
3
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4answers
191 views

Why is it that denuding something means you strip it rather than dress it?

When we denude something we strip it, like the branches of a tree. That seems a bit inverted to me, shouldn't it be to nude-something?
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1answer
97 views

When to use under and over as prefixes rather than adverbs with past participles

Is there a rule on when under and over are used as prefixes rather than adverbs when attached to past participles (and whether or not they are hyphenated)? In general, it seems that both words are ...
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3answers
10k views

“Not able to” vs. “unable to”

Which phrase is more suitable to convey one's inability to do something — "not able to" or "unable to"? For example, not able to join the meeting unable to join the meeting
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1answer
123 views

untypical, atypical, nontypical

I'm trying to label customer data with a word describing how typical they are. There is basically 3 possible values: typical, temporarily untypical, untypical. But I'm not sure if "untypical" is the ...
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5answers
4k views

“Irregardless” vs. “irrespective”

Why is irrespective considered a proper word but irregardless is not?
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141 views

How would you suffix a phrasal verb being used as a noun? [closed]

You may be aware that people often informally suffix a word with '-a-saurus rex' to add emphasis, e.g. 'You Sir, are a douche-a-saurus rex.' I've just been thinking about what the correct orthography ...
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4answers
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Pronunciation of en- prefix as ahn-

Recently, I pronounced the word enqueue as ahn-queue. The person I was talking to said he would have pronounced it with a more normal en sound (like in Ben or den). I'm not sure why I thought that ...
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5answers
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What is the antonym of the prefix retro-?

A coworker and I are discussing the word "retromingent", which means urinating backwards. We are wondering what the opposite would be: the word that means urinating forwards. What is the opposite of ...
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2answers
9k views

Why does “unisex” mean both sexes?

There are some places where men and women are segregated — for example public toilets and public swimming pool changing areas. By this I mean, for example, that there are "Men's toilets" and "Ladies' ...