I just started to dig into suffixes and prefixes. But I couldn't understand how do they exactly change the meaning of the word that they are appended.

For example re- means again, retake means take again. Inter- means between, but interact means acting in a way that you have an effect on something. Interact has no connection with between. Why is that?

  • I think you mean re- not -re. Not all words starting with what appears to be a suffix are suffixed. Aug 6, 2019 at 14:23
  • @marcellothearcane edited. Thank you.
    – J.Smith
    Aug 6, 2019 at 14:29

1 Answer 1


Inter- has the following definitions:

  1. Between; among.
    ‘inter-agency’, ‘interblend’
  2. Mutually; reciprocally.

The between is the fourth definition:

Indicating a connection or relationship involving two or more parties.

According to Etymonline, interact means:

"act on each other, act reciprocally," 1805, from inter- + act (v.).

In addition, Lexico defines it thus:

  1. Act in such a way as to have an effect on each other.
  • Seems like resources I looked from doesn't give the exact definition. Thank you. Are there a tool that finds base word of a given word? For example I want to learn base word of duplicate, how can I do that?
    – J.Smith
    Aug 6, 2019 at 14:30
  • This question is general reference. The correct response is to direct the OP to the Help Center (which gives easily available resources) and close-vote. ELU is aimed at 'linguists ...'. It's the only website I know that is. Wouldn't it be good to maintain standards? Aug 6, 2019 at 14:33
  • @J.Smith Etymonline is good for that. Aug 6, 2019 at 14:35

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