Difference between Suffix and Prefix

By Jaxson

Main Difference

In the field of morphology, the suffix and prefix play an important role. Although they look and utilize many a time in a similar way but both of these terms have difference. From the point of view of grammar, suffixes and prefixes are called affixes. English, Greek and Latin are the languages from where suffixes and prefixes mostly derived. In most of the situations, these terms have no intrinsic meaning in reality, but some of the more common ones suggest a meaning. The main function of suffix and prefix is very simple as when these both attach to a word they could change the meaning of that word. Here you will find the detail discussion related to the topics of suffix and prefix from which you will become capable of differentiating between these terms in an easy and a pain free mode.The location of the Suffix is specific by nature because it goes after the root word and prefix comes before the root word all the time so you are able to confirm that whether an addition is a suffix or prefix just with the help of its location. The important thing to note is that these both suffixes and prefixes can’t stand alone and they have to attach with another word all the time and it is a true fact that they are totally reliant on the word they are attached to. Some common illustrations of suffixes are: ‘less’, ‘full’, ‘ly’, ‘ous’, and ‘able’, ance ‘,’ ence, ness. By using these letters at the end of the word, it’s called a suffix. There is also some common illustrations for prefixes like ‘mis’, ‘dis’, ‘re’, ‘for’, ‘anti’, ‘ante’, ‘sub’, ‘un’ and ‘in’. New words are made by placing a prefix in front of a word.


A suffix is a group of letters set which are generally used after the origin of a word. Giving further illustration to clear the vision of the suffix is, for example, the word “friendless” in which the root word “friend” compounded with the suffix “-less” this means having “no friend”. As an outcome, it is proved that the additions of the suffixes are useful in order to add in words to make other words. The importance of the Root word is far above the ground in suffix to have a new meaningful word. There are two main groups of suffixes known as the inflectional suffixes and derivational suffixes. The inflectional suffix is the type which can’t change the meaning of the word, but the derivational suffix is the type which is able to alter the meaning of the original word. A table is shown below from which the meaning and the proper utilization of the Suffixes will be cleared to all and sundry.

SuffixesMeaning Example
-lessWithoutWater is flavorless.
-ableAbleHe is capable of this job.
-ousfull ofThere is a dangerous place.


A prefix, on the other side, is a group of letters set employed before the origin of a word for the purpose of obtaining the desirable meaning. Giving further illustration to clear the vision of the prefix is, for example, the word “disagree” in which the root word “agree” compounded with the prefix “dis-” that will result in obtaining the meaning of “not agree”. On the whole, the prefixes are useful to add in words for the basic objective of making other words. The worth of the Root word is immense in prefix to have a new significant word. As the name implies, the location of the prefix can be guessed easily because the “pre” is something that comes first. It is obvious that the prefixes are used in front of the root word just opposite to the suffix. From the given table, the meaning and use of some of the suffix will be learned easily.

pre-beforeThey preplan first than struggle.
un-notWhy are you unhappy these days?
dis-notMiss Mumtaz disagreed with his decision.

Key Differences

  • A suffix is an affix that is engaged to the end of a word while a prefix is an affix that is engaged to the start of a word.
  • Generally suffixes and prefixes are titled as affixes.
  • At the beginning, we can add prefix in the word, and at the ending we can add suffix in the word.
  • By suffixes and prefixes alteration of the word is totally possible.
  • It’s possible by adding prefixes in start to make a new word and it’s also possible by adding suffixes at the end of the word to make a new word.
  • Inflectional suffixes and derivational suffixes are the two types of suffixes, but prefixes have no types.

Video Explanation

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