Note: Troy and I recommend only products that we have tried and tested. These include the popular vocabulary-improvement software Ultimate Vocabulary.*
First of all, what is a prefix? Well, they're little words or letters that are added to the start of a word, that modify or qualify its meaning. They often originate from Greek or Latin words — hyper-, for example, is from the Greek word "huper" meaning over or beyond.
For example, say you have the base word active. If you add the prefix hyper- (meaning above, beyond) to it, you get hyperactive, meaning abnormally very active. If you add the prefix in- (meaning not) to it, you get inactive, meaning stationary, or not moving.
If you have a good knowledge of these little components of words, you will increase your comprehension of what you read, and it will help you build your vocabulary in a very effective manner.
Here are just a few of the more common prefixes, for starters. Part 2 of this article has a longer list of prefixes.
|anti-||against, opposed to||antibacterial, antipathy|
|auto-||self, by itself, spontaneous||autograph, automatic|
in front, before
|re-||again, once more, afresh||reassess, repeat|
|sub-||below, lower, smaller||submarine, subcontract|
|un-||not, abscence, lack of||unnecessary, unrest|
Ultimate Vocabulary can also help you learn prefixes, with many useful features such as Flashcards and a built-in dictionary to show you how words are constructed, and the etymology of the words you're learning.
*Troy and I have agreed to receive a commission from some sales of the Ultimate Vocabulary software because we are happy to endorse that software.