List of Prefixes and Suffixes according to Quirk et al. (1539--58)


Negative prefixes

ˌA-, AN-    "lacking in", "lack of"
DIS-    "not", "the converse of"
IN-    "not", "the converse of"
ˌNON-    "not"
UN-    "not", "the converse of"

Reversative or privative prefixes

DE-    "reversing the action"; "depriving of"
DIS-    "reversing the action"; "lacking"
UN-    "reversing the action"; "depriving of"

Pejorative prefixes

ˌMAL-    "badly", "bad"
MIS-    "wrongly", "astray"
ˌPSEUDO-    "false", "imitation"

Prefixes of degree or size

ˌARCH-    "supreme", "most"
ˌCO-    "joint(ly)", "on equal footing"
ˌHYPER-    "extreme", "too"
ˈMINI-    "little"
ˌOUT-    "surpassing"
ˌOVER-    "excessive"
ˌSUB-    "below"
ˌSUPER-    "more than", "very special"
ˈSUR-    "over and above"
ˌULTRA-    "extreme", "beyond"
ˌUNDER-    "too little"

Prefixes of orientation and attitude

ˌANTI-    "against"
ˌCONTRA-    "opposite", "contrasting"
ˌCOUNTER-    "against", "in opposition to"
ˌPRO-    "for", "on the side of"; "on behalf of", "deputizing for"

Locative prefixes

ˈFORE-    "front part of", "front"
ˌINTER-    "between", "among"
ˌSUB-    "under"
ˈSUPER-    "above"
ˌTRANS-    "across", "from one place to another"

Prefixes of time and order

ˌEX-    "former"
ˌFORE-    "before"
ˌPOST-    "after"
ˌPRE-    "before", "in advance"
ˌRE-    "again", "back"

Number prefixes

BI-, DI-    "two"
POLY-, MULTI-    "many"
SEMI-, DEMI-    "half"
TRI-    "three"
UNI-, MONO-    "one"

Miscellaneous neo-classical prefixes

ˌAUTO-    "self"
ˌEXTRA-    "exceptionally"
ˌNEO-    "new", "revived"
ˌPALEO-    "old"
ˌPAN-    "all"
ˌPROTO-    "first", "original"
ˈTELE-    "distant"
ˌVICE-    "deputy"

Conversion prefixes

A-    converts verbs to predicative adjectives
BE-    converts nouns to adjectives; intensifies the force of verbs; converts nouns to transitive verbs
EN-, EM-    converts nouns to verbs


Denominal nouns: Abstract

-AGE    "measure of", "collection of"
-DOM    conveys pejorative overtones
-ERY, -RY    "the condition or behaviour associated with"; "location of"; forms noncount concrete aggregate nouns
-FUL    "the amount contained in"
-HOOD    as in boyhood, brotherhood', widowhood''
-ING    forms noncount concrete aggregate nouns; activity connected with
-ISM    "doctrine of", "practice of"
-ˈOCRACY    "government by"
-SHIP    as in friendship, membership, dictatorship, professorship

Denominal nouns: Concrete

-ˈEER    "skilled in", "engaged in"
-ER    "having as dominant characteristic", "denizen of"
-ESS    adds feminine marking to animate nouns
-ˈETTE    "compact"; "imitation"; a feminine marker
-LET    "small", "unimportant"
-LING    "minor", "offspring of"
-STER    "involved in"

Deverbal nouns: Concrete

-ANT    forms agential nouns
-ˈEE    "one who is object of the verb"
-ER, -OR    forms agential nouns

Deverbal nouns: Abstract

-AGE    "action of", "instance of"
-AL    "the action or result of"
-ˈATION    "the process or state of"; "the product of", "the institution produced by"
-ING    forms concrete count nouns
-MENT    "the result of"

De-adjectival nouns

-ITY    especially associated with adjectives of neo-classical or French origin
-NESS    fairly freely added to any type of adjective

Noun/adjective suffixes

-ˈESE    "member of"; "(in) the language of", "the style of"
-(I)AN    "adherent to"; "relating to"; "citizen of"; "(in) the language of"
-IST    "skilled in", "practising"
-ITE    "adherent to", "member of (set)"; "denizen of"

Denominal adjectives: Native origin

-ED    "having"
-FUL    "full of", "providing"
-ISH    "somewhat like"; with names of races", "peoples", "and languages
-LESS    "without"
-LIKE    "like"
-LY    "having the qualities of"; with nouns that are units of time
-Y    "somewhat like", "characterized by"

Denominal adjectives: Foreign origin

-AL, -IAL, -ICAL    as in accidental, dialectal; editorial, professorial; psychological, philosophical
-ˈESQUE    prominently associated with artistic individuality
-IC    as in atomic, heroic, oceanic, specific; problematic, phonematic; Celtic, Arabic
-OUS, -IOUS    as in desirous, virtuous, grievous, ambitious, vivacious; courteous, erroneous

Deverbal suffixes

-ABLE    "of the kind that is subject to being V-ed"
-IVE    as in attractive, effective', possessive''

Adverb suffixes

-LY    very generally added to an adjective
-WARD(S)    forms nongradable directional adverbs
-WISE    forms nongradable adverbs from nouns

Verb suffixes

ˌ-ATE    as in orchestrate, hyphenate
-EN    converts adjectives to verbs
-IFY, -FY    converts adjectives and nouns
-IZE (-ISE)    converts adjectives and nouns