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Hi everybody, and welcome back to EnglishClass101.com
My name is Alisha, and today I'm going to talk about some common prefixes in English.
So common prefixes refer to these few prefixes I chose for today's lesson.
If you don't know though, I included a definition of the word prefix here. So a prefix means letters added to the beginning of a word to change the meaning of a word. So a prefix is usually maybe one, two, three, or four letters, kind of a short, you can think of it like a smaller word, actually. We add a prefix to the beginning of a word and it changes the meaning of the entire word. So just by adding a short beginning to a word, you can actually create a different word with a different meaning.
So today I want to introduce a few common prefixes that maybe you can use and maybe you have seen before, and I also want to talk about some of the ways to pronounce these. So let's get started!
Okay, the first prefix I want to talk about is re-, the prefix RE-, the meaning of re- as a prefix is, again, this is the nuance, so when we attach re- to the beginning of a word, it means that word plus again. So let's look at a few examples of this, we have the word "redo" here, so the original word is "do" but I attached the prefix re- and it becomes "do again." So redo a task, redo my homework. Redo a test, it means to do something again, redo.
The second example here is "replay." So you can see the base word here is "play," we use this word "replay" for sports, for a video, for something that we can watch or listen to, usually. So, for example, replay a video, replay a song, replay this YouTube content, for example. So we use replay to play something again. Okay, the next word is "reunite." So "unite" means come together, we use unite for when people come together, for example, so this word reunite means to unite again. We use this word when we haven't seen someone for a long time and we get to see them one more time. So, for example, I reunited with my classmates at a reunion party, or I'm excited to reunite with my family next month. We use reunite to come together, reunite means to unite again.
Ok, the last example is "recapture." So "capture" is like to take something and keep it, to capture something, like, to capture a flag, if you know that game, or to capture a person, may be in serious situations like wartime, but we also use capture to talk about emotions, so to capture a sad emotion, to capture a happy emotion, especially in movies or in songs, to capture an emotion is considered a skill. So when we say recapture, for example, we could mean something recaptures in emotion, like that movie really recaptured some memories of my childhood, or that song really recaptured the feeling of the original composer. So re + capture means capture again.
so remember the prefix re- has the nuance, the meaning of, again. You attach it to a word to mean that word plus again.
Ok, let's go to the next common prefix for today. The next one is anti-. You might hear anti- or anti-, both are correct, it depends a little bit on the word and it depends a little bit on what your preferred style of pronunciation is, but you might hear anti- or anti-. Let's look at a few examples and what it means. So anti- or anti- means against, against something; so you'll see in a few examples, anti- or anti- means against something, to oppose something else.
So let's look at the first example. First, I have antifreeze. So the base word here is "freeze," and I have anti-, meaning against or opposing, so antifreeze is a product that we use for cars, for example, to prevent the machinery, to prevent the fluids in the car from freezing and therefore becoming unable to move. So antifreeze is the name of a product, it's against freezing or it opposes freezing, it stops fluids from freezing, this is antifreeze.
Okay, let's look at one more example, anti-aging. So "aging" is our base here, aging is the process of getting older, the process of aging, the process of getting higher and higher in the number of years we've been alive. So anti-aging, against aging, this is a word that's commonly used for, for example, skin care products or other, maybe, food products. These are used, this word is usually used for products that are supposed to help you slow down the process of aging or try to make it appear as though aging has stopped. So anti-aging is opposing aging, it's against aging; this is the meaning of anti-aging or anti-aging.
Okay, the next word is anticlimactic. So "climactic" here is the base word, so a climax, a climactic moment, for example, is the peak of a moment, like the peak level of excitement in a movie, for example. The climax of a movie is the most exciting part of the movie or the most dramatic part of the movie, so a climactic moment is a very exciting moment, therefore when we look at the word anticlimactic, anti- means against, so it's the opposite of climactic, it's not exciting, it's not dramatic, it's not important. We might say that movie's climax was actually really anticlimactic, or I was really excited to do something this weekend but my plans fell through, it was really anticlimactic. So anticlimactic means not climactic or it's the opposite of climactic.
Okay, one more example, antihistamine. Antihistamine. So "histamine" here is the base word, this is a word that's commonly found in allergy products, so if you have allergies you might know about this word. Histamine, it's a chemical, it's a compound that when you come in contact with, something that gives you allergies. It creates your symptoms, it makes you, for example, have a runny nose or itchy eyes, or maybe some skin problem, for example. Histamine causes that reaction, that allergic reaction. So antihistamines, this is a very common type of medicine, a very common drug, antihistamines stops the histamine reaction, the allergic reaction, so anti- meaning against, and histamine, that thing, that compound in you that causes an allergic reaction. So this is an antihistamine, against histamine, commonly found in allergy drugs and medicines.
Okay, so let's remember anti- or anti- means against or the opposite, opposing something.
Okay, let's go to the next one for today. The next one I want to talk about is dis-. Dis- is the next prefix. So this means opposite or not something, opposite or not is dis-. So the first word here I have is "disagree." The base word here is "agree," agreed to have the same opinion as someone else, for example. But here I have dis-, meaning opposite or not, which means disagree, meaning I do not have the same opinion, the opinion is different from someone else. I disagree with you, I disagree with that. Dis- shows it's not agreement here.
Let's look at one more example, I have the word disable here. Able, of course, means able to do something or maybe available, for example. This is a word you might see a lot on computers, like, disable a function, or disable a device, for example. But "able" means we can use, able means is available, for example. Dis-, however, shows that it's not able to be used or we cannot use it. Dis- makes it a negative, so we could say disable a USB device or disable my access to this file, for example. It means become unable to do something as a verb.
Okay, let's go to the next example, disrespect. Disrespect. So "respect" is the base here, respect meaning to be humble to or to show respect for someone; but disrespect shows not respect here. So, don't disrespect your boss, or don't disrespect your parents, or she really disrespected me. Showing lack of respect, no respect, is what disrespect refers to.
Okay, one more. "Obey" is the base word here for disobey. So obey means to listen to, to listen to a command and to do that command is obey, the meaning of obey. However, disobey means not obey or the opposite of obey. So, to disobey a command is to listen to a command and not do that, to do something different. So the military personnel disobeyed the president's orders, for example. Or I disobeyed my boss's requests last week, for example. So disobey means to not obey something.
So each of these we see, this dis- means opposite or not, this is the prefix in each of these examples.
Ok, let's continue to the next one. The next one is ex-. Maybe many of you are familiar with ex- already, but ex- means former, past or former. So it used to be, but is no longer the case. This is the meaning of ex- as a prefix. So some examples, ex-girlfriend, for example, ex-girlfriend, ex-boyfriend, ex-husband, ex-wife, we can use these for a former relationship. My ex-girlfriend, my ex-boyfriend, my ex-partner, maybe for some of you. So whatever word you choose to use for your romantic relationships, you can say ex- to talk about your past or your former romantic relationships. In a work setting, you can use ex-boss, the base here is "boss" so your former boss; if your job changed or your boss changed, you can use ex-boss to talk about that. Here, for maybe more government or maybe more company related vocabulary words, we have ex-president. So ex-president is the former president of an organization, ex-president. We could use this for governments as well, the ex-president of the United States, the former president.
Okay, finally, ex-roommate is another one. So someone you used to share a room with, your ex-roommate, your former roommate, we use ex- to talk about the former of this case. Alright, so please remember ex- as a prefix, it means former.
Let's go to the last one for today. The last prefix here is mid-. So the meaning of mid- as a prefix is middle. So we use this a lot for time periods or times of day, seasons, for example. Let's look at some example, so the first example here is mid-summer. Mid-summer. Summer is the season, so mid- means in the middle of summer. So you might be familiar with a Shakespeare play called a Midsummer Night's Dream, that play occurs in the middle of summer. In the middle of summer, mid-summer, during, in the middle.
Okay, another example is mid-air. The base here is "air." Mid-air is used for something that is flying, so for example, planes, as they fly are cruising mid-air, for example. Something that is in the air, it is in the middle of the air, we say mid-air for that. Okay, another common word is midnight. Midnight. So middle, mid-, night, in the middle of the night. This is usually around twelve o'clock a.m. or, like, zero o'clock, if you use military time, too. Then the opposite is also true, midday. Midday is the middle of the day, midday, maybe, about twelve o'clock p.m. or noon, for example. Midday is the middle of the day.
So let's remember that the prefix mid- means middle.
Okay, so these are a few common prefixes there, a lot, actually, there are a lot of different prefixes but these are a few that are fairly common, so try them out. Of course, not every word can be paired with a prefix, try it out and see what the correct one is. These are some examples of some correct words that you can use, but not all words can be paired with every prefix, so please be careful about that.
Thanks very much for watching this episode, and we'll see you again soon. Bye!