What are the Differences between Prefix and Suffix?

Prefix is a set of letters, which is usually used in front of a word. However, it changes the entire meaning of the word. On the other hand, suffix is a set of letters that comes at the end of a word.

Unhappy- Here ‘un’ is prefix and it comes at the beginning of the word ‘happy’ and changes the meaning. Happy refers happiness and unhappy carries the opposite meaning of that word.

On the other hand, ‘childish’ is a word where ‘ish’ suffix is added and it gives a new meaning. Moreover, after adding a suffix, the word changes as ‘child is a noun, but ‘childish is an adjective.

However, Prefixes and suffixes both are the parts of Affixes. The use of these two affixes, change the meaning of the base word or the root word.

Another example can make the concept clearer.
‘Untidiness’ is a word, where both suffix and prefix are added and it refers to a different meaning, than its root word. Here, ‘Tidy’ is the root word and it means neat and clean and ‘untidy’ means disorderly and it is an adjective. ‘Untidiness’ refers to disorderliness and messiness and it is a noun.

Cultural-Multicultural (Multi is a prefix)
Market-Supermarket (Super is a prefix)
Work-Overwork (Over is a prefix)
Regular-Irregular (Ir is a prefix)



Taste- Tasteless (less is a suffix)
Like-Likeable (able is a suffix)
Work- Worker (er is a suffix)
Jain –Jainism (ism is a suffix)

The Differences between a Prefix and a Suffix are at a glance:

• Prefix is a group of letters that comes at the stating of a root word. On the other hand, suffix is a group of letters that is added at the end of a base word.
• Prefix is always placed at the beginning and suffix always comes at the end.
• Prefix changes the meaning and suffix also changes the meaning and additionally, assists in formatting tenses.
• Prefix is only one type, but there are two types of suffix- inflectional and derivational.