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Use Hyphens to Join Prefixes to Root Words 1

In this worksheet, students decide whether to use a hyphen or not when joining prefixes to root words.

'Use Hyphens to Join Prefixes to Root Words 1' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:  English

Curriculum subtopic:  Punctuation: Commas, Hyphens, Parentheses & Dashes

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

A prefix is a letter or group of letters added to the beginning of a word to make a new word. Often the new word is just written as one word, for example:

undo

defrost

 

Sometimes, however, a hyphen (-) is used to join prefixes to words, for example:

de-ice

re-enter

 

In the above examples, the prefix ends with a vowel and the root word begins with a vowel, so using a hyphen makes the new word easier to read. Without the hyphen we would get deice and reenter, which look very strange!

 

Words beginning with the prefix co- can be written with or without prefixes. Both of the following are correct.

co-operate

cooperate

 

In this worksheet you can practise adding prefixes to root words and deciding whether or not to use a hyphen.

Choose the correct spelling of the new word that is formed when the prefix un- is added to the word tie.

untie

un-tie

both are correct

Choose the correct spelling of the new word that is formed when the prefix de- is added to the word ice.

deice

de-ice

both are correct

Choose the correct spelling of the new word that is formed when the prefix re- is added to the word elect.

reelect

re-elect

both are correct

Choose the correct spelling of the new word that is formed when the prefix co- is added to the word ordinate.

coordinate

co-ordinate

both are correct

Choose the correct spelling of the new word that is formed when the prefix dis- is added to the word obey.

disobey

dis-obey

both are correct

This time, add the prefix de- to the word emphasise and decide whether or not you need to use a hyphen. Write the new word in the answer box.

Add the prefix mis- to the word hear and decide whether or not you need to use a hyphen. Write the new word in the answer box.

Add the prefix co- to the word author and decide whether or not you need to use a hyphen. Write the new word in the answer box.

Add the prefix pre- to the word soak and decide whether or not you need to use a hyphen. Write the new word in the answer box.

Add the prefix re- to the word echo and decide whether or not you need to use a hyphen. Write the new word in the answer box.

  • Question 1

Choose the correct spelling of the new word that is formed when the prefix un- is added to the word tie.

CORRECT ANSWER
untie
EDDIE SAYS
No hyphen is needed here. The prefix ends in a consonant and the root word begins with a consonant, so the word is easy to read.
  • Question 2

Choose the correct spelling of the new word that is formed when the prefix de- is added to the word ice.

CORRECT ANSWER
de-ice
EDDIE SAYS
This time using a hyphen makes the word easier to read as the prefix ends in a vowel and the root word begins with a vowel.
  • Question 3

Choose the correct spelling of the new word that is formed when the prefix re- is added to the word elect.

CORRECT ANSWER
re-elect
EDDIE SAYS
Again, a hyphen makes the word easier to read, as the prefix ends in a vowel and the root word begins with a vowel.
  • Question 4

Choose the correct spelling of the new word that is formed when the prefix co- is added to the word ordinate.

CORRECT ANSWER
both are correct
EDDIE SAYS
Both spellings are used for this word. Although it is easier to read with a hyphen, it is becoming more common to spell the word without a hyphen these days.
  • Question 5

Choose the correct spelling of the new word that is formed when the prefix dis- is added to the word obey.

CORRECT ANSWER
disobey
EDDIE SAYS
There is no need to use a hyphen here as although the root word begins with a vowel the prefix ends in a consonant, so the new word is easy to read.
  • Question 6

This time, add the prefix de- to the word emphasise and decide whether or not you need to use a hyphen. Write the new word in the answer box.

CORRECT ANSWER
de-emphasise
EDDIE SAYS
You need to use a hyphen here as the prefix ends with a vowel and the root word begins with a vowel. Deemphasise looks strange and is hard to read.
  • Question 7

Add the prefix mis- to the word hear and decide whether or not you need to use a hyphen. Write the new word in the answer box.

CORRECT ANSWER
mishear
EDDIE SAYS
There is no need to use a hyphen as the prefix ends in a consonant and the root word begins with a consonant. The word is easy to read without needing a hyphen.
  • Question 8

Add the prefix co- to the word author and decide whether or not you need to use a hyphen. Write the new word in the answer box.

CORRECT ANSWER
coauthor
co-author
EDDIE SAYS
This word is nearly always written with a hyphen as it is much easier to read. However, it is sometimes written without the hyphen.
  • Question 9

Add the prefix pre- to the word soak and decide whether or not you need to use a hyphen. Write the new word in the answer box.

CORRECT ANSWER
presoak
EDDIE SAYS
There is no need to use a hyphen here. Although the prefix ends in a vowel, the root word begins with a consonant and the word is easy to read.
  • Question 10

Add the prefix re- to the word echo and decide whether or not you need to use a hyphen. Write the new word in the answer box.

CORRECT ANSWER
re-echo
EDDIE SAYS
A hyphen is needed here to make the word clear and easy to read. The prefix ends in a vowel and the root word begins with the same vowel, so reecho would look very strange.
---- OR ----

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