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Use Hyphens to Join Prefixes to Root Words 3

In this worksheet, students use hyphens to avoid ambiguity when adding prefixes to root words.

'Use Hyphens to Join Prefixes to Root Words 3' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:   English

Curriculum subtopic:   Spelling: Prefixes & Suffixes

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Sometimes it can be hard to know whether to use a hyphen or not when adding a prefix to a root word. The prefix re- seems to break the rules.

 

Usually we only need a hyphen if the prefix ends with a vowel and the root word begins with a vowel.

We need to re-order pencils as we have run out.

 

Otherwise we generally don't use a hyphen.

It took the villagers a long time to rebuild their homes after the hurricane.

 

However, in the following example a hyphen is used even though the root word doesn't begin with a vowel.

Mum is re-covering our sofa because the cat scratched it and it is all tattered.

 

A hyphen is used because otherwise the word could be confused with recovering, meaning 'getting better'.

Meena has been very ill but she is recovering now.

 

There are many examples of words beginning with re- that could be confusing without the hyphen.

reserve (to keep for later)

re-serve (to serve again)

 

resign (to leave a job or position)

re-sign (to sign again)

 

resent (to feel bitter or angry about something)

re-sent (sent again)

 

repress (to end something or put it down using force)

re-press (to press again)

 

relay (to receive something and pass it on)

re-lay (to lay something again)

 

In this worksheet you can practise adding the prefix re- to words and thinking about whether or not you need a hyphen.

Choose the correct spelling for the missing word in the following sentence.

 

The manager of our football team has just __________ because we've lost ten games in a row.

resigned

re-signed

Choose the correct spelling for the missing word in the following sentence.

 

The fire was burning so fiercely that the firefighters couldn't __________ the building.

reenter

re-enter

Choose the correct spelling for the missing word in the following sentence.

 

You should talk to her directly rather than __________ the information through someone else.

relay

re-lay

Choose the correct spelling for the missing word in the following sentence.

 

The waiter had to take back all the drinks and  __________ the customers because the wine had gone off.

reserve

re-serve

Choose the correct spelling for the missing word in the following sentence.

 

"I __________ being asked to wash up when Jayden doesn't have to do any housework," grumbled Freya.

resent

re-sent

Choose the correct spelling for the missing word in the following sentence.

 

Josie still hasn't __________ from the mumps. She's been off school for three weeks now.

recovered

re-covered

Choose the correct spelling for the missing word in the following sentence.

 

The demonstration was __________ by the police and some of the protestors were arrested.

repressed

re-pressed

Choose the correct spelling for the missing word in the following sentence.

 

Josie had to unpick her knitting and __________ it because she had gone wrong.

redo

re-do

Choose the correct spelling for the missing word in the following sentence.

 

The recipe says that we need to __________ some of the pastry to decorate the top of the flan.

reserve

re-serve

Choose the correct spelling for the missing word in the following sentence.

 

Mum and Dad are going to __________ my bedroom in the holidays.

redecorate

re-decorate

  • Question 1

Choose the correct spelling for the missing word in the following sentence.

 

The manager of our football team has just __________ because we've lost ten games in a row.

CORRECT ANSWER
resigned
EDDIE SAYS
The word \'resign\' without a hyphen means to leave your job or position. If you use a hyphen the word means to sign again, which is completely different.
  • Question 2

Choose the correct spelling for the missing word in the following sentence.

 

The fire was burning so fiercely that the firefighters couldn't __________ the building.

CORRECT ANSWER
re-enter
EDDIE SAYS
This time a hyphen is used because otherwise there would be two vowels together and the word would be difficult to read. There is no confusion about meaning in this example.
  • Question 3

Choose the correct spelling for the missing word in the following sentence.

 

You should talk to her directly rather than __________ the information through someone else.

CORRECT ANSWER
relay
EDDIE SAYS
To relay means to receive something and pass it on. It does not need a hyphen as the root word begins with a consonant. If you use a hyphen you end up with re-lay, which means to lay something again.
  • Question 4

Choose the correct spelling for the missing word in the following sentence.

 

The waiter had to take back all the drinks and  __________ the customers because the wine had gone off.

CORRECT ANSWER
re-serve
EDDIE SAYS
This time you do need a hyphen as without it you would get the word \'reserve\', which means to hold something back for later. This would make the sentence very confusing!
  • Question 5

Choose the correct spelling for the missing word in the following sentence.

 

"I __________ being asked to wash up when Jayden doesn't have to do any housework," grumbled Freya.

CORRECT ANSWER
resent
EDDIE SAYS
The word is spelled without a hyphen. Re-sent means sent again and would not make sense here.
  • Question 6

Choose the correct spelling for the missing word in the following sentence.

 

Josie still hasn't __________ from the mumps. She's been off school for three weeks now.

CORRECT ANSWER
recovered
EDDIE SAYS
No hyphen is needed here. Re-cover means to cover something again, which would not make sense.
  • Question 7

Choose the correct spelling for the missing word in the following sentence.

 

The demonstration was __________ by the police and some of the protestors were arrested.

CORRECT ANSWER
repressed
EDDIE SAYS
To repress means to put an end to something using force, and is the correct word here. To re-press means to press something again.
  • Question 8

Choose the correct spelling for the missing word in the following sentence.

 

Josie had to unpick her knitting and __________ it because she had gone wrong.

CORRECT ANSWER
redo
EDDIE SAYS
There is no need for a hyphen here. The root word begins with a consonant and there is no confusion over meaning.
  • Question 9

Choose the correct spelling for the missing word in the following sentence.

 

The recipe says that we need to __________ some of the pastry to decorate the top of the flan.

CORRECT ANSWER
reserve
EDDIE SAYS
A hyphen is not needed here. The meaning of the word is to keep something back for later, not to serve it again.
  • Question 10

Choose the correct spelling for the missing word in the following sentence.

 

Mum and Dad are going to __________ my bedroom in the holidays.

CORRECT ANSWER
redecorate
EDDIE SAYS
No hyphen is needed here as the root word begins with a consonant and there is no confusion about the meaning.
---- OR ----

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