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Understanding and Using Word Beginnings

In this worksheet, students will rehearse how to accurately use different word beginnings, known as prefixes. Words with a variety of prefixes are included in the SATs SPAG test.

'Understanding and Using Word Beginnings' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:   Exam-Style Questions: SATs English

Curriculum subtopic:   Exam-Style Questions: Spellings

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Great job! You have decided to practice for your SPAG spelling test. 

 

In this activity, you will practice how to use a variety of word beginnings accurately.

 

The beginning of a word can also be called a prefix.

 

In the SPAG Spelling test, you will be expected to be able to correctly spell a range of words with different beginnings.

 

These beginnings are:

  • co-
  • re-
  • bi-
  • aqua-
  • fore-
  • anti-

 

During the test, when you are asked to spell a word you don't know, there are a number of tricks you can use to help you have a go...

 

1. Split the word up into syllables.

 

For example:

Nonsense = Non/sense

Coincidence = Co/in/ci/dence

 

2. Look, Cover, Write and Check

 

This was probably one of the first tricks you learned when beginning to spell.

 

Have a look at the word shoulder, use these top tips below to help you learn to spell this word correctly.

 

eye 

 

Look at the shape of the word, notice which letters are taller and which ones are shorter.

 

mouth

 

Say the word aloud, what sounds can you hear? Repeat the word a few times so you can really hear each sound clearly.

 

 hand

Cover up the word. You can put your hand over the top of the word, or simply close your eyes.

Now you can see the word in your mind. Maybe you can write it in the air using your favourite colour?

Open your eyes to check. Have you spelt it correctly?

 

In the spelling part of your SPAG test, your teacher will read aloud 20 different words for you to write down. 

The 20 words will fit into sentences on your test paper, with a gap for the spelling.

We would advise that you print your letters for this test so the marker can easily read your answer.

 

Over to you now to practice using some of the spellings that may pop up!

 

You may be asked a question that involves a word beginning in 'co' or 'fore'.

 

Can you decide whether the words below need either 'co' or 'fore' to be added in?

Below is a list of words taken from Tina's spelling test.

 

Tina has done extremely well and has only made one error!

 

Can you select the incorrect spelling?

 

Bicycle

Antisocial

Cosign

Forhead

As part of the SPAG test, you may be asked to spell words that begin with 'bi' or 're'.

 

Below is a list of words using either the prefix 'bi' or 're', can you select only the words that are spelt correctly?

biannual

retpe

replace

bilingal

Below are some sentences with a missing word.

 

Can you insert the words that use the prefix 'aqua' or 're' into the correct place?

 

rewind     aquarium     replay

biannual

retpe

replace

bilingal

Two very common word beginnings that could appear in your spelling test are 'co/re'.

 

Can you fit either 'co' or 're' into the words below?

 

Read each sentence aloud to help you choose the correct ending.

biannual

retpe

replace

bilingal

Maisie has worked extremely hard to practice her spellings with different prefixes but has unfortunately made one error.

 

Can you select the word she has incorrectly spelt?

 

Rediscover

Reead

Biannual

Aquatic

Some root words are missing the prefix!

 

Can you help by inserting the missing prefix?

 

Choose from the options below:

 

co     fore     aqua

Rediscover

Reead

Biannual

Aquatic

To correctly use prefixes when spelling, you need to understand the meaning of the prefix.

 

Can you match each prefix with its meaning?

Column A

Column B

re
two
aqua
water
bi
joint
co
again

Time for you to be the teacher!

 

In her SPAG test, Joanne has spelt this word:

 

aqaalung

 

Does it look correct or incorrect?

 

Correct

Incorrect

Timothy has written the following sentence in a recent test.

 

The horse named 'Lightning flash' was the __________ in the race.

 

Should he use the spelling 'forrunner' or 'forerunner' to correctly complete his sentence?

 

forrunner

forerunner

  • Question 1

You may be asked a question that involves a word beginning in 'co' or 'fore'.

 

Can you decide whether the words below need either 'co' or 'fore' to be added in?

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Did you get the hang of this first question? You had to choose from two prefixes here. Remember, a prefix is a group of letters that are added to the beginning of a word. A prefix can change the meaning of the word. For instance, if we change 'co' to 'un' in cooperative, we certainly have a very different meaning!
  • Question 2

Below is a list of words taken from Tina's spelling test.

 

Tina has done extremely well and has only made one error!

 

Can you select the incorrect spelling?

 

CORRECT ANSWER
Forhead
EDDIE SAYS
Did you spot that Tina's error has been made on option 4? Instead of 'for', it should have the 'fore' beginning and look like this: forehead. You've made a great start- keep it up!
  • Question 3

As part of the SPAG test, you may be asked to spell words that begin with 'bi' or 're'.

 

Below is a list of words using either the prefix 'bi' or 're', can you select only the words that are spelt correctly?

CORRECT ANSWER
biannual
replace
EDDIE SAYS
Did you see that options 1 and 3 are spelled correctly, whereas 2 and 4 are not? Correctly spelled, they look like this: 'retype' and 'bilingual'. Both words are missing letters. In order to gain a mark in your spelling test, you will need to ensure that each word has all of the correct letters, in the correct order. This activity will help you to be prepared to do that!
  • Question 4

Below are some sentences with a missing word.

 

Can you insert the words that use the prefix 'aqua' or 're' into the correct place?

 

rewind     aquarium     replay

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
How are you doing? Being able to use words in the correct context is a key skill for your spelling test. In our everyday language, we don't use words with the prefix 'aqua' very much, but we do use words with the prefix 're' frequently!
  • Question 5

Two very common word beginnings that could appear in your spelling test are 'co/re'.

 

Can you fit either 'co' or 're' into the words below?

 

Read each sentence aloud to help you choose the correct ending.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
This is good, keep it up! Read each sentence aloud and try both prefixes in the gap to see which works best. Hopefully, this activity is also helping you to expand your vocabulary; try to use some of the spellings you are practising in your writing to impress!
  • Question 6

Maisie has worked extremely hard to practice her spellings with different prefixes but has unfortunately made one error.

 

Can you select the word she has incorrectly spelt?

 

CORRECT ANSWER
Reead
EDDIE SAYS
Keep trying until you get it right! The incorrect spelling is option 2, Maisie has missed out the letter 'r'. When correctly spelt, it looks like this: 'reread'. Remember when you are asked to add a prefix to a word, the spelling of the root word never changes.
  • Question 7

Some root words are missing the prefix!

 

Can you help by inserting the missing prefix?

 

Choose from the options below:

 

co     fore     aqua

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Did you manage to pair the correct prefix with the correct root word? Remember if you can learn to spell the root word, the prefix is just the final touch that can alter the meaning of the word to suit your sentence.
  • Question 8

To correctly use prefixes when spelling, you need to understand the meaning of the prefix.

 

Can you match each prefix with its meaning?

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

re
again
aqua
water
bi
two
co
joint
EDDIE SAYS
This is a tricky one! By learning the meanings of the prefixes, you will learn the meanings of the words. This will really help you with the SPAG spelling test. Keep it up- you're nearly at the end of the activity!
  • Question 9

Time for you to be the teacher!

 

In her SPAG test, Joanne has spelt this word:

 

aqaalung

 

Does it look correct or incorrect?

 

CORRECT ANSWER
Incorrect
EDDIE SAYS
Did you manage to mark the spelling as 'incorrect'? Joanne has not spelt the prefix correctly, it should look like this: 'aqualung'. Remember, 'aqua' means anything to do with water. If you are unsure of the meaning of a word, use a dictionary to help you. Aqualung is a type of breathing apparatus that a diver uses.
  • Question 10

Timothy has written the following sentence in a recent test.

 

The horse named 'Lightning flash' was the __________ in the race.

 

Should he use the spelling 'forrunner' or 'forerunner' to correctly complete his sentence?

 

CORRECT ANSWER
forerunner
EDDIE SAYS
Brilliant job if you chose 'forerunner'. The prefix has an 'e' on the end, like this: 'fore'. Practice makes perfect! That's another activity ticked off!
Try it ---- OR ----

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