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Learn to Spell Words with the Prefix Connected with a Hyphen

In this worksheet, students will learn how to spell words with the prefix connected with a hyphen.

'Learn to Spell Words with the Prefix Connected with a Hyphen' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Year:  Year 6 English worksheets

Curriculum topic:   Writing: Transcription

Curriculum subtopic:   Use Prefixes and Suffixes

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

We can use prefixes and suffixes to change the meaning of some words.  

We call the original word a root word.


Prefixes go at the start of words. 

For example: un + kind = unkind. 

The prefix un means not.  When we add it to the root word kind we create its opposite.


two friends


In this activity, we will look at the use of a hyphen (-)  to add a prefix to a root word. A hyphen is similar to a dash, but is slightly shorter. 

It is added to a word without using a space on either side.


Most prefixes are added without a hyphen, but it is sometimes needed to make a word easier to read or to avoid confusion with an another word.  


Hyphens are usually used with the prefixes co- and re-.

Co- means to do something together (doing something in company).

Re- means to do something again (repeating something)


When the root word begins with a vowel (a, e, i, o, u), we use a hyphen to add co- or re-.  This makes the word easier to read.

For example:  re-enter, co-author


However, sometimes it is acceptable to omit the hyphen even if the root word starts with a vowel.

This can be a bit confusing, but you will see both spellings accepted for words such as coordinate and co-ordinate.


We also use a hyphen when, without it, the word would be confused with another.

For example: re-cover means to cover again but recover means to get better.


boy in bed


If neither of these rules apply, we can add the prefix without a hyphen.

For example: rebuild


Hyphens can also be used to link two or more words to make a new one, eg three-year-old.  We will not be looking at this use of the hyphen in this activity.


Here are some examples of words that we will practise in this activity.  


co-ordinate or coordinate







You can listen to them here:



girl writing

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