A prefix is a letter or group of letters that can be added to the beginning of another word to change its meaning.
Different prefixes change the meaning of words in different ways.
For example, multi means 'many'. If you add the prefix multi to the word coloured, it changes the meaning of the word to 'having many colours'.
Prefixes themselves each have a meaning. Here are some examples... but can you think of any others?
Auto - self, same
Extra - more than, beyond, additional
Hyper - over, more, excessive, above
Look at how the prefix 'hyper' can change the meaning of the following words;
Critical - describes someone who may outwardly disapprove of a person, an idea or a thing
Hypercritical - describes someone who is overly critical to the point of excess
Active - could be used to describe someone who takes part in physical exercises
Hyperactive - could be used to describe someone who is excessively active
In this activity, we will practise forming new words by adding prefixes to existing words, and we will think about the meaning of words with familiar prefixes.