Meaning of Prefixes with examples | Prefixes and Suffixes | ORCHIDS
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Prefixes and Suffixes

Prefix Used to Write Opposite Words for Class 3 English

In this chapter, the students will learn about prefixes that are used to write opposite words. They will learn about the uses of prefix, common errors made while using them and exceptions to the prefix rules.

In this learning concept, the students will learn to:

  • Form a useful opposite word with a prefix.
  • List of negative prefix that include opposite words starting with ‘im’, ‘dis’, ‘un’, ‘mis’, ‘in’, ‘il’, and ‘ir’.
  • Give meaning and list of common prefixes.

Each concept is explained to class 3 English students using illustrations, examples, and mind maps. You can assess your learning by solving the two printable worksheets given at the end of the page. Download the worksheets and check the solutions for the concept, make antonyms using prefixes provided in PDF format.


  • Prefix means a group of letters that is added at the beginning of a word to form a new word.
  • Prefixes are also used to create opposite words or antonyms. Few prefixes are as follows: mis-, in-, dis-, ir- , im- , il-, un-


  1. Mis + understand= Misunderstand
  2. In + correct= incorrect
  3. Dis +appear= disappear

Meaning of Prefixes :

Prefixes are used to make negative words like untidy, discomfort Let’s take a look at the meaning of a few prefixes.

  1. The prefix un - means ‘not’.
  2. Example:

    lock – unlock

  3. The prefix dis- means ‘not or ‘the opposite of’.
  4. Example:

    obey – disobey

  5. The prefix mis- means ‘a mistake’.
  6. Example:

    Use – Misuse

Uses of Prefixes:

  1. Prefixes are often used to give adjectives a negative meaning. Look at the examples given below with the meaning written in the brackets.
  2. Examples:

    1. kind (good-natured)) – unkind (rude to others)
    2. decent (respectable) – indecent (not appropriate)
  3. Prefixes are used to create opposites of verbs prefixes like in- and dis- can be seen
  4. Examples:

    1. appear – dis appear
    2. agree – dis agree
    3. approve -dis approve
    4. believe - dis believe
    5. connect-dis connect
    6. like - dis like

    Examples of common opposite words with prefix

    Use – Misuse Advantage – Disadvantage

    Img2_Example_un prefix words.jpg
    Img3_Example_un prefix words.JPG
    1. Opposites with the dis prefix words:

    2. Main Word Word with Prefix
      Agree Disagree
      Comfort Discomfort
      Honest Dishonest
      Appear Disappear
      Honour Dishonour
      Like Dislike
      Main Word Word with Prefix
      Ability Disability
      Appoint Disappoint
      Belief Disbelief
      Honest Dishonest
      Connect Disconnect
      Order Disorder
      Satisfied Dissatisfied

    3. Opposites with the im prefix words :

    4. Main Word Word with Prefix
      Patient Impatient
      Movable Immovable
      Moral Immoral
      Balance Imbalance
      Partial Impartial
      Main Word Word with Prefix
      Mortal Immortal
      Possible Impossible
      Pure Impure
      Polite Impolite
      Probable Improbable
      Mature Immature
    5. Opposite words with the prefix ‘in’

    6. Main Word Word with Prefix
      Active Inactive
      Ability Inability
      Effective Ineffective
      Formal Informal
      Efficient Inefficient
      Attentive Inattentive
      Justice Injustice
      Complete Incomplete
      Main Word Word with Prefix
      Accurate Inaccurate
      Correct Incorrect
      Decent Indecent
      Direct Indirect
      Equality Inequality
      Attentive Inattentive
      Sufficient Insufficient
      Valid Invalid
      Sane Insane
    7. Opposite words with the prefix ‘Mis’

    8. Main Word Word with Prefix
      Conduct Misconduct
      Interpret Misinterpret
      Lead Mislead
      Manage Mismanage
      Behave Misbehave
      Main Word Word with Prefix
      Understand Misunderstand
      Fortune Misfortune
      Chief Mischief
      Use Misuse
    9. Opposite words with the prefix ‘Un’

    10. Main Word Word with Prefix
      Do Undo
      Known Unknown
      Usual Unusual
      Wise Unwise
      Pleasant Unpleasant
      Fortunate Unfortunate
      Common Uncommon
      Able Unable
      Avoidable Unavoidable
      Main Word Word with Prefix
      Authorized Unauthorized
      Kind Unkind
      Fit Unfit
      Conscious Unconscious
      Clear Unclear
      Necessary Unnecessary
      Foreseen Unforeseen
      Sure Unsure
      Educated Uneducated
    11. Opposite words with the prefix ‘il’:

    12. Main Word Word with Prefix
      Logical Illogical
      Legal Illegal
      Legible Illegible
      Literate Illiterate

    13. Opposite words with the prefix ‘ir’:

    14. Main Word Word with Prefix
      Rational Irrational
      Regular Irregular
      Relevant Irrelevant
      Reparable Irreparable
      Replaceable Irreplaceable

    Common Mistakes

    1. The prefix in- does not have a negative meaning always. It often means ‘inside’ or ‘into’, for instance, internal, income, and insert.
    2. The antonym of a word must be exactly the same part of the speech as that particular word.
    3. Examples:

      1. Adjective – Antonym – (good-bad)
      2. Verb – Antonym – (hate - love)
      3. Noun – Antonym – (strength-weakness)
    4. Do not forget to use im- before a word that starts with ‘m’ or ‘p’, e.g., immature, impatient, improbable.
    5. Similarly, ir- before a word that begins with ‘r’ and il- before a word that starts with ‘l’, for example, irreplaceable, illegal, illegible, illiterate, irreversible.


    1. Not all words starting with ‘dis’ are an antonym.
    2. Example:

      distinguish means ‘to differentiate’.

      I am unable to distinguish between the two.

    3. Not all words starting with ‘im’ are an antonym.
    4. Example:

      impart means to convey or pass on.

      It is a teacher’s job to impart knowledge to students.

    Img4_Antonym using negative prefix chart.jpg
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