The TOEFL throws a lot of academic vocabulary at test-takers. There will always be some words on the exam that you don’t know or are not sure of. But sometimes, just knowing the meaning of a part of a word is enough to guess the gist of an unfamiliar word; the basic sense of the word.
When it comes to guessing at the sense or possible meaning of a word, prefixes are valuable word parts to know. A prefix is a word-part that appears at the beginning of a word and colors its meaning in some way.
Below are some comic strips that show prefixes. To help you practice the skill of guessing meaning through context, I haven’t put the definitions of the prefixes in the comics. But see if you can guess the definitions of the prefixes… or at least guess the gist. At the bottom of this post, I’ll list the prefix meanings so that you can check your guesses.
OK, now here are the meanings of these prefixes:
- de- to get rid of something or reduce it to a smaller quantity
- dis– the opposite of
- inter- meeting or making contact