Do your students need extra practice using root or base words, prefixes and suffixes to create other words? Practicing with roots and base words is the beginning of understanding other grammar concepts such as prefixes, suffixes, and compound words. We've assembled plenty of information along with prefix and suffix worksheets with answers for all your students' needs.
Real Practice with Roots, Base Words, Prefixes & Suffixes
Defining Base Words
A base word, unlike a true root, is a word in its own right that can be turned into other words with the addition of affixes. There are two main types of affixes: prefixes and suffixes. A prefix is a group of letters added to the beginning of a word. A suffix is a group of letters added to the end of a word.
Here are some examples of base words with prefixes and suffixes attached:
Care: cares, cared, caring, careless, careful, carefully
Decide: decides, decided, deciding, decisive, decision, indecisive, indecision
Excite: excites, excited, exciting, excitement, exciting, unexcited, unexciting, excitable
Friend: friends, befriend, befriended, befriends, friendly, unfriendly, friendless
Happy: happiness, happier, happiest, unhappy, unhappier, unhappiest, unhappiness
Love: loves, loved, loving, loveable, unloved, lovely, lovelier, loveliest
Suit: suits, suited, suitable, unsuitable, suiting, unsuited
Use: uses, used, usable, using, user, misuse, useless
Practice Building on Base Words
To get some real practice with base words, here are two worksheets on adding or removing prefixes and suffixes to base words.
Add the Prefix Worksheet
Directions: Make new words combining the base word and one of the following prefixes. Each prefix is used twice. Scroll down to see the answers or download the printable prefix worksheet.
Prefixes: Anti; De; Dis; Im; Mis; Over; Non; Pre; Re; Un
Base Word and Suffix Worksheet
Directions: Each of the following words are made up of a base word with a suffix. Provide the correct base word without its added suffix. Scroll down to see the answers or download the printable suffix worksheet.
Online Practice With Base Words
Here are some sites where you can get more practice with base words.
Fun English Games provides great practice for all kinds of affixes. Play around with adding prefixes and suffixes to form new words.
QUIA has three games that give practice with bases and prefixes. The Matching game matches the prefix with its definition; in Concentration, you must match the prefix with its definition but remember where each one is located; and the Word Search puzzle is a puzzle using prefixes.
Word Shark is a downloadable game to help students with prefixes, suffixes, and bases. The goal is to find as many words as you can on the board within the time allotted.
All About That Base Word
Affixes are a fundamental part of English writing. Helping your students get to grips with them -- and how they relate to base words -- is vital. This sets them up for a deeper grasp of the English language. For more on the subject, check out our examples of prefixes and suffixes.