Real Practice with Roots, Base Words, Prefixes & Suffixes

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.

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

Real Practice with Base Words, Prefixes and SuffixesReal Practice with Base Words, Prefixes and Suffixes

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

  1. ___ behave

  2. ___ sense

  3. ___ possible

  4. ___ happy

  5. ___ fiction

  6. ___ place

  7. ___ prove

  8. ___ chief

  9. ___ healthy

  10. ___ move

  11. ___ place

  12. ___ code

  13. ___ vent

  14. ___ social

  15. ___ obey

  16. ___ act

  17. ___ septic

  18. ___ age

  19. ___ pend

  20. ___ serve

prefix practice worksheet for studentsprefix practice worksheet for students

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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.

  1. Sunny __________

  2. Loving __________

  3. Noisy __________

  4. Pumping __________

  5. Candies __________

  6. Likeable __________

  7. Confusing __________

  8. Description __________

  9. Relaxation __________

  10. Spelled __________

  11. Preferred __________

  12. Commitment __________

  13. Confusion __________

  14. Explosion __________

  15. Education __________

  16. Discussion __________

  17. Admission __________

  18. Division __________

  19. Copying __________

  20. Imaginary __________

suffix practice worksheet for studentssuffix practice worksheet for students

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Prefix Answers:

  1. Misbehave

  2. Nonsense

  3. Impossible

  4. Unhappy

  5. Nonfiction

  6. Replace

  7. Improve

  8. Mischief

  9. Unhealthy

  10. Remove

  11. Displace

  12. Decode

  13. Prevent

  14. Antisocial

  15. Disobey

  16. Overact

  17. Antiseptic

  18. Overage

  19. Depend

  20. Preserve

Suffix Answers:

  1. Sun

  2. Love

  3. Noise

  4. Pump

  5. Candy

  6. Like

  7. Confuse

  8. Describe

  9. Relax

  10. Spell

  11. Prefer

  12. Commit

  13. Confuse

  14. Explode

  15. Educate

  16. Discuss

  17. Admit

  18. Divide

  19. Copy

  20. Imagine

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.

Real Practice with Base Words, Prefixes and SuffixesReal Practice with Base Words, Prefixes and Suffixes

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