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Prefixes: Un, Dis, Im, Mis

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A prefix is placed at the beginning of a word to change its meaning. For example, the suffix re- means either again or back as in return, repeat or refurbish.

The following 4 prefixes are easy to confuse because they all have a negative meaning.


The prefix un means not, reverse action, deprive of, release from. For example, unable or unfair.


The prefix mis means wrong. For example, mistake or misunderstand.


The prefix dis also means not and opposite of. For example, disconnect.


The prefix im can also mean not and opposite of. For example, impossible,

Now choose the correct prefix in the following sentences:

  • 1. Available: I tried to speak to the professor, but he was ___.

  • 2. Avoidable: The accident was ___.

  • 3. Appeared: My keys seem to have ___. I can't find them anywhere!

  • 4. Understood: I think I've ___. Could you please repeat the directions?

  • 5. Tidy: Kevin is so ___. His room is always a mess.

  • 6. Informed: He was angry to find that he had been ___.

  • 7. Agree: I think it's a bad idea. I totally ___.

  • 8. Possible: It's ___ to predict the weather around here.

  • 9. Honest: She was devastated when she realised he had been ___.

  • 10. Polite: I thought she was very ___. She kept interrupting me.