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6.3: Spelling With Prefixes

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12

Spelling With Prefixes

1. The prefixes un-, re-, dis-, and mis- can cause some spelling problems. Look at the word misspell. We can analyze it into the prefix mis- plus the free stem spell. Watch out for that <ss>! There is one <s>\begin{align*}<\mathrm{s}>\end{align*} for the mis- and one <s>\begin{align*}<\mathrm{s}>\end{align*} for the spell : mis + spell = misspell.

\begin{align*}\bullet\end{align*} Anytime you add mis- or dis- to a stem that starts with an <s>\begin{align*}<\mathrm{s}>\end{align*} , you will get an <ss>.

\begin{align*}\bullet\end{align*} Anytime you add the prefix un- to a stem that starts with an <n>, you will get an <nn>.

\begin{align*}\bullet\end{align*} Anytime you add the prefix re- to a stem that starts with an <e>, you will get an <ee>.

2. Add the prefix to the free stem. All combine by simple addition, but watch out for cases of <ss>, <nn> and <ee>:

Prefix + Free Stem = New Word
mis + spell = misspell
un + natural = unnatural
mis + spend = misspend
un + necessary = unnecessary
re + educate = reeducate
un + noticed = unnoticed
dis + satisfied = dissatisfied
un + nerve = unnerve

3. Now try these. They also combine by simple addition:

Prefix + Free Stem = New Word
dis + service = disservice
re + examine = reexamine
dis + color = discolor
mis + strike = misstrike
dis + obey = disobey
re + elect = reelect
dis + solve = dissolve
un + cover = uncover
mis + shape = misshape
un + needed = unneeded
un + remarkable = unremarkable

4. Now analyze each of the following words into its prefix, free stem, and suffix. Show any changes that were made when the suffix was added:

Word = Prefix + Free Stem + Suffix
miscounted = mis + count + ed
undecided = un + decide\begin{align*}\cancel{e}\end{align*} + ed
mislaying = mis + lay + ing
undoing = un + do + ing
misdeeds = mis + deed + s
mistreated = mis + treat + ed
discoverer = dis + cover + er
disgraces = dis + grace\begin{align*}\cancel{e}\end{align*} + es
unexamined = un + examine\begin{align*}\cancel{e}\end{align*} + ed
discharged = dis + charge\begin{align*}\cancel{e}\end{align*} + ed
reordered = re + order + ed
discounts = dis + count + s
diseases = dis + ease\begin{align*}\cancel{e}\end{align*} + es
returning = re + turn + ing
unnerving = un + nerve\begin{align*}\cancel{e}\end{align*} + ing
disgracing = dis + grace\begin{align*}\cancel{e}\end{align*} + ing
repacked = re + pack + ed

Teaching Notes.

Item 1. This lesson explains to students how simple addition causes certain words to have double letters near the front (misspell, disservice, etc.). In Books 4, 5, and 6 they will study how the assimilation of the final consonant in certain prefixes causes certain other words to have double consonants (approve, correct, illustrate, etc.).

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