These lions are strolling through their compound at the Toronto Zoo.
These lions are strolling through their compound at the Toronto Zoo.

Prefixes and Suffixes with L

Prefixes

Certain words derived from French use the prefixes, la— or le—, but many words beginning with L are from Latin. 

la— from the French for “the”.

lacrosse

le— from the French for “the”.

Le Havre [city]

lee— the sheltered side of something, from Old English and German.

leeward, leeway

log— or logo— about a word or speech, from Latin.

logotype

lun— related to the moon, crescent-shaped, from Latin.

lunar, lunatic

Compound words may be created with common words, such as lock, long, look, low, etc., which act like prefixes.

lockdown

lock stitch

lock-up

longbow

long division

long-standing

look-alike

lookout

low-brow

lowdown

low gear

 

Suffixes

lent creates an adjective similar to —ful, meaning more of the same.

repellent, violent, virulent

less creates an adjective or adverb from a noun or a verb to indicate a lack or freedom from something.

childless, fearless, sugarless

restless, sleepless, tireless

let something little; a diminutive.

booklet, piglet, owlet

like creates an adjective from a noun to indicate similarity. Use a hyphen for words ending in —l and for unusual combinations.

childlike, ladylike, saintlike, warlike

bowl-like, shell-like

pavement-like, umbrella-like

ling something little; a diminutive.

sapling, yearling

lith denotes a kind of stone or rock.

megalith, monolith, otolith

lithic creates an adjective from a noun ending in —lith.

palaeolithic [UK], paleolithic [US]

logic, —logical creates an adjective from a noun ending in —logy.

geologic

biological, theological

logist creates a noun indicating a person working in a profession studying something that ends in —ogy.

mammalogist, microbiologist,  zoologist

logue, —log creates a noun indicating talk. [The —log ending is US English.]

dialogue, prologue

dialog [US]

logue, —log creates a noun indicating the compilation of something.

catalogue, travelogue

catalog [US]

logy about how something is spoken or expressed; discourse.

neology, phraseology

logy, —ology a study, discipline, or science.

mammalogy

biology, dermatology

long describes something of great duration or breadth, or a success.

along, belong, furlong, oblong

ly creates an adverb from an adjective to indicate the manner or the degree of something.

exactly, honestly, slowly

ly creates an adjective from a noun to indicate the quality of something.

dryly, girly, manly

ly creates an adjective from a noun to denote that something occurs at intervals of time.

annually, daily, hourly, yearly

lysis creates a noun denoting a cutting up, disintegration or decomposition. The plural of these words is generally —lyses.

analysis, hydrolysis

lytic creates an adjective for words ending in —lysis.

analytic, electrolytic

Exercises

  1. Use the suffixes and prefixes to make simple words longer and then use them in a sentence. Do you know the meaning of each word? If not, go to the dictionary.

Special reading assignment

  1. Ladies in London like Latin lovers.
  2. The lion, an African cat species and a popular zoo animal, might eat a South American llama, if given a chance.

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