re— stands for “again” or “go back”. Sometimes, especially when the root word begins with R or RE, there is a hyphen. Also, if you make up a word starting with RE, you ought to use a hyphen.
Note that a hyphen may indicate a different meaning.
redress vs re-dress
reform vs re-form
rhodo— means “red” or “rosy”.
radio— indicates a relationship with radio or radiation.
—er creates an adjective or adverb indicating more, by comparison.
—er designates someone (or something) who does or is something.
—re is sometimes preferred over the more common —er, most often in words that originate from French or Latin. This is one place where spelling variations occur, especially in the USA.
chevre [from French] (cheese)
goitre, goiter [US]
litre, liter [US]
metre, meter [US]
sabre, saber [US]
theatre, theater [US]
—ry, —ery designate a place for something, a class of something, a state or condition of something, or a quality or characteristic of something or someone.
cheery, misery, slavery
- Find a paragraph in a newspaper or online and look for all the words containing the letter R. How many of them contain a prefix or suffix beginning with R? What is the root of these words? Does the root make sense on its own?
- Write down as many verbs as you can think of. Place the prefix re— in front. Do the verbs still make sense? Try to use them in a sentence.
Special reading assignment
- Raccoons are native to North America but have spread around the world.
- Raccoons do not make good pets. Do you know anyone who has tried to make a pet of one? What happened?
Note: This blog post is an excerpt from a book, “English Manual: Letter by Letter,” to be published in the summer of 2015.