Prefixes ESL Games, Worksheets and Activities

Prefix Professionals

ESL Prefixes Games - Vocabulary: Pelmanism, Matching - Group Work - Intermediate (B1) - 25 minutes

Here are two fun prefix games to help introduce pre-intermediate students to prefixes and root words. Students begin by playing a prefixes pelmanism game. In pairs, students take it in turns to turn over one prefix card and one root word card. The student reads the prefix and root word card aloud. If the prefix and root word go together to form a word, the student keeps the two cards and has another turn. The student with the most pairs of cards at the end of the game wins. Students then move on to play a game of snap with the cards. One student takes all the prefix cards and the other student takes the root word cards. Both students turn over a card from their pile at the same time. If the prefix and root word match to make a word, the first student to say 'Snap' scores a point. Students then pick up their own cards, shuffle them and play again. If a student says 'Snap' when the cards don't match, the other student scores a point and the game continues. The first student to get ten points wins the game.
Prefix Professionals Preview

Ten Common Prefixes

ESL Prefixes Worksheet - Vocabulary Exercises: Identifying, Gap-fill, Matching, Binary Choice - Speaking Activity: Asking and Answering Questions, Freer Practice - Pair Work - Intermediate (B1) - 25 minutes

In this free prefixes worksheet, students learn and practice the ten common prefixes: under-, super-, re-, mis-, un-, mid- multi-, pre-, non-, over-. First, students underline prefixes in ten words and then complete sentences using the words. Next, students write the ten prefixes next to their definitions. After that, students circle the prefix that best completes each sentence. Students then move on to add appropriate prefixes to words in sentences. Following that, students complete sentences with words from a box along with a suitable prefix. Lastly, students complete conversation questions by adding prefixes. Then, the students ask and answer the questions with a partner.
Ten Common Prefixes Preview

Find Someone Who...

ESL Prefixes Activity - Speaking: Asking and Answering Questions, Controlled and Freer Practice - Upper-intermediate (B2) - 30 minutes

In this prefixes Find Someone Who activity, students ask and answer yes/no questions containing words that use prefixes. Students start by completing the items on the worksheet with 12 prefixes. The students then prepare the yes/no questions they need to ask to do the activity. Next, students go around the class, asking each other the questions, e.g. 'Did you use to misbehave when you were younger?' When a student finds someone who answers 'yes' to a question, the student writes down their name and asks a follow-up question to gain more information, noting down the answer. When everyone has finished, students give feedback to the class on their findings.
Find Someone Who Preview

Negative Prefixes

ESL Negative Prefixes Worksheet - Vocabulary Exercises: Word Search, Identifying, Matching, Writing Sentences from Prompts - Upper-intermediate (B2) - 20 minutes

Here is a productive negative prefixes worksheet to help students practice the four negative prefixes: mis-, im-, dis-, in-. Students begin by finding 12 adjectives or verbs in a word search that have an opposite or negative meaning. Next, students write each antonym found in the word search next to its opposite. Finally, students write the four negative prefixes used to create the antonyms and a sentence that uses each prefix.
Negative Prefixes Preview

Prefix Dominoes

ESL Negative Prefixes Game - Grammar, Vocabulary and Speaking: Matching, Forming Sentences, Freer Practice - Group Work - Upper-intermediate (B2) - 25 minutes

In this engaging negative prefixes game, students match prefixes that have an opposite or negative meaning to words. The first player puts down one of their dominoes, making sure that the prefix or word on their domino matches with the word or prefix on either side of the domino on the table. If the player forms an opposite or negative word successfully, they score a point. For an extra point, the player then uses the word in a sentence. The other players then take it in turns to match their dominoes in the same way by putting them down at either end of the domino chain and making a suitable sentence when an opposite or negative word is formed. When a player has gotten rid of all their dominoes, the game ends. The player with the most points wins the game.
Prefix Dominoes Preview

Prefix Practice

ESL Prefixes Worksheet - Vocabulary Exercises: Gap-fill, Adding Prefixes, Providing Antonyms - Upper-intermediate (B2) - 30 minutes

This comprehensive prefixes worksheet helps students to learn and practice common and negative prefixes. First, students read through the common prefixes and examples table. Students then complete a set of sentences with the common prefixes. Students then move on to look at a table of negative prefixes and examples and write the opposites of words using the negative prefixes. Afterwards, students use the negative prefixes to complete a set of sentences. Finally, students complete sentences with the common and negative prefix examples from the two tables.
Prefix Practice Preview

What's the word?

ESL Prefixes Game - Vocabulary: Adding Prefixes to Words, Gap-fill - Pair Work - Upper-intermediate (B2) - 25 minutes

In this entertaining prefixes game, students listen to sentences with missing words and complete them by choosing suitable words and adding prefixes to them. Students take it in turns to read the first sentence on their worksheet to their partner, e.g. 'I had to BLANK my account when I lost my mobile phone.' Their partner then tries to guess the missing word by choosing an appropriate word from a box on their worksheet, adding a prefix to it and making any other necessary changes, such as changing the form of the word, e.g. deactivate. If the guess is correct, they score two points. If not, they get one more chance to guess for one point. The student with the most points at the end of the game wins.
What's the word? Preview

Prefix Puzzle

ESL Prefixes Activity - Grammar and Vocabulary: Writing Crossword Clues, Defining, Guessing - Group and Pair Work - Advanced (C1) - 30 minutes

Here is a creative prefixes crossword activity to help students practice 20 of the most common prefixes. In two groups, students define and write down clues for the words written on their crossword. Students should define the part of speech and explain the meaning of the prefix for each word, e.g. 'It's an adjective. The prefix means opposite. We use the word to describe..., etc'. Students then pair up with someone from the other group and take it in turns to ask their partner for a clue to one of their missing words. Their partner reads out the clue for that word and the other student tries to guess what it is. If the student guesses the word successfully, they write it on their crossword. If not, their partner continues to give more clues until the student is able to guess the word. When the students have finished, review the meaning of each prefix with the class.
Prefix Puzzle Preview

ESL Essentials eBook Series

New Teaching Resources eBooks

Now Available!

Get Started Here