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Practice Makes Perfect: French Vocabulary Building with Prefixes and Suffixes: (Beginner to Intermediate Level) 200 Exercises + Flashcard App

Practice Makes Perfect: French Vocabulary Building with Prefixes and Suffixes: (Beginner to Intermediate Level) 200 Exercises + Flashcard App

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Practice Makes Perfect: French Vocabulary Building with Prefixes and Suffixes: (Beginner to Intermediate Level) 200 Exercises + Flashcard App

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Oct 24, 2014


Harness the power of suffixes and prefixes while adding more than 4,000 words to your French vocabulary!

How do you turn Scotland into a Scottish citizen? Or change your brother into a colleague?* It isn't magic, it's suffixes and prefixes. When attached to base words, they have the ability to change meanings to indicate quantity, profession, gender, size, status, relationship, style, and much more. Mastering these word parts will enable you to increase your vocabulary greatly. Practice Makes Perfect: French Vocabulary Building with Suffixes and Prefixes presents 100 suffixes and 60 prefixes accompanied by their meanings, English equivalent when applicable, part of speech, and gender. Grouped by difficulty level, each prefix or suffix is fully explained and followed by a list of terms using the added word part. Like all Practice Makes Perfect workbooks, you will get plenty of practice, practice, practice using your newly acquired skills. And for convenient study on the go, download the free companion app that features hundreds of words in a flashcard format. Whether you are learning on your own or taking an advanced beginning or intermediate French class, Practice Makes Perfect: French Vocabulary Building with Suffixes and Prefixes will help build your confidence in using your new language.

*Ecosse (Scotland) becomes Ecossais (Scot); frere (brother) becomes confrere (colleague)

This workbook helps you:

  • Learn how to use suffixes and prefixes to expand your French vocabulary
  • Determine the meanings of unfamiliar terms by recognizing their word beginnings and endings
  • Become more comfortable communicating in French
Lançado em:
Oct 24, 2014

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Practice Makes Perfect - Eliane Kurbegov

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Companion Flashcard App

Flashcard sets for additional practice can be found in the McGraw-Hill Education Language Lab app. Go to mhlanguagelab.com for details on how to access this free app, which is available for Apple and Android tablet and mobile devices, as well as computer via web browser (best viewed with Chrome or Safari browser).




How to use this book

I     French suffixes

1   Beginning suffixes

1   -ain/-aine Cubain

2   -ais/-aise Français

3   -ois/-oise Québécois

4   -ien/-ienne Alsacien

5   -ien/-ienne musicien

6   -al/-ale amical

7   -el/-elle accidentel

8   -if/-ive pensif

9   -atif/-ative admiratif

10   -eux/-euse généreux

11   -eux/-euse copieux

12   -in/-ine féminin, argentin

13   -ation accusation

14   -ateur/-atrice accusateur

15   -ition abolition

16   -tion dilution

17   -ant/-ante amusant

18   -ance alliance

19   -ité absurdité

20   -bilité accessibilité

21   -able adorable

22   -ible audible

23   -té beauté

24   -ie agonie, chimie

25   -ique acrobatique

26   -ique lunatique

27   -sie amnésie

28   -gramme cardiogramme

29   -graphie cartographie

30   -pathie cardiopathie

31   -tie diplomatie

32   -crate démocrate

33   -cratie démocratie

34   -ier pommier

35   -(r)aie cerisaie

36   -culture agriculture

37   -ier/-iére cuisinier

38   -erie confiserie

39   -erie argenterie

40   -erie pruderie

41   -ée dictée

42   -ée musée

43   -ée marée

44   -ée bouchée

45   -esse gentillesse

46   -esse tigresse

47   -issime rarissime

48   -ment déplacement

49   -(m)ment amoureusement

50   -cide fongicide

2   Intermediate/advanced suffixes

51   -ade baignade

52   -age bavardage

53   -aille trouvaille

54   -fére salifére

55   -forme difforme

56   -ateur/-atrice animateur

57   -eur/-euse~-rice chanteur, professeur

58   -eur pâleur

59   -ateur congélateur

60   -eur ascenseur

61   -euse agrafeuse

62   -eur/-euse

63   -isme patriotisme

64   -isme séparatisme

65   -isme hédonisme

66   -isme fauvisme

67   -iste pacifiste

68   -iste activiste

69   -iste alpiniste

70   -iste hygiéniste

71   -ologiste neurologiste

72   -ologue archéologue

73   -ologie biologie

74   -ite otite

75   -manie kleptomanie

76   -phobie acrophobie

77   -itude amplitude

78   -aison crevaison

79   -ure blessure

80   -ure devanture

81   -son trahison

82   -ail bétail, éventail

83   -aire actionnaire

84   -aire vestiaire, millénaire

85   -aire consulaire

86   -ence urgence

87   -ent/-ente omniscient

88   -ise franchise

89   -ard/-arde criard

90   -et châtelet

91   -et/-ette follet

92   -ette amourette

93   -in/-ine rouquin

94   -in biscotin

95   -on chaînon

96   -on/-onne maigrichon

97   -eau chevreau

98   -ot/-ote îlot, parigot

99   -ot/-ote jeunot

100   -âtre grisâtre

II    French prefixes

3   Beginning prefixes

101   non- non-agression

102   pseudo- pseudo-épique

103   quasi- quasi-légalité

104   archi- archi-beau

105   néo- néonazisme

106   aéro- aéroclub

107   anti- antiacide

108   auto- autoanalyse

109   auto- autoroute

110   bio- biochimie

111   co-/col- coauteur, collection

112   com- comparaison

113   con- conciliation

114   ex- exagération

115   extra- extra-scolaire

116   hyper- hyperactif

117   hypo- hypoderme

118   micro- micro-organisme

119   il-/ir- illégal, irréel

120   im-/in- impatient, inactif

121   im-/in- imbiber, incarcérer

122   mal-, mé(s)- malchance

123   para-/pare- parachute

124   post- posthume

125   pré- préaccord

126   anté- antécédent

127   mono-, uni-; bi(s)-; tri(s)- monocycle, bifocal, trilingue

128   pro- propager

129   psych(o)- psychologie

130   re-/r(é)- recycler

4   Intermediate/advanced prefixes

131   sous-, sub- sous-alimenter, subjuguer

132   sur- surabondance

133   super-, ultra- superchic, ultramoderne

134   télé- télédiffusion

135   trans- transaction

136   a-/an- amoral, anonyme

137   contre- contre-attaque

138   dé(s)- dépeigner

139   dis- disculper

140   em- embellir

141   en- enrager

142   em- embouteiller

143   en- encaisser

144   demi-, mi-, semi- demi-tour, mi-juin, semi-privé

145   inter- interagir

146   a- abrutir

147   dia- diamétre

148   ortho- orthopédie, orthographe

149   photo- photographie

150   épi- épicentre

151   équi- équinoxe

152   eu- eulogie

153   géo- géologue

154   hélio- héliotrope

155   hétéro- hétérosexuel

156   homo- homogéne

157   allo- allocentrisme

158   holo- holocauste

159   cosmo- cosmologie

160   dys- dyslexie

APPENDIX A A crash course in French verbs and adverbs

APPENDIX B List of French affixes

Answer key


A French word may be a basic word, like English soft, or a word with a prefix and/or a suffix, like presoftened and softly. These two words are part of a family of words that have the base word soft. In a family of words, the base word is the common element and contains the main idea of the word. Knowing the meaning of the base word (soft) and the meanings of the prefix (pre-) and the suffixes (-en, -ed, and -ly) helps you recognize or infer the meaning of a word like presoftened or softly.

To know the meaning of an affixed base word requires that you be familiar with the possible meanings of prefixes like pre- and suffixes like -ly. Fortunately, most French prefixes have recognizable English counterparts. Suffixes, however, differ quite a bit between French and English and require careful study.

A prefix is a letter or group of letters affixed to the beginning of a base word to add to or otherwise modify the base word’s meaning. For example, the adjective amoral is composed of the base word moral and the prefix a-, which adds the concept of not to the meaning of the adjective. The word moral means being concerned with right and wrong; the word amoral means not being concerned with right and wrong. A prefix does not change the function of the base word: moral and amoral are both adjectives.

A suffix is a letter or group of letters affixed to the end of a base word to form a new, related word. For example, the suffix -ity added to the base word moral changes the adjective moral to the noun morality. A suffix may change the function of a word; for example, fear is a noun, but fearful is an adjective. Some French suffixes are grammatical, including endings to mark infinitives, present participles, past participles, and adverbs. These suffixes and their uses are explained in Appendix A.


The French language relies on suffixes to mark parts of speech and gender. It relies on both suffixes and prefixes to modify base words and convey nuances of meaning. Practice Makes Perfect: French Vocabulary Building with Suffixes and Prefixes will help you expand your vocabulary and comprehension, as well as gain an appreciation of the language through awareness of French suffixes and prefixes.

In this age of information and technology, it is easy to look up vocabulary and get translations online. You may even find lists of suffixes and prefixes; unfortunately, they are rarely accompanied by enough examples and they never offer in-depth analysis. By contrast, this book focuses on individual suffixes and prefixes, providing charts of words, along with their base words and the English equivalents of both. Of course, these charts are not exhaustive—there are simply too many suffixes and prefixes. You will, however, be exposed to about 4,000 words, and you will learn to modify many of the base words you already know and become an artisan of language as a result.

The 160 suffixes and prefixes in this book deliver the most potential for expanding your vocabulary. They also provide insight into families of words. The base words you have learned in your introductory French courses are but the stem of a flower. Starting with this stem, you can sketch out a beautifully blooming flower composed of many petals; these petals are the suffixed and prefixed words. The stem may be the root of the flower (frequently a Latin or Greek root), but more often, the stem is a French base word that grew out of a Latin or Greek root. This is why the term base word is used instead of root in the vocabulary charts.

Practice Makes Perfect: French Vocabulary Building with Suffixes and Prefixes presents 100 suffixes and 60 prefixes, selected on the basis of their frequency and usage. Some affixes are more common than others, but all are found in words you encounter in everyday conversation and reading, from magazine articles and newspapers to literature.

Both suffixes and prefixes are grouped as beginning or intermediate/advanced. Each entry is presented with its basic meaning, its English equivalent if one exists, its part(s) of speech, and its gender if it is a noun. A short paragraph then explains and analyzes the suffix or prefix, specifying how it is used to form new words and providing other important information. At least one chart follows, presenting a list of words formed with the affix, their base words, and the English equivalents of both. If an affix appears predominantly in nouns, a chart of nouns is presented, followed by a list of related verbs and/or adjectives that are derived from the same base words as the nouns. If an affix appears in nouns, adjectives, and verbs, the chart may be comprised of words that function as two parts of speech, for example, nouns and adjectives. Every chart is followed by at least one exercise aimed at testing your comprehension of the affixed words; there are more than 200 exercises in all. The number of exercise items depends on the frequency of the words formed with a given suffix or prefix, as well as on their degree of difficulty for the learner of French.

Two appendixes are provided. Appendix A presents a crash course in French verbs (specifically, infinitives, present participles, and past participles) and adverbs. Appendix B presents a list of all 160 affixes in this book, each with its reference number, meaning(s), and at least one example word.

Enjoy the art of sketching delightful word flowers and appreciating their bloom!

How to use this book

The base words for affixed words are usually French, but they may also be Latin roots or words from another language, such as Greek or Italian. These languages are indicated in square brackets in the charts.

Square brackets are also used to indicate grammatical functions and usage status.

An asterisk (*) is used in certain charts to mark one of the following terms.

• A noun with a related adjective under another affix (see page 43)

• An adjective that also functions as a noun (see page 47)

• A noun with a pejorative connotation (see page 87)

• A masculine noun that has a feminine counterpart (see page 144)


French suffixes

A suffix is a letter or group of letters affixed to the end of a base word to form a new, related word. The suffix may also change the part of speech of the base word. For example, a base word that is a verb may become a noun or an adjective, depending on the suffix attached to it. Part I presents charts of suffixed words with their English equivalents and base words, grouped as nouns, adjectives, or verbs. If a suffix appears extensively in two or three of these categories, multiple charts, organized by grammatical function, are provided.

Learners of French know all too well the challenge of identifying the gender of a noun that does not represent a person. The good news is that a noun’s suffix not only gives a broad or precise indication of who or what is denoted by the noun, but also indicates the gender of the noun. For example, nouns ending in -ation are feminine, whereas nouns ending in -ment are masculine. The suffix of an adjective, provided in its masculine form, usually indicates its feminine form as well. For verbs, this book focuses on the impact of suffixes on infinitive forms and on present and past participles; these verbal forms are explained and analyzed in Appendix A.

Many suffixed words can be classified thematically; for example, feminine nouns ending in -esse denote titled or powerful females, like princesse. Other suffixed words, such as courageux, are grouped under a broader descriptive theme.


Beginning suffixes

1 -ain/-aine

A French noun or adjective ending in the suffix -ain (feminine: -aine) often denotes a person’s nationality or place of origin. The base word may be a city, region, province, state, country, or even a continent. For example, the base word for Cubain a Cuban man or Cubaine a Cuban woman is Cuba. If the suffixed word is a noun, it is capitalized; if the suffixed word is an adjective, it is not capitalized. Les Américains are Americans, but in the phrase mes amis américains my American friends, américains is an adjective.



Vrai ou faux? Indicate whether each statement is true or false, using V for vrai true or F for faux false.

1. _______ Une Dominicaine parle espagnol.

2. _______ Les Tibétains ont beaucoup de montagnes dans leur pays.

3. _______ La langue maternelle des Costaricains est le Français.

4. _______ Les Marocains habitent sur une île.

5. _______ Les Mexicains habitent en Amérique du sud.

6. _______ Les Américains adorent le football américain.

7. _______ Les Africains sont les habitants d’un continent.

8. _______ Les Portoricains habitent tous à San Juan.

9. _______ Les Toulousains sont des Suisses.

10. _______ Les Romains sont des Italiens.

2 -ais/-aise

A French noun or adjective ending in the suffix -ais (feminine: -aise) often denotes a nationality or place of residence. The base word may be a city, region, province, state, or country. For example, the base word for Anglais Englishman or Anglaise Englishwoman is Angleterre England. If the suffixed word is a noun, it is capitalized; if the suffixed word is an adjective, it is not capitalized. Les Anglais are English people, but in the phrase mes amis anglais my English friends, anglais is an adjective.



Les personnes célèbres! Complete each sentence with the appropriate noun of nationality.

1. Le compositeur Chopin était un ________________________ d’origine.

2. Gustave Eiffel est un________________________ célèbre parce qu’il a construit la Tour Eiffel.

3. Aimé Césaire est des Antilles; c’est un________________________ célèbre pour sa poésie.

4. Christophe Colomb est un________________________ célèbre pour sa découverte du « Nouveau Monde ».

5. L’écrivain Senghor est un________________________ qui était aussi président du Sénégal.

6. Frantz Fanon, né en Martinique, était psychiatre et militant; c’est un________________________ important.

7. Michael Bloomberg et Rudy Giuliani sont des________________________ importants puisqu’ils étaient maires de la ville de New York.

8. Mary Stuart est bien connue par les________________________; elle est devenue reine d’Ïcosse à l’âge de six jours.

9. Les________________________ habitent dans la deuxième plus grande ville francophone.

10. Les________________________ aiment traverser la Manche pour visiter la Normandie.

3 -ois/-oise

A French noun or adjective ending in the suffix -ois (feminine: -oise) often denotes a nationality or place of residence. The base word may be a city, region, province, state, or country. For example, the base word for Québécois man from Quebec or Québécoise woman from Quebec is Québec. If the suffixed word is a noun, it is capitalized; if the suffixed word is an adjective, it is not capitalized. Les Québécois are people from Quebec, but in the phrase une ville québécoise a city in the province of Quebec, québécoise is an adjective.



Faites votre choix! Choose the best completion for each sentence.

1. _______ Les Suédois habitent

a. près de la Pologne.

2. _______ Les Danois habitent

b. la capitale de la Belgique.

3. _______ Les Chinois habitent

c. la capitale de l’ancienne Allemagne de l’est.

4. _______ Les Hongrois habitent

d. près du Pôle Nord.

5. _______ Les Luxembourgeois habitent

e. la région connue pour le Champagne.

6. _______ Les Québécois habitent

f. en Asie.

7. _______ Les Strasbourgeois habitent

g. le Danemark.

8. _______ Les Champenois habitent

h. un petit pays européen voisin de la Belgique.

9. _______ Les Bruxellois habitent

i. à la frontière allemande.

10. _______ Les Berlinois habitent

j. en Amérique du nord.

4 -ien/-ienne

A French noun or adjective ending in the suffix

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