prefixes un and mis

This language lesson is designed for 6 to 12-year-old children to help them understand how the meaning of the word changes when the prefix ‘Un’ or ‘Mis’ is applied.

In the previous video lesson, we learned about the meaning and the application of the prefix ‘Re’ and the prefix ‘In’. In this video, we will learn about the prefix un- and the prefix mis-. 

Prefixes help the child understand the usage of the prefix with different root words to make a meaningful new word.

What is Prefix ‘Un’?

The prefix un- has two meanings

  1. Most common meaning: is not, opposite of original.
  2. The second means to reserve or remove.

The prefix ‘un-‘ is used to give opposite and negative meanings to adjectives, adverbs, and nouns.

Some Common Examples of the Prefix ‘Un’

  • word: words with the prefix ‘un’
  • Aware: Unaware
  • Intentional: Unintentional
  • Defined: Undefined
  • Common: Uncommon
  • Dress: Undress
  • Employment: Unemployment
  • Reliable: Unreliable
  • Fair: Unfair
  • Fit: Unfit
  • Clear: Unclear
  • Friendly: Unfriendly
  • Conscious: Unconscious

What is Prefix ‘Mis’?

When Prefix mis- is attached to a root word, it changes its meaning to bad, incorrectness, lack of or failure to, or simply negating, or to describe a poorly done action. For example, mistrial; misprint; mistrust, etc.

Point to note: Not every word that starts with mis does not actually include the prefix mis-. Such as misery, mister, missed, etc.

Rule to Use Prefix ‘Mis-‘

 To determine whether it has the prefix mis-, observe whether the word’s meaning implies incorrect or poorly done work. If this is the case, ‘mis’ was probably just a part of the base word and not a prefix. 

Some Common Examples of the Prefix ‘Mis’

  • word: words with the prefix ‘mis’
  • Fortune: Misfortune
  • Understood: Misunderstood
  • Treatment: Mistreatment
  • Calculate: Miscalculate
  • Alliance: Misalliance
  • Judge: Misjudge
  • Deed: Misdeed
  • Trust: Mistrust
  • Appropriate: Misappropriate
  • Conception: Misconception

Watch the video to learn how to use the prefix ‘un’ and the prefix ‘mis’ before words and how it changes the meaning of the word.

Encourage the child to practice this concept with different English words and help them add new words to their vocabulary.

Related Videos

For more language resources, click here. 

Video Created by: Justine McNeilly


  • elementary level
  • English
  • language development
  • prefixes