Prefixes and suffixes - online activities

I've just come across this little spelling activity from the BBC which I can put directly into my blog. It's a gizmo for practising prefixes and suffixes. Have a go:

What I like about it is that it teaches about prefixes and suffixes rather than just tests. There are loads of spelling activities on the web that are great if you just want to test your spelling. Most of the people I work with have problems with spelling and so they need help, not just something that reconfirms that their spelling is poor.

Let us know if you have other sites that have teaching rather than testing activities for spelling.

By the way, thanks to the award-winning for leading me to this. There are other spelling sites examined there too, but most of them do test rather than teach. The notable exception is the wonderful Spelling City which I've written about before here.

Other related posts on The Spelling Blog:
Spelling Long Words - Prefixes
Confusing Prefixes - dis and dys
Confusing Prefixes - anti and ante
Look Say Cover Write and Check


  1. Really neat tool that can be used with even advanced learners!

  2. Yes, I thought so too, Stephan. I wish I could find a way to make something like this but input my own words. Any ideas anyone?


  3. I like that in several cases there are multiple correct possibilities. However, the program rejects clueful, although it is attested as the antonym of clueless since 1943 in the OED. Granted, all the quotations are American — do you believe this is a distinctively American word?

    Also, the definitions are a bit too compositional: rewritten is defined as 'written again', though it normally means 'edited, redacted'. Breakable is correctly defined as 'can be broken', but the -able suffix is defined as 'can do' (active) rather than the correct 'can be done' (passive).

    Lastly, the definition of homely is BrE-specific. This is one of the classic BrE-AmE social blunders, since homely means 'plain' or even 'ugly' in AmE.

  4. John, yes, I too liked the acceptance of different possibilities, eg 'ungraceful' and 'disgraceful'. Perhaps a prompt suggesting the student could make other words might be useful.

    I've certainly never heard 'clueful' - how would you use it in a sentence? I think it must be American English.

    I must say I never use the word homely in the British sense because, for some strange reason, I learnt the American meaning of the word first, and then always felt it was slightly insulting!

    We are certainly coming across a lot of differences between British and American English!

  5. To be clueful is to have a clue, just as to be clueless is to lack one. "I'm on hold, waiting to speak to someone who might possibly be clueful" implies that the people I've spoken to already were clueless.