Ab-, Ab-, and Away!


Quick Summary

Prefixes are key morphemes in English vocabulary that begin words. The English prefix ab-, which means “away,” appears in many English vocabulary words, such as absent, abduct, and absolute." You can remember that the prefix ab- means “away” via the word absent, for someone who is absent is “away” from a place, such as school or work.

Ab-, Ab-, and Away!

Today we will focus on the prefix ab-, which means “away.” By the end of this podcast you will be absolutely sure that ab- means “away!”

Have you ever met someone who was abnormal, or “away” from being normal? A person would be acting in an abnormal fashion if she were absent from class or work over half the time, that is, she was “away” more than she was present. Or a person would really be abnormal if she could abvolate, or fly “away” on wings!

Have you ever been absolutely sure about something, so much so that you were loosened “away” from all doubt? For instance, you might be absolutely sure that you will never be abducted or led “away” by aliens, but then again, others apparently have … so can you be “away” from all doubt after all about that?

If a queen were to abdicate her throne, she would say that she wanted to be “away” from it, that is, step down from being a queen. However, her people might love her so much that she would have to abort her plans, or be “away” from their rising successfully, thereby remaining on the throne.

SpongeBob SquarePants, being a sponge and all, is really into absorbing water, or sucking it “away” from the surrounding ocean so that it goes into himself. Although SpongeBob does like the soft water of the ocean, he probably wouldn’t like something abrasive, like sandpaper, which would scrape or scratch “away” at his yellow holey awesomeness, which is just what someone like Plankton might do. Although others might consider Plankton’s behavior to be aberrant, or wandering “away” from acceptable conduct, Plankton wouldn’t care as he scraped away in absent-minded, or maybe not so absent-minded glee!

“Away” with this podcast since you are indeed now absolutely in command of that English prefix!

  1. abnormal: “away” from being normal
  2. absent: being “away” from a place
  3. abvolate: fly “away”
  4. absolutely: loosened “away” from any doubt
  5. abduct: lead “away”
  6. abdicate: a monarch saying she wants to be “away” from being in power
  7. abort: “away” from rising or beginning
  8. absorb: suck “away”
  9. abrasive: relating to scraping “away” at
  10. aberrant: wander “away”

Differentiated vocabulary for your students is just a click away.