Prefix "re"

Dear teachers,

Can the prefix “re” work with any verbs?
Ex: Rewrite, recall, resay, resing…
Is there a rule?


PS: We write rewrite or re_write or re-write?

To tell the truth, I can’t give you the clear elucidation but I’ll try to be correct. Prefix re- has the colour of doing smth again . In my humble opinion this prefix is mostly used with terminative verbs though I’m not sure. You may use hyphen to distinguish between pairs.

You can also rethink a decision, retake a test, reapply for a job, etc.

As Pamela mentioned, the prefix “re” has the sense of “again”. You can easily add it to many verbs. But one of your examples - the word recall - is a word that already has a number of different meanings.

Normally you don’t need a hyphen, but sometimes people use a hyphen to make the word easier to read (for example, when the base word begins with an E):

re-evaluate / reevaluate
re-enter / reenter

You should also keep in mind that often a different word is better. For example, using the word “repeat” would probably be preferable to using “resay” in most cases.


Dear teacher,

So,the prefix “re_” can be used with any verbs. Is it right?
“Recall” means “call again”.Is it right?


Hi Quoc

No, for example I would not use the prefix re- with the verb mean.
Pamela mentioned “terminative verbs”. What do you think she meant by that?

Check the meanings of recall in a dictionary. Here, for example:

Hi Pamela,

I don’t understand the meaning of “terminative verbs”.
Coul you explain me?