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Clemmonsdogpark Comics: Prefixes in TOEFL Vocabulary, Part 3

This is the latest in Clemmonsdogpark’s series on prefixes in TOEFL Vocabulary. Today, we’re going to look at the prefix bi-.

The meaning of bi- in TOEFL vocabulary

The meaning of bi- is pretty simple– it means twoBi– is used in words that describe two of something, or describe something that has been divided into two parts. Bi- is in the same class as other numerical prefixes such as uni (which means one), tri (or three), and quad– (4). To see bi– in relation to other prefixes of number, read the Clemmonsdogpark Comic below.

Target Score Unit 4 Prefix Activity_Page_07

Examples of bi- in TOEFL vocabulary

  • In a TOEFL lecture from a political science class
    The a bicameral system… where one group of lawmakers balances the power of another…. Well, it’s a very common form of government in modern nations. But it started thousands of years ago. The plebians and patricians of the Roman Empire would be an older example.
  • In a TOEFL Reading passage
    Unlike classical European architects, Frank Lloyd Wright did not favor symmetry and balance in his building designs. In many cases, both the exteriors and interiors of his structures were bisected unevenly, with each distinct space in having its own unique shape and size.
  • From a conversation between a student and an academic adviser in TOEFL Listening
    OK, but are your really sure I’ll benefit from studying a new foreign language for the next few semesters? I mean, I don’t know if I can become fully bilingual in less than two years.

The takeaway

If you aren’t familiar with every bi- word in this post, don’t feel bad. The real value of knowing the meaning of bi- is that you’ll be better at guessing the meanings of words that contain this prefix. Use a dictionary to check any guesses you made– if you really think about prefix, grammar, and context, there’s a good chance your guesses will be correct.

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