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Upsarg Pratyay

Prep Time:

10 Minutes

Activity Level

3. Create

About the Activity

Here's the first activity in the Advanced level - Create, where we learn to create meaning using our knowledge of letters, words and spellings.
Most grammar activities are in the form of fill in the blanks, rote learning, repetitive writing, etc. that barely manage to grab a child's attention.
Use Lipi Tiles® even for upper primary learning to understand root words, interact with grammar rules all so that they can connect the dots and learn other Indian languages!

Hindi Activity-Letters-using LipiTiles®


  • A few words with Lipi Tiles® built with prefixes and suffixes

  • A blank sheet of paper

  • A pen/pencil



The Prefix-Suffix activity is a fun way to explore complex words and their meanings. Here are a few tips for you to do this activity with your child:

  1. Try not to give them answers: This activity can be quite tempting for you to jump in and tell them all the ways they can break or join the words with Lipi Tiles. But try your best not to do that. Encourage them to try thinking of the meaning of the words themselves.

  2. Practice breaking before joining: By now, since the child has already encountered several of these words in their textbooks, storybooks and other media, it’s a good idea to let them figure out the root word by first breaking them apart. This helps them think about the upsarg or pratyay itself as a building block that can change the meaning of the root word entirely. And then once they get a grasp of the word construction, encourage them to start joining.

  3. Mix up the Upsarg: And when they join the root words and the prefix back, they can play around with these. For example, the upsarg vi means, other. Vi plus desh becomes videsh - which means “other country” or “foreign country''. Vi can also be combined with phal to become viphal - which means fail, the opposite of saphal - that is, success.

  4. Play with Sandhi: There will be some upsarg that join in a different way. For example, Prati plus ek does not become prati-ek. Ask them to say it out loud and fast and they’ll realise that ti plus e becomes tye. This way, you can also help them understand other complex grammatical structures like sandhi.


The Prefix Suffix activity with Lipi Tiles® is pretty useful:

  1. Advanced Grammar through Multiple Senses: This activity uses multiple senses of the child for them to grasp advanced vocabulary and grammar rules. While they see the different colours of the pieces, practice their sounds and revise spelling, it also helps them visualise the concept of upsarg pratyay as tactile and kinesthetic as breaking and joining the words.

  2. Modular Language Modular Learning: Which brings us to the next benefit. Most complex words in Hindi, Marathi and Sanskrit are made using smaller, simpler words. Meaning, the vocabulary itself is quite modular - and this activity using Lipi Tiles® emphasises that very aspect. Instead of getting overwhelmed by the spelling and meaning of new, difficult words, the child now gets to literally break the words, think of the etymology and remember the meaning.

  3. Grasp other Languages of the same family: So when they actively build and break the mool shabd from the upsarg or pratyay, they may do the same for other Indian languages since these languages follow similar patterns. Just the simple act helps them build the foundation and generate genuine interest in acquiring newer languages.

  1. Using Lipi Tiles, build a list of words with prefixes - or उपसर्ग : स्वदेश, विदेश, अधिकारी, प्रत्येक, प्रगति, अनुज, उत्तम, संतोष, सफल.

  2. Let your child figure out which part of each word is the prefix (उपसर्ग) and which part is the root word (मूल शब्द).

  3. Practice breaking apart each word built with Lipi Tiles to understand the meaning and the root word.

  4. Jumble up the broken words and lay them out.

  5. Let your child match the उपसर्ग with the right मूल शब्द and build the word again.

  6. You can repeat this activity with suffixes, or प्रत्यय : गाड़ीवाला, भुलक्कड़, कहानी, पढाई, सजावट, गंतव्य, नीतिज्ञ, मंथन

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