5 Difference Between Inter And Intra (With Usage)

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Inter And Intra Prefixes

INTER and INTRA are among the prefixes of English language. Prefixes are letters which we add to the beginning of a word to make a new word with a different meaning. Prefixes can, for example, create a new word opposite in meaning to the word the prefix is attached to. They can also make a word negative or express relations of time, place or manner.

The words INTER and INTRA have some kind of similarity in sound, but are very different when forming new words. Inter is a prefix used to form words that mean between or among groups. Intra on the other hand, is a prefix used to form words that mean on the inside or within. In other words, Inter is used in regard to open systems among groups whereas Intra is used in regard to closed systems between a single group.

The system of highways going through the United States or India is referred to as the Interstate highway system, but a highway system that is only within the border of a single state would be referred to as intrastate highway system.

Generally, both Inter and Intra can both be attached to common nouns without a hyphen. For example you can write the words intercity, interstate, interuniversity, intersection, and interschool with or without a hyphen. Different style guides have different suggestions as to when to place a hyphen to a word. Typically, words with prefixes inter and intra are usually not hyphenated.

Both prefixes INTER and INTRA are generally used in almost all fields and disciplines, from Engineering, Law, Accounting and Finance, Computer Science, Physics, Medicine and Education. However, INTER as a prefix, generally appears in a more wide ranging variety of topics than the prefix INTRA. People use  prefix INTER more in casual conversations, as well as academic, formal and informal speech and writing.

More Examples And Usage

  1. Internet and Intranet: Internet is a system that connects computers around the world whereas an Intranet, is a network of computers that only connect people within a certain group, such as employees of a company or organization.
  2. Intermural and Intramural: Intermural are activities involving different schools whereas Intramural are activities within the school. We can have intermural and intramural sports, competition, exams etc.
  3. Interpersonal and Intrapersonal: Interpersonal means between two or more person while intrapersonal refers to a single individual.
  4. Interspecies and Intraspecies: Interspecies means relation between members different or separate species whereas intraspecies means relation between members of the same species.
  5. Inter-religion and Intra-religion: Inter-religion means between or among different religions whereas Intra-religion means within or inside a given religion.

What You Need To know About Inter

  • INTER is used to form words that mean between or among groups.
  • You can use INTER before a noun in several situations, but it should always refer to something between groups.
  • INTER can be used in both ways for forming words with a hyphen as well as forming words without a hyphen.
  • INTER as a prefix appears in a more wide ranging variety of topic and discussions than prefix INTRA.

What You Need To Know About Intra

  • Intra is used to form words that mean on the inside or within.
  • You can use INTRA before a noun, but it should have the meaning of within, referring to things inside a group or a community.
  • INTRA can be used in both ways for forming words with a hyphen as well as forming words without a hyphen.
  • INTRA as a prefix appears in a few variety of topic and discussions than prefix INTER.

Difference Between Inter And Intra In Tabular Form

BASIS OF COMPARISON INTER INTRA
Description INTER is used to form words that mean between or among groups.   Intra is used to form words that mean on the inside or within.  
Usage Before A Noun You can use INTER before a noun in several situations, but it should always refer to something between groups.   You can use INTRA before a noun, but it should have the meaning of within, referring to things inside a group or a community.  
Use Of Hyphen INTER can be used in both ways for forming words with a hyphen as well as forming words without a hyphen.   INTRA can be used in both ways for forming words with a hyphen as well as forming words without a hyphen.  
General Use INTER as a prefix appears in a more wide ranging variety of topic and discussions than prefix INTRA.   INTRA as a prefix appears in a few variety of topic and discussions than prefix INTER.  
Examples Internet, Interpersonal, Intermural, International, Interschool, Intersection, interconnected, interstate,Intercity etc. Intravenous, intragastric, intransigence, intractable, Intrapersonal, Intracellular, Intranet etc.

Conclusion

As explained above, it is clear that the Prefixes INTER and INTRA cannot be used in place of one another. One should be careful while using them as they can change the meaning of the word altogether. For proper usage, the best way to remember the difference between INTER and INTRA is through the words ‘’Intranet’’ and ‘’Internet’’. The internet is accessible worldwide, connecting people from country to country, just as the prefix INTER refers to relations between more groups. Intranet is usually used in a company/organization and only its members can access it, just as the prefix INTRA only refers to relations connecting members inside one group.