The prefixes “inter” and “intra” might sound quite similar but have a major difference in their use. Both these prefixes are used when we have to associate two or more than two groups or just one group at a time. The word “intra” translates to “within” or “inside” a certain group, whereas, the word “inter” translates to “between” or “amongst” or “amidst” two or more than two groups.
Inter vs Intra
The difference between Inter and Intra is the functionality of a particular group inside or outside itself. The prefix “inter” can be used when dealing with two or more groups or events. The word “intra” can be used while dealing with the composition of a particular group itself.
Inter is always used as a prefix, attached in front of a word to decide for the connection established in the sentence. It signifies an event taking placing in between or among two groups or more. For example, an inter-college debate competition, an interstate cycle race, an intercultural dance contest etc. All these events are held in between the groups or states or cultures.
Intra is used as a prefix when the sentence demands an event which is taking place inside a particular group or within a certain periphery or thing. It is inclusive of its constituents. For example, we can add the prefix to words like intranet, intracompany, intramural, etc. There also exists medical terms with the use of the prefix “intra”, they are, intravenous, intracranial, etc.
Inter is used as a prefix when the sentence demands an event which is inclusive of other groups or sub-groups, and not just its constituents. It is a conglomeration of two or more than two groups, participating as one. The word “inter” itself means “between two groups”. Many words are formed on the basis of this prefix, such as, interschool, intercollege, intertextual, interstate, etc.
You can also use a hyphen (-) to add these two prefixes in a suitable place. For example, there was an inter-cultural festival held in Turkey last year. Or, the exam conducted in West Bengal was intra-state.
Comparison Table Between Inter and Intra (in Tabular Form)
|Parameters of comparison||Inter||Intra|
|Spelling||It is a common mistake to misspell both words. This prefix is spelled with an “er” at the end.||Whereas, Intra ends with a “ra” towards the end.|
|Definition||Inter is used as a prefix when we are dealing with two or more groups.||Intra is used as a prefix when we are dealing with the constituents of one particular group.|
|Example||Intertextual, intercultural, intercollege etc.||Intracompany, intramural, intra-textual, intracranial etc.|
|Use in a sentence||There was an intercultural dance competition held at Delhi.||The intramural designs belonged only to that particular museum.|
What is Inter?
The word “Inter” is an inclusive word used when we are talking about two or more than two groups or events functioning within a certain periphery. It often denotes of an action taking place in between groups. To connote this inclusivity in a sentence, the word “inter” is added to the main functioning word or describing word. For example, words intertextual, intercultural, intercollege, international, intermediate etc. Sentences formed using these words can be
- The poet used intertextual references to convey his message to the readers.
- The dance taking place in the heart of the city is intercultural.
- The debate going to be held tomorrow is intercollege debate.
- The conference we will be going to is an international conference.
- The teacher will be taking intermediate classes tomorrow since only a few students turned up from both the classes.
What is Intra?
The word “intra” is an exclusive word used when we are talking about the essentials/constituents of that particular group. It denotes of an event or happening which is going to take place within the proximity of a certain space or a certain group, within its own particles.
When we talk about a certain game or event taking place within a group, we add the prefix “intra” before the describing word. An event which is held amongst or amidst a certain specified group utilises the prefix “intra”. For example, words like intramural, intracellular, intramuscular, intrapersonal, intraspecific, etc. Sentences formed using these words can be:
- The intramural designs carved within the Taj Mahal is an example of exceptional art.
- The intracellular layout is rather an odd design for a huge house.
- Our intramuscular spaces are lined with a million narrow veins.
- A poem is nothing but an insight of the intrapersonal space of a poet’s mind.
- The diversion or erosion of a particular species is intraspecific.
Main Differences Between Inter and Intra
- The prefix “intra” is exclusive whereas the prefix “inter” is inclusive.
- “Intra” dictates of an event or an activity taking place amidst or amongst the member of a certain group. Whereas “inter” dictates of an event or an activity taking place in between two or more than two groups.
- Example of such prefixes: intramural, intracellular, intramuscular, intraspecific, intertextual, intermediate, interchangeable, international etc.
- The word “intra” is spelled with a “ra” towards the end, whereas the word “inter” is spelled with an “er” towards the end.
- Use in a sentence: The dance taking place in the heart of the city is intercultural. Our intramuscular spaces are lined with a million narrow veins.
These two similar sounding words have a heaven and hell difference in their execution. The differences in the two words mentioned above should be noted carefully to avoid any mistakes while using the two terms. Inter is always used as a prefix, attached in front of a word to decide for the connection established in the sentence.
It signifies an event taking placing in between or among two groups or more. Intra is used as a prefix when the sentence demands an event which is taking place inside a particular group or within a certain periphery or thing. Note the sharp difference in the meaning of the two words and read and write carefully in future.