Hot News!

Roots, Prefixes, and Suffixes


Roots, Prefixes, and Suffixes

Roots, Prefixes, and Suffixes


Mastering the building blocks of words - prefixes, suffixes, and roots - is key to decoding meaning and elevating your vocabulary. This comprehensive guide will provide you with the morphological knowledge needed to dissect complex words and unlock their power.

We will start by defining essential terms. You'll learn what affixes are and how prefixes and suffixes work together as word parts that modify meaning. Clear examples will demonstrate how even small morphemes can dramatically change a word’s sense and function.

Next, we’ll dive deep into common Greek and Latin roots, prefixes, and suffixes. You’ll get to know the origins of word parts like geo-, dis-, -ment, and -tion. Helpful tricks, organized charts, and engaging exercises will help you memorize these vital word-building tools.

Understanding morphemes like roots and affixes allows you to analyze unfamiliar words like a linguist. We’ll practice these morphological analysis skills using literature examples. You’ll also learn how morphology elevates reading, writing, and test-taking abilities across academic subjects.

This comprehensive guide examining the most important word parts - roots, prefixes, and suffixes - provides the morphology knowledge needed to decode complex English words. Master these fundamental units of meaning to elevate your vocabulary and language abilities.

Learning Objectives

In this lesson, you will focus on the following objectives:
Vocabulary: Understanding word parts: roots, prefixes, and suffixes.

Roots, Prefixes, and Suffixes

  1. prefix is a word part that is inserted at the beginning of a word root or a base word to create a new meaning. 
  2. suffix is a combination of letters or a single letter added at the end of a base word or a word part. 
  3. Prefixes and suffixes together are called affixes.
Literature Connection

One way to determine the meaning of an unfamiliar word is to analyze its parts. 
“The girl kept to her work, her face averted and her eyes on what she was doing.”
—John Steinbeck, from “Breakfast”

The Latin root vert means “turn.” It is a common root, found in the words averse, aversion, reverse, subvert, divert, and others. The prefix a- can mean “in the state or condition of”; and the suffix -ed shows past tense; so an averted face is turned away.

Recognizing some common Greek and Latin prefixes, suffixes, and word roots or base words will help you understand what you read.

Prefixes Roots Suffixes
geo- Earth graph writing of -ical having the nature o
dis- the reverse of place position -ment the condition of being
contra- against dic(t) speak -tion action or process of
in- within, into spir breathe -ed the past tense of a verb

Roots, Prefixes, and Suffixes Quiz

For each item below, refer to the prefixes, roots, and suffixes in the chart to help you select the best answer.


Frequently Asked Questions: Roots, Prefixes, and Suffixes

Q1: What are roots, prefixes, and suffixes in language?
A1: Roots are the core words that hold the main meaning, while prefixes are added at the beginning and suffixes at the end of a word to modify its meaning.

Q2: How do roots, prefixes, and suffixes affect word meanings?
A2: Roots provide the main meaning, while prefixes and suffixes modify it. For example, "unhappiness" has the root "happy" modified by the prefix "un-" (not) to indicate lack of happiness.

Q3: Can you provide examples of common roots, prefixes, and suffixes?
A3: Certainly! "Port" (to carry) is a root, "re-" (again) is a prefix, and "-ful" (full of) is a suffix. Combine them for words like "transported" or "helpful."

Q4: How do prefixes change word meanings?
A4: Prefixes alter the meaning of a word. For instance, "happy" becomes "unhappy" when "un-" is added, changing the meaning to "not happy."

Q5: What's the role of suffixes in forming words?
A5: Suffixes change the form or part of speech of a word. For example, "teach" becomes "teacher" with the suffix "-er."

Q6: How can students learn about roots, prefixes, and suffixes?
A6: Use interactive activities, word games, and exercises to help students understand how these components work in word formation.

Q7: Are there resources to teach roots, prefixes, and suffixes?
A7: Yes, there are educational books, online platforms, and worksheets that focus on teaching word structure through roots, prefixes, and suffixes.

Q8: Can understanding roots, prefixes, and suffixes improve vocabulary?
A8: Absolutely! Recognizing these components helps students decipher the meanings of unfamiliar words and build a strong vocabulary.

Q9: How do roots, prefixes, and suffixes relate to etymology?
A9: Etymology is the study of word origins. Understanding roots, prefixes, and suffixes enhances etymological understanding by revealing word histories.

Q10: Can you suggest real resources to teach roots, prefixes, and suffixes?
A10: Certainly! Look for books like "Vocabulary from Classical Roots" series by Educators Publishing Service, or online platforms like and


  1. "Vocabulary from Classical Roots" by Educators Publishing Service
    This series offers structured lessons to explore word origins through roots, prefixes, and suffixes.
    An online platform that offers engaging word games and challenges, helping students learn and practice vocabulary components.
  3. This website provides interactive activities, games, and resources specifically designed to teach roots, prefixes, and suffixes.
Mr. ‏El-Sayed Ramadan ‎ ‎


No comments
Post a Comment