Tag Archives: affixes

WORDY WEDNESDAY–Prefix ir

The prefix ir is an interesting prefix for a number of reasons:

1. It means not. There are many prefixes that can mean not, such as de, a, un, non; however, ir also means not, which is interesting to me because I don’t think it sounds like it should mean not! To me, it sounds like it should mean again or repeating or something besides not!

2. It only comes before base words that begin with R. In other words, you do not put ir in front of most any word to mean not, like you often do with un or non. 

3. This isn’t really interesting–but I like to say it whenever I teach about prefixes. A prefix is a letter or group of letters that you “affix” (which is why it and suffixes are called affixes) to the beginning of a word. It is important to remember that a prefix does not change the spelling of the base word. That is especially crucial in spelling ir words because the ir precedes an R already–and you must keep the base word’s spelling, so when you add this prefix to a word, you will ALWAYS have two R’s in a row: irregular, irresponsible, etc.

4. It is most often put before a word that is should never come before: regardless. We hear people constantly say irregardless, which is, of course, an oxymoronic word because less means without (or not) and ir means not. I guess that makes it sort of like using a double negative! You do not put ir before regardless because regardless already means without regard. With ir in front of it, you are saying not without regard, I guess…. Anyway, irregardless is not a word. So don’t use it. Okay? 🙂

Note: It is correct, however, to use irrespective, which is a substitute (some of the time) for when you are tempted to say irregardless.

However, there are many base words that begin with R that can have ir put before them to mean NOT or the opposite of what the base word means before ir is added to it.

Here is a list to get you started. Notice how if you take the ir off, you have a positive base word (or one that means yes–yes regular, yes responsible, yes revocable, etc.) However, with the ir, the word means notnot regular, not responsible, not revocable, etc.

Remember: You know more than you think you know!

And remember: Use what you already know to learn even more!

  • irregular
  •  irresponsible
  • irrevocable
  • irrefutable
  • irradiate
  • irreconcilable
  • irredeemable
  • irreducible
  • irrefutable
  • irregularity
  • irrelevant
  • irreverence
  • irreligious
  • irreparable
  • irreplaceable
  • irreversible
  • irresolute
  • irretrievable
  • irresistible
  • Irrelevant
  • WORDY WEDNESDAY–Prefixes Having to Do With Heat

    We are having a heat wave here in Indiana. We have had temperatures above ninety degrees this week. Today it was 92 degrees–a perfect day to go swimming and a perfect day to get a sunburn!

    For today’s WORDY WEDNESDAY, I thought we would look at two prefixes that have to do with July in Indiana–SOL and THERM.

    If you have been reading Language Lady very long, you know my two rules of thumb for learning:

    1. You know more than you think you know.

    2. Use what you already know to learn even more!

    Those two rules of thumb definitely apply to today’s prefixes.+

    We encourage our students to take a key word–any word that you already know–that has to do what you are trying to learn.

    In the case of sol and therm, you can take two words you already know as your “key words” to help you remember these two prefixes:

    SOL–solar….you know that solar means sun if you have ever talked about a solar blanket for your pool, solar power (generating power through the sun), or solar eclipse

    THERM–thermos or thermal…you know that THERM means heat if you have ever carried your soup or coffee in a thermos or had “thermal underwear” on in the winter to keep you warm.

    So…take your two KEY WORDS and use them any time you see the prefixes SOL and THERM:

    1. Sol
    a. solar
    b. solarium–part of a room that is exposed to the sun
    c. solstice–the pointer in which the sun stands sill

    2. Therm
    a. thermoplastic
    b. thermos
    c. thermodynamics
    d. thermoelectric

    The “solar heat” is high right now in Indiana, and the thermometer shows it at in the low nineties!

    +Remember: A prefix is an affix. An affix is a letter or letters attached to a word that give more meaning to the word. The affix itself actually has meaning. A prefix is an affix that is added to the beginning of a word–thus, the prefix to the word prefix PRE (meaning before)!

    WORDY WEDNESDAY: Prefixes, Suffixes, Roots, Oh My!

     When Joshua and I teach vocabulary, we try to do a few things:

    1. Relate the word to anything we think the students might already know. (“Aquaduct? Well, you know what aquatic means, don’t you?”)

    Of course, this is where we say, “You know more than you think you know!”

    2. We ask the students if they can tell us anything about the word based on the context. Is it happy or sad? Is there a word near that word that helps you?

    3. We help them examine the type of word it is. We say over and over to them that OUS words are often adjectives (delicious) and ATE words can often be verbs.

    4. We help the students examine roots and affixes.
        a. Prefix–an affix (“stuck on”) to the beginning of a word
        b. Suffix–affix added to the end of a word

    We also give the students tools all the time. Below is a list of prefixes and suffixes that we give to our students and discuss with them, along with their meanings.

    Be a lifelong student! If you are an adult, these vocabulary tips will still help you every day.

    (a)   GEN–birth, race, kind

    generous, generate, generation, geneology, gender

    (b)   DIC, DICT, DIT–tell, say, word

    dictate, verdict, edict, contradict, predict, diction, indict

    (c)    SPEC, SPIC, SPIT–look, see

    perspective, aspect, spectator, spectacle, suspect   
            

    (d)   SUPER, SUR, SUM—above

    surpass, summit, supersede, superstition

    (e)   TENT, TENS, TEND, TENU–stretch, thin

    tension, extend, tendency, tendon, tent, distend

    (f)     TRANS—across

    transfer, transient, transitory, transgress, transport

    (g)   DOC, DUC, DAC–teach, lead

    conduct, document, doctrine, induce, indoctrinate

    (h)   CO, CON, COM-with, together

    company, collaborate, comply, congruent,

    (i)     VERS, VERT—turn

    convert, revert, subvert, divert, diverse, extrovert, versatile

    (j)     LOC, LOG, LOQU–word, speech

    eloquent, logic, apology, monologue, dialogue, prologue

    (k)   SEN–feel, sense

    sensitive, sensation, consent, dissent, assent, sentiment        
                                             

    (l)     DE–away, down, off

    denounce, defraud, decry, deplete, devoid, defile

    (m) NOM, NOUN, NOWN, NAM, NYM–name, order, rule

    anonymous, nominate, renounce, renown, misnomer         
                       

    (n)   CLA, CLO, CLU–shut, close

    closet, enclose, disclose, include, conclude, seclude

    (o)   VO, VOC, VOK, VOW—call

    vocal, advocate, vocation, convoke, revoke, avow         
                            

    (p)   MAL–bad

    malicious, malady, dismal, malign, malevolent

    (q)   FRA, FRAC, FRAG—break

    fracture, fraction, fragment, fragile, frail, fractious          
                            

    (r)    OB—against

    objective, obsolete, obscure, obstruct, obstinate

    (s)    SUB—under

    submissive, subordinate, sublime, subtle, subversion       
                         

    (t)     AB–from, away 

    abandon, abhor, abstain, absolve, abstruse, abstract 

    (u)   GRESS, GRAD—step

    progress, regress, gradual, digress, degrade, transgress

    (v)   SEC, SEQU—follow

    second, sequel, sequence, consequence, prosecute

    (w)  PRO–much, for, a lot

    prolific, profuse, prodigal, prtracted, prodigy, propensity     
                       

    (x)   QUE, QUIS–ask, seek

    inquire, question, request, quest, query, acquire, querulous 

    (y)   SACR, SANCT, SECR—sacred

    sacrifice, sanctuary, sanctify, sanction, consecrate

    (z)    SCRIB, SCRIP—write

    scribble, describe, script, prescribe, ascribe, inscribe 

    (aa)  PATHY, PAS, PAT—feeling

    apathy, sympathy, empathy, antipathy, passionate

    (bb)  DIS, DIF—not

    disdain, dissuade, dismay, disparate, disparage

    (cc) CIRCU—around

    circumference, circulation, circumstances, circumvent 

    (dd) NON, UN, IN, AN, A–no or not

    nonviolent, uncooperative, inappreciative, anonymous 

    (ee) AD–to       

    adhere, adjective, addict, adverb                       

    (ff)  INFRA—below

    infrastructure, infraction, infrared, infra-bass
      
      

    Strengthlessnesses—Longest Word With One Vowel

    

    Wordy Wednesday!

    Welcome to Wordy Wednesday! Did you know that strengthlessnesses is the longest word containing only one (albeit very repeating) vowel? Neither did I. And I don’t really care for it. I mean, it is cumbersome to say–and that is a whole lot of e’s and s’s to remember to spell the crazy word.

    But I love unique and unusual–and strengthlessnesses is definitely both of those! Here are some vitals about this “longest word containing only one (albeit very repeating) vowel”:

    1. It is a noun–did you know that when a word ends in ness, it is almost always a noun? This helps with standardized testing greatly. Ness words are nearly always nouns, so in a “fill in the blank” type of assignment, if the word in question ends in ness, it has to go in a spot where a noun fits.

    Tricky Trick to Help It Stick: We have students learn key words to remember things. For instance, to remember that ness words are nearly always nouns, memorize a key word or two that you know is a noun and that ends in ness.

    Other ness nouns: happiness, hopefulness, craziness, gratefulness, joyfulness, smartness

    2. It has to do with having strength–we teach our students to think about what you already know–anytime–but especially when approaching a new word. Is there anything about the word strengthlessnesses that you already know?
         a. You know what its base means. You already what strength means!
         b. You know that less means less or not having that quality. (We do a lot of root and affix studies here!)
     
    Because of those two “things you already know,” you can know that strengthlessnesses has something to do with not having strength (i.e. less strength).

    Note: You know more than you think you know! Repeat this over and over to yourself: “I know more than I think I know. I know more than I think I know.” Use what you know to learn more!

    3. It can be spelled syllable-by-syllable (if you are a biphonic man or biphonic woman!): strength-less-ness-es.

    4. You can also make up a trick to remember how to spell it, such as “It contains four e’s and six s’s. Or that it has four syllables–which tells you that it will have at least four vowels in it (or y’s acting like vowels)–because a syllable always contains at least one vowel. A vowel is what makes a syllable!

    5. You can learn the variations of this word–because you can remember from your vocabulary studies with Language Lady that suffixes (affixes added to the ends of words) might change the SPELLING of the base word (pity is changed to piti in pitiful) but does not change the MEANING of the base word. Even with three suffixes added (less, ness, and es), the base word of strength still means strength.
                 a.  stengthless–adjective meaning without strength (less words are often adjectives!)
                 b. strengthlessly–adverb meaning without strength (ly words are often adverbs)
                 c. strengthelessness–a noun describing someone or something that is without strength (ness words are often nouns)
                d. strengthlessnesses–a noun that means more than one someone or something that is without strength (es makes the word plural).


    So there you have it–the longest word with only one repeating vowel. Did you know that you could learn so much from one word? You know a lot more than you think you know! Smile…

    .

    Day 126: Wordy Wednesday—root TEN

    I missed Wordy Wednesday, and it’s nearly time for another one! Keeping with our root word theme, today we are going to look at TEN and variations of it.
    TEN, TENS, TEND, TENU
    Definition: STRETCH or THIN
    What words do we already know with this root? What can we know about each word—even if we do not know it before?
    1. tension
    2. extend
    3. tendency
    4. tendon
    5. tent
    6. distend
    7. intent
    8. tenable
    9. attention
    10. detention
    11. extent
    12. retention
    13. ostentatious
    14. malcontent
    15. potent


    Day 122: Wordy Wednesday—SUPER!

    More root word learning for this week’s Wordy Wednesday. But before that, I have to ask if you are using what you already know? Are you examining unknown words and asking yourself  if there is anything about that word that you already know—a root, prefix, or suffix?
    Today’s root: SUPER, SUR, SUM   
    Meaning: ABOVE
    What do you already know about this ABOVE root:
    1. surpass—to go above and beyond
    2. summit—above; the high mountain or peak
    3. supersede—to be above in authority,  etc.
    4. superstition—a  belief that is ABOVE the normal
    5. super star—a star above others

      

       

    day 120: wordy wednesday—root “spec”

    Do you remember how I talked earlier about how we (and our students if we are teachers) know much more than we think we do! There is no place that this is more apparent than vocabulary learning!
    Root words, and sometimes even syllables, have meaning. And we often already know meanings of bits and pieces that we can put together to gain more knowledge. (If you know a foreign language, you will have even more success unlocking unknown words or parts of words since much of our language is taken from other languages.)
    How can you use this concept to help you or your students? When you come to an unfamiliar word, don’t assume that you do not know it. Look more closely at the word. (And help your kids to do the same—question them all the time: “What do you know about the ‘aqua’ part of aquamarine?” [Or even, “What do you know about the ‘marine’ part?”)
    Today’s  root is SPEC, SPIC, or SPIT
    It means LOOK or SEE
    What do you already know about these “spec,” “spic,” and “spit” words?
    1. Perspective—seeing a point of view
    2. Aspect—one part or one thing you can see
    3. Spectator—one who sees
    4. Spectacle—a sight to see
    5. Suspect—a person you see that might be guilty
    6. Others???
    Keep reading. Keep asking yourself what you already know!

    day 115: wordy wednesday

    Now that we know how to spell the word Wednesday, we are going to add a new feature to Language Lady 365. If you desire to increase your vocabulary for professional or personal reasons; are preparing for standardized testing or college; or want to help your kids learn vocabulary better, you won’t want to miss Wordy Wednesdays! (Yesk I know it’s Thursday–I didn’t get this up last night!)
    Wordy Wednesday will be a vocabulary-building day each week. Sometimes I will introduce a “word that everybody should know” type of word from test preparation or collections with these types of lists. Other times we will focus on prefixes, suffixes, and roots. Basically, all types of vocabulary learning—your weekly “shot” of wordsmith learning!
    At the beginning of the year, I described the importance of roots and affixes in helping our children learn vocabulary: “Discussing words (roots, affixes, etc.) should be a part of our daily discussion with our kids. Even if our kids go to school, we have to look at ourselves as our children’s first teachers. There are so many things that we can teach them casually—homeschoolers or not.”
    Not long ago in literature class, our son (Joshua, one of our TFT teachers) asked the students what words they knew that contained the prefix “pro,” meaning “for.” He got the usual answers—pro-life; prolific; pro-football, etc. And then his clever “little brother,” Josiah, said, “’Propane’—means that we are ‘for pain’!” Have fun with vocabulary building—and your kids will not forget it, for sure (nor will you)!
    So today, we will start with a common root—a root that can help you unlock the meaning of many other words: gen.
    GEN is a root meaning birth, race, or kind.
    From this root, we get many common words that most of us are familiar with, including, but not limited to, the following list:
    1. Generous
    2. Generate
    3. Generation
    4. Genealogy
    5. Gender
    6. Genocide
    7. Generic
    But roots are not limited to the beginnings of words—they are found buried within longer words as well. Consider the following words with gen somewhere in them. How does the meaning of gen—birth, race, or kind—fit into the meanings of these words:
    1.    Agency
    2.    Intelligence
    3.    Resurgent
    4.    Agenda
    5.    Allergen
    6.    Pathogen
    7.    Oxygen
    8.    Carcinogen
    9.    Divergent
    10. Emergency
    11. Degenerate
    12. Negligence
    13. Legends
    14. Estrogen
    15. Homogenate
    16. Ingenuity

    day 16: it was just an “illusion” (or was it an “allusion”?)

    Adding to the alluded/eluded and allusive/elusive quandary is the illusion/allusion Wacky Word pair! Again, looking at roots and affixes can be a great help.
    Let’s start with allusion—since we had alluded yesterday. (Yes, you read that right—the roots are the same!)
    1. Allusion (allude)
    a.      Related to ludicrous: Hint—“What he alluded to was ludicrous!”
    b.     Related to allusion—“He made an allusion to our previous conversation.”
    c.      If you remember the allude/ludicrous (What he alluded to was ludicrous!), you will also remember allusion—allusion is something you allude to.
                                                                            i.     Allude is the verb—“What did he allude to?”
                                                                          ii.     Allusion* is the noun—The thing—“What was his allusion to your situation?”
    2. Illusion
          a. Related to illustrate—See that root?
                  i. Illustration is a picture
                 ii. Illusion is an abstract picture
    b.     Used to mean a facsimile or something that appears different than it is
    i. “The ride gives you the illusion that you are on a mountain.”
    ii. “They used Kleenexes to give you the illusion of fabric.”
    iii. “Her success is just an illusion.”
    c.  Illusion is also related to hallucination—seeing things that are not really there!
    *Note: A more advanced vocabulary technique that you will learn this year on LL 365 is “illustrated” in suffixes—tion and sion generally signify a word is a noun.

    days 13 & 14: roots and affixes list

    I am putting all of the roots and affixes I want to share (from our CQLA curriculum) together for two days (rather than dividing them up in two entries). Feel free to print them off, give a sheet to each of your kids, tape it on the fridge, work on a root or affix a week…however it can help you or your kids/students.
        (a) GEN–birth, race, kind                                                              
     generous, generate, generation, geneology, gender    
               
    b) DIC, DICT, DIT–tell, say, word
            dictate, verdict, edict, contradict, predict, diction, indict
      
        (c) SPEC, SPIC, SPIT–look, see
     perspective, aspect, spectator, spectacle, suspect     
               
    d) SUPER, SUR, SUM–above
            surpass, summit, supersede, superstition
      
       
       (e) TENT, TENS, TEND, TENU–stretch, thin                                           
     tension, extend, tendency, tendon, tent, distend         
    (f) TRANS–across
    transfer, transient, transitory, transgress, transport
      
        (g) DOC, DUC, DAC–teach, lead                                         
              conduct, document, doctrine, induce, indoctrinate                    
     (h) CO, CON, COM-with, together
    company, collaborate, comply, congruent,
    (i)              VERS, VERT–turn                                                                      
     convert, revert, subvert, divert, diverse, extrovert, versatile          
      
    (j) LOC, LOG, LOQU–word, speech
            
            eloquent, logic, apology, monologue, dialogue, prologue
        (k) SEN–feel, sense                                                                                  
      sensitive, sensation, consent, dissent, assent, sentiment  
                     
    (l) DE–away, down, off
    denounce, defraud, decry, deplete, devoid, defile
      
        
        (m) NOM, NOUN, NOWN, NAM, NYM–name, order, rule
    anonymous, nominate, renounce, renown, misnomer                                                      
    (n) CLA, CLO, CLU–shut, close
              closet, enclose, disclose, include, conclude, seclude
      
          
        (o) VO, VOC, VOK, VOW–call                                                      
    vocal, advocate, vocation, convoke, revoke, avow     
                            
     (p) MAL–bad
              malicious, malady, dismal, malign, malevolent
      
          
        (q) FRA, FRAC, FRAG—break
    fracture, fraction, fragment, fragile, frail, fractious                                                                                        
       (r) OB–against
              objective, obsolete, obscure, obstruct, obstinate
      
            
        (s) SUB—under
              submissive, subordinate, sublime, subtle, subversion                                                                                                        
    (t) AB–from, away
     abandon, abhor, abstain, absolve, abstruse, abstract
      
           
        (u) GRESS, GRAD—step
    progress, regress, gradual, digress, degrade, transgress                                                                       
     (v) SEC, SEQU–follow
              second, sequel, sequence, consequence, prosecute
      
      
         (w) PRO–much, for, a lot 
    prolific, profuse, prodigal, prtracted, prodigy, propensity                                                                   
      (x) QUE, QUIS–ask, seek
               inquire, question, request, quest, query, acquire, querulous
      
         
         (y) SACR, SANCT, SECR—sacred
    sacrifice, sanctuary, sanctify, sanction, consecrate                                                                   
     (z) SCRIB, SCRIP–write     
                         scribble, describe, script, prescribe, ascribe, inscribe
      
                                                                 
       (aa) PATHY, PAS, PAT–feeling               
              apathy, sympathy, empathy, antipathy, passionate                                  
     (bb) DIS, DIF–not
                                      disdain, dissuade, dismay, disparate, disparage
      
      
      (cc) CIRCU–around
    circumference, circulation, circumstances, circumvent                                                            
     (dd) NON, UN, IN, AN, A–no or not
      
    nonviolent, uncooperative, inappreciative, anonymous
      
      
      (ee) AD–to  
              adhere, adjective, addict, adverb
                                                                              
    (ff) INFRA–below
     infrastructure, infraction, infrared, infra-bass
      
      
      (gg) AMBI—both
      ambidextrous, amibguous, ambition, ambivalent                                                                                
     (hh) EPI–on
     epidemic, epic, epitomy, episode