Tag Archives: suffixes

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…

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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 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 17: pop quiz—allude, elude, allusion, illusion….answer key!

Answer Key:

1. The word was so allusive/elusive; it just wouldn’t come to me.

Hint: Elude and exclude look similar. “I excluded that song from the program because it eluded me.”

2. He made an illusion/allusion/elusion to our previous conversation.

Hint: Allusion related to allude. “What he alluded to is ludicrous.” Means to refer to something.

3. The ride gives you the allusion/illusion that you are on a mountain top.

Hint: Illusion comes from illustrate. A picture….gives you the picture or feeling of something else.

4. I excluded the word from the program because its spelling alluded/eluded me.

Hint: Eluded—excluded. Elude means “not able to grasp.”

5. What did he elude/allude to?

Hint: Allude/allusion—something you refer to. “What he alluded to was ludicrous.”

6. They used Kleenexes to give you the allusion/illusion of fabric.

Hint: Illusion is a facsimile or picture. Related to illustrate.

7. What he alluded/eluded to was ludicrous!

Hint: “What he alluded to was ludicrous.”

8. What was his illusion/allusion to your situation?

Hint: Allude/allusion—referring to something else.

9. Allusion/illusion is related to hallucination.

Hint: Illusion is related to hallucination—pictures that are not there.

10. He made an elusion/allusion to our previous conversation.

Hint: Allusion is to refer to something else; elusion is to be out of your grasp. He referred to the previous conversation…not that he couldn’t grasp it.

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

day 12: roots and affixes

“….help kids (and adults!) to tap into what we already know in order to unlock the unknown.”
Back to the idea that students (all of us, really) know a lot more than we think we know. And helping kids (and adults!) to tap into what we already know in order to unlock the unknown.
One of the best tips I can offer for this is to encourage kids constantly to look at any part of anything that they already know. In the case of vocabulary and comprehension, I encourage students to look at what they do know. The beginning of this, of course, is root words and affixes—or even parts of words.
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?”)
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.
Last week 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!
Tomorrow I will give you a list of roots affixes that we use in our language arts books that you can print off for yourself or your students. Happy reading—and comprehending! Smile…

day 11: more about roots and comprehension building

Whether you are trying to expand your vocabulary and build your comprehension of higher levels of reading material or you are trying to help your children or students to do so, the same approach may be taken:
  1. Learn all you can about roots and affixes (prefixes and suffixes)
  2. Read a lot so you encounter the words you want to learn over and over
The real question isn’t whether those two methods work. The real question is whether one should come before the other. And for that, there isn’t one good answer.
It’s sort of like using a dictionary to learn how to spell a word. If you can’t spell the word, how can you find it in the dictionary to learn how to spell it? (Or so my kids always ask me!)
The same is true of vocabulary building. Reading levels that are above your comprehension level cannot help you if you have no clues to the unknown words.
And studying roots and affixes will not be much help to you if you have not encountered those roots and affixes often enough for that learning to carry over into your reading.
So what should a parent or teacher do to help a child increase his vocabulary? Glad you asked! And I will share my humble opinion tomorrow—the word count police are looking over my shoulder today! J