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Prefixes and Root Words Ms. Jordan’s Reading Class English contains many words adopted from other languages. In fact, experts estimate 80% of English words originated elsewhere. The biggest influence on the English vocabulary is Latin. Even though Latin is called a “dead language,” it still lives within the English language. Are you paying attention? Which language has the biggest influence on English? 33% 33% 33% 1. French 2. Latin 3. Spanish Knowing the meaning of prefixes and root words helps you to understand words you’ve never seen before. Take, for example, the word: hydrophobia Let’s say you’ve never seen nor heard it before. If you know that “hydro-” means “water” and “phobia” means “fear of,” you instantly know the meaning of the word. A couple more …. 1. “pre-” means “before” and “dict” means “to say.” Put them together for the word “predict” which means to say something beforehand. Now let’s learn some prefixes and roots. ambi- means both Examples: Ambidextrous – the ability to write with both hands. Ambiguous – having more than one meaning. astro- means star Examples: Astronaut – a person trained for a space flight. Astronomy – the study of celestial bodies. Astrology – the study of horoscopes. aud- means to hear Examples: Audio – sound. Auditorium – theatre with acoustics for sound. Auditory – have to doing with hearing. com/con- means together Examples: Combine – placing two or more things together. Also… • Connect • Congregation chron- means time Examples: Chronological – arranged in order of time. Chronic – continuing for a long time. Chronicle – a historical report. cide or cis- to cut or to kill Examples: Incision – a cut or gash. Homicide – the killing of one human by another. Suicide – the deliberate killing of oneself. Genocide – race murder. circum- means around Examples: Circumference – the outer boundary of a circular area. Circumstances – continuing for a long time. Circumnavigate – to go, fly, or said around. dyn/dyna- means power Examples: Dynasty – rulers from the same family. Dynamic – a force in motion. Dynomite – an explosive device. equi- means equal Examples: Equity – fairness. Equator – circling the Earth’s surface with equal distance from North & South Poles. Equilateral – having all sides equal. hyper- means over or above Examples: Hyperbole – an over exaggeration. Hyperactive – overly active. Hypersensitive – overly sensitive. hypo- means under Examples: Hypodermic – under the skin. Hypothermia – under normal body temperature. mal- means bad or evil Examples: Malevolent – evil. Malpractice – bad medical work. “Maleficent” – the evil queen in Sleeping Beauty. micro- means small Examples: • Microscope • Microwave • Microchip mis- means wrong Examples: Misuse – the wrong use of something. Mistake – something wrong occurred. Misunderstand – the wrong understanding of something. omni- means all or everywhere Examples: Omnipresent – means always present. Omnipotent – means all-powerful. Omnivore – means eats all food types. poly- means many Examples: Polygamy – marriage to more than one person. Polytheism – a belief in more than one god. Polygon – a figure with many sides. pre- means before Examples: Prefix – word part that comes before the word. Preamble – an introduction. Preview – to see beforehand. post- means after Examples: Postpone – reschedule for later. Postscript – (P.S.) after writing. pro- means forward Examples: Protagonist – must move forward through conflict. Prominent – leading, standing out. Proceed – to move forward. un- means not Examples: • Unable • Unbearable • Unstable • Unhappy • Unmistakable Now it’s time to study and memorize them!