Root words, suffixes and prefixes

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Root words, prefixes and suffixes
Jan 2012. Kindly contributed by Helen Holt, Lincoln College.
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Adult Literacy curriculum links
Rw/E3.5
Use a variety of reading strategies to help decode an increasing range of unfamiliar words
(a) Understand that effective readers draw on several sources of knowledge to help them make
sense of unfamiliar words (besides looking at the individual words themselves): clues from context,
experience, text and sentence structure (b) Apply knowledge of sound and letter patterns, and of
the structure of words, to help decode them: including compounds, root words, grammatical
endings, prefixes, suffixes, syllable divisions
Rw/L1.3
Recognise and understand an increasing range of vocabulary, applying knowledge of word structure,
related words, word roots, derivations, borrowings
(a) Understand that some words are related to each other in form and meaning, and use this
knowledge to help understand new words (b) Understand that prefixes and base/stem/root words
can provide clues to meaning (c) Understand that languages borrow words from each other (d)
Understand that suffixes can provide clues to word class
SfL
LITERACY
- Root words, prefixes and
suffixes.
Helen Holt
2
Session outcomes
• To understand the terms ‘root’,
‘prefix’ and ‘suffix’;
• To use these to help with spelling and
working out the meaning of unfamiliar
words.
Helen Holt
3
Root Words:
• A root word stands on its own as a word.
• You can make new words from it by adding
beginnings (prefixes) and endings (suffixes).
• Example: 'comfort' is a root word.
• By adding the prefix 'dis' or the suffix 'able' you
can make new words such as 'discomfort' and
'comfortable'.
Helen Holt
4
What Are Prefixes?
• A prefix is a group of letters we add to the
front of a root word.
• Prefixes change the meaning or purpose of
the word, e.g:
un + kind = unkind
The word has become its opposite meaning (antonym)
Helen Holt
5
Here are some prefixes:
Un (not)
Dis
Mis
Co
Ex
Re (again)
Unidentified Dislike
Misbehave
Co-operate Exclaim
Refill
Unwell
Disorder
Misread
Co-star
Exterior
Replay
Unhappy
Disrespect
Mistake
Coordinate
Explode
Reappear
Unhealthy
Disagree
Miscount
Co-writer
Exboyfriend
Reexamine
Undress
Distress
Misfortune
Rewrite
Untidy
Disable
Misconceive
Rearrange
Helen Holt
6
Prefixes using ‘Un’:
undo
unfinished
un
unwell
unload
Helen Holt
unfit
unpack
7
What Are Suffixes?
• A suffix is a word ending. It is a group of letters
you can add to the end of a root word.
e.g. walking, helpful, happily
• Adding suffixes to words can change or add to
their meaning, but most importantly they show
how a word will be used in a sentence and what
part of speech (e.g. noun, verb, adjective) the
word belongs to.
Helen Holt
8
Example:
• If you want to use the root word 'talk' in the
following sentence:
I was (talk) to Samina.
• You need to add the suffix 'ing' so that the word
'talk' makes better sense grammatically:
"I was talking to Samina".
Helen Holt
9
Source: http://www.skillsworkshop.org/resources/root-word-clean
10
Here are some suffixes:
Suffix
Example
Suffix
Example
ed
walk + ed = walked
ness
happy + ness = happiness
ing
say + ing = saying
al
accident + al = accidental
er
tall + er = taller
ary
imagine + ary = imaginary
tion
educate + tion = education
able
accept + able = acceptable
sion
divide + sion = division
ly
love + ly = lovely
cian
music + cian = musician
ment
excite + ment = excitement
fully
hope + fully = hopefully
ful
help + ful + helpful
est
large + est = largest
y
ease + y = easy
Helen Holt
11
Any Questions?
Helen Holt
12

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