Understanding Scientific Terms/Roots-Prefixes-Suffixes
Lesson 1 - Roots, prefixes, and suffixes[edit | edit source]
How technical words are made[edit | edit source]
The main part of a word is the word root. This may be a Greek or Latin word or combining form that has a meaning.
Roots can be combined with other roots to make more complex words such as the word electrocardiogram. Many word roots actually begin and/or end with consonants. In order to make the word sound better a vowel is placed between the two words to make them easier to say.
- Tel : Is a word root that means far.
- gram : Is something that is written. A letter. A recording.
putting them together makes
but we add a vowel between the two ( In this case the letter e) to make the word telegram.
- tel/e/gram - A written record sent from afar.
In fact many words have a preferred letter that is used as a combining form.
When this is so, the letter is placed beside the root after a slash (/) to tell you how to combine it.
Try the following exercise:
TERMS TO KNOW
- tel/e : Greek, meaning far or far off.
- -phone : Greek, meaning sound or voice. ( also phon/o)
- What is the correct way to write the word meaning a sound heard from far off?
- What means a record of a sound?
prefixes and suffixes[edit | edit source]
Prefixes and suffixes may also be added to a words to modify its meaning. In fact the term prefix is made this way.
- fix : Is a word root from Latin fixus which means to fasten.
- pre : Is a prefix from the Latin Prae before or front.
Therefore prefix means to fasten to the front of a word.
Suffixes follow a word.
- o/logy is a suffix that means The study of.
- Bio is a word root that means Life.
- What does Biology mean?
- What is Phonology?
- The study of Life.
- The study of Sound( or Speech ).