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Chapter 1. Basic Word Structure. Learning Objectives. Divide medical terms into component parts Analyze, pronounce, and spell medical terms using common combining forms, suffixes, and prefixes. Word Analysis. Important Word Parts: Root : the essential meaning of the term

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Chapter 1

Chapter 1

Basic Word Structure

Learning objectives

Learning Objectives

  • Divide medical terms into component parts

  • Analyze, pronounce, and spell medical terms using common combining forms, suffixes, and prefixes

Word analysis

Word Analysis

Important Word Parts:

  • Root: the essential meaning of the term

  • Suffix: word ending

  • Prefix: small part added to the beginning of the term

  • Combining vowel:connects roots to suffixes and roots to other roots

  • Combining form: the combination of the root and the combining vowel

Word analysis cont d

Word Analysis (cont’d.)

General rules:

  • Readthe meaning of medical terms from the suffix back to the beginning of the term and then across

  • Drop the combining vowel before a suffix beginning with a vowel: gastritis not gastroitis

  • Keep the combining vowel word roots: gastroenterology not gastrenterology

Word analysis cont d1

Word Analysis (cont’d.)


ELECTR/O/CARDI/O/GRAM means record of

electricity in the heart

ELECTR: root

O:combining vowel


O:combining vowel


Word analysis cont d2

Word Analysis (cont’d.)


SUB/GASTR/IC means pertaining to under

the stomach

SUB: Prefix (under)


IC:Suffix(pertaining to)

Combining forms

Combining forms







cerebr/o:cerebrum, largest part of the brain

Functions of the cerebrum

Functions of the Cerebrum

The urinary tract

The Urinary Tract

Location of small and large intestines in the abdominal cavity

Location of Small and Large Intestines in the Abdominal Cavity

Blood cells

Blood Cells




- alpertaining to

- ectomycutting out; removal, excision

- iacondition

- sisstate of

- tomyprocess of cutting into; incision




a-, an-no, not

dia-complete, through


hypo-below, less than normal

pro-before, forward

trans-across, through

Pronunciation of terms

Pronunciation of Terms

The capitalized letters in boldface are the

accented syllable.

  • AR-thro-gram = arthrogram

  • seh-FAL-jah = cephalgia

  • DIS-en-teh-re = dysentery

  • e-lek-tro-en-SEF-ah-lo-gram = electroencephalogram

  • gas-TROS-ko-pe = gastroscopy

Pronunciation of terms cont d

Pronunciation of Terms (cont’d.)

  • hep-ah-TO-mah = hepatoma

  • lap-ah-ROS-ko-pe = laparoscopy

  • nu-RAL-jah = neuralgia

  • os-te-I-tis = osteitis

  • ri-NI-tis = rhinitis

  • sub-heh-PAT-ik = subhepatic

  • trans-u-RE-thral = transurethral

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