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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

CARDI: root

O: combining vowel

GRAM: suffix

Word analysis cont d2
Word Analysis (cont’d.)


SUB/GASTR/IC means pertaining to under

the stomach

SUB: Prefix (under)

GASTR: Root (stomach)

IC: Suffix (pertaining to)

Combining forms
Combining forms


aden/o: gland

cardi/o: heart

gastr/o stomach

gnos/o: knowledge

psych/o: mind

cerebr/o: cerebrum, largest part of the brain

Blood cells
Blood Cells Cavity

Suffixes Cavity


- al pertaining to

- ectomy cutting out; removal, excision

- ia condition

- sis state of

- tomy process of cutting into; incision

Prefixes Cavity


a-, an- no, not

dia- complete, through

endo- within

hypo- below, less than normal

pro- before, forward

trans- across, through

Pronunciation of terms
Pronunciation of Terms Cavity

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.) Cavity

  • 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