Medical Terminology
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Medical Terminology. Lecture 2:. Pronunciation. Pronunciation. Pronunciations may vary from country to country, even in different regions of the same country . The general rule is to include the most common pronunciation.

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Medical terminology

Medical Terminology

Lecture 2:



  • Pronunciations may vary from country to country, even in different regions of the same country.

  • The general rule is to include the most common pronunciation.

Medical terminology

  • A vowel (a, e, i, o, u) gets a short pronunciation if it has no pronunciation mark over it, such as:

    • a as in hat

    • e as in met

    • i as in bin

    • o as in some

    • u as in run

Medical terminology

Soft and hard c and g
Soft and Hard c and g

  • A soft c, as in racer, will be written as s (RĀ-ser).

  • A hard c, as in candy, will be written as k (KAN-d ē)

  • A soft g, as in page, will be written as j (pāj).

  • A hard g, as in grow, will be written as g (grō)

Silent letters
silent letters

  • A silent letter or unusual pronunciation can be a problem, especially if it appears at the start of a word that you are trying to look up in the dictionary.

  • The combinations in may be pronounced differently when they appear within a word, as in

    • apnea(AP-nē-a), meaning cessation of breathing;

    • nephroptosis (nef-rop-TŌsis), meaning dropping of the kidney;

    • prognosis (prog-NŌ-sis), meaning prediction of the outcome of disease.


  • Symbols are commonly used in case histories as a form of shorthand.

  • Some examples are L and R for

  • left and right; ↑ and ↓ for increase and decrease.


  • Like symbols, abbreviations can save time, but they can also cause confusion if they are not universally understood.

  • Usage varies in different institutions, and the same abbreviation may have different meanings in different fields.

  • An acronym is an abbreviation formed from the first letter of each word in a phrase

Words ending in x
Words Ending In x

  • When a word ending in x has a suffix added, the x is changed to a g or a c.

  • For example,

    • pharynx(throat) becomes pharyngeal (fa-RIN-jē-al), to mean “pertaining to the throat”

    • coccyx (terminal portion of the vertebral column) becomes coccygeal (kok-SIJ-ē-al), to mean “pertaining to the coccyx”

    • thorax(chest) becomes thoracotomy(thor-a-KOT-ō-mē) to mean “an incision into the chest.”

Suffixes beginning with rh
Suffixes Beginning With rh

  • When a suffix beginning with rh is added to a root, the r is doubled:

    • hem/o (blood) + -rhage (bursting forth) = hemorrhage (a bursting forth of blood)

    • men/o (menses) + -rhea (flow, discharge) = menorrhea (menstrual flow)


  • Pronounce the following words:

    • Dysfunction dis-FUNK-shun

    • Rheumatoid RŪ-ma-toyd

    • Chronologic krōn-o-LOJ-ik

    • Pharynx FAR-inks

Pronounce the following phonetic forms
Pronounce the following phonetic forms

  • NĪ-trō-jennitrogen

  • SūR-fassurface

  • VAS-ku-larvascular

  • thō-RAS-ikthoracic

    • nar-KOT-iknarcotic

Medical terminology


Write the suffix in each of the following words that means “study of,”“medical specialty,” or “specialist in a field of study”