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Reading: Understanding The Root of It all. By: Ms. Aguiar Somerset Academy Charter School. A History of our Words.

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Reading understanding the root of it all

Reading: Understanding The Root of It all

By: Ms. Aguiar

Somerset Academy Charter School

A history of our words
A History of our Words

First, I want you to know a little about how our language got to be the way it is. This story explains why our English language is so complicated. It explains that English is a mixture of Greek and Latin and French and German.

Greeks gave us more than salad
Greeks Gave Us More Than Salad….

Most people think that Greek is the oldest layer of the English language. Greek words go way back, to about 3,000 years ago. We like to use old Greek roots to name new terms in medicine or science: dinosaur, technology, and esophagus. Even some simple words stem from old Greek: anchor, school, phone. About 10 percent of our English words are Greek. Some of the letters of our alphabet are Greek. Even the word alphabetis a Greek word.

Latin is a part of english
Latin Is A Part of English!

The next oldest layer of our language is Latin. Long ago, the Romans spoke a language called Latin. Today Rome is only a city in Italy, but 2,000 years ago the Roman Empire covered most of Europe. Many of the languages spoken in Europe today were originally Latin-based, including Spanish, French, Portuguese, and Italian. The Romans ruled a big chunk of the world.


Latin was used by the Catholic church. Soon, Latin religious words began to mix with the German words in our language: verse, priest, commandment. Words that were borrowed from the long-gone Greeks also joined our language: school, chorus, psalm.

Common prefixes
Common Prefixes

Un- Not, opposite of Ex. unaware, unbelievable,

Re- Again Ex. redo, replay

Im-, in-, il-, ir- NotEx. impossible, incapable, illogical,

Dis- Not, opposite of Ex. dishonest, disgraceful,

En-, em- Cause to Ex. enable, emblaze

Non- NotEx. nonstick, nonfiction, nonexistent

In-, im- In, into Ex. inject

Over- Too much Ex. overtime, overeat

Mis- Wrongly Ex. misunderstand, misuse

Sub- Under Ex. subsurface, subway

Pre- Before Ex.Prepay, preschool

More prefixes
More Prefixes

Inter- Between, interact

Mid- Middle Ex. midyear, midnight

Under- Too little Ex.underweight, underpaid

Fore- Before Ex. forethought

De- Opposite of Ex. decaffeinated, dehydrate

Trans- Across Ex. transatlantic

Super-Above Ex. superhero, supermodel

Semi- Half Ex. semiannual, semicolon

Anti- Against Ex. antiwar, antisocial

Common suffixes
Common Suffixes

-s, -es Plural of noun Ex. cats, boxes

-ed Past tense of verb Ex. sailed

-ing Progressive tense of verb Ex. jumping, racing

-ly Usually an adverb; sometimes an adjective Ex. slowly, lovely

-er, -or (agent) Noun (agent) Ex. runner, professor

-ion, -tion, -ation, -ition NounEx. action, transition, vacation

-able, -ible Adjective Ex. lovable, incredible

-al, -ial Adjective Ex. global, logical, partial

-y Adjective Ex. funny

-ness Abstract noun Ex. kindness

And more you guessed it suffixes
And More….You Guessed It…Suffixes!

-ity, -ty Noun Ex. activity

-ment Noun Ex. merriment

-ic Adjective Ex. historic

-ous, -eous, -ious AdjectiveEx. hideous, spacious

-en Verb Ex. quicken, thicken

-er (comparative) Adjective Ex. bigger

-ive, -ative, -tive AdjectiveEx. alternative, pensive

-ful Adjective Ex. wonderful

-less Adjective Ex.effortless

-est Adjective Ex.strongest

Common greek and latin roots
Common Greek and Latin Roots!


aud Latin Hear Auditorium, audition

astro GreekStar Astronaut, astronomy

bio Greek Life Biology, biography

cept Latin Take Intercept, accept

dict Latin Speak/tell Dictation, predict

Duct Latin Lead Conduct, induct

geo Greek Earth Geography, geology

Other greek latin roots
Other Greek/Latin Roots

ject Latin Throw Eject, reject, projectile,

meter Greek Measure Thermometer, barometer, centimeter, diameter

min Latin Little or small Miniature, minimum, minimal

mit or mis Latin Send Mission, transmit, missile, dismiss, submit

ped Latin Foot Pedal, pedestal, pedestrian


phon Greek Sound Telephone, symphony, microphone, phonics, phoneme, phonograph

port Latin Carry Transport, porter portable, import, export,

rupt Latin Break Disrupt, erupt, rupture, interrupt, bankrupt

scrib or script LatinWrite Scribble, scribe, inscribe, describe, prescribe


spect Latin See Inspect, suspect, respect, spectacle, spectator

struct Latin Build or form Construct, destruct, instruct, structure

tele Greek From afar Telephone, telegraph, teleport

tract Latin Pull Traction, tractor, attract, subtract, extract

vers Latin Turn Reverse, inverse

How do i figure out the meaning of a new word
How Do I Figure Out The Meaning of A New Word?

1. Reread the sentence that contains the unknown word. Be on the lookout for signal words or punctuation.

2. Reread the sentences before and after the sentence that contains the unknown word.

3. Based on the clues, try to figure out the meaning of the word.

4. Insert your meaning in the original sentence to see whether it makes sense.

Context clue strategy
Context Clue Strategy

Definition A definition in the sentence Is, are, is called, means

Signal punctuation: Set off by commas Brick made of sun-dried clay is called adobe.

The Native Americans used adobe, or bricks made of sun-dried clay, to build their homes.

Synonym A word with a similar meaning to the unknown word Also, as, like, same, similarly, too The Zuni built their homes with brick made of sun-dried clay. The Hopi also used adobe to build their homes.

Antonym A word or phrase with the opposite meaning of the unknown word But, however, in contrast, on the other hand, though, unlike The Hopi lived in single-family houses, but the Iroquois lived in longhouses.

Example Several examples in a list Such as, for example, for instance, like, including The Pueblo people grew many crops such as corn, beans, and squash.

General General or inexact clues After 1700, the Pueblos got sheep from the Spanish, and wool replaced cotton as the most important textile.

The vocabulary strategy
The Vocabulary Strategy

1. Look for CONTEXT CLUES. Reread the sentence and the surrounding sentences.

2. Can you break the WORD into PARTS? (If not, go to Step 3.)

a. Is there a PREFIX? What does it mean?

b. Is there a SUFFIX? What does it mean?

c. Is there a ROOT WORD? What does it mean?

d. Put the meaning of the word parts together. What is the meaning of the whole word?

3. GUESS what the word means.

4. INSERT your meaning into the original sentence to see whether it makes sense.

5. If needed, use the DICTIONARY to confirm your meaning.

Multisyllable word reading strategy
Multisyllable Word Reading Strategy

1. Find the vowels.

2. Look for word parts you know.

3. Read each word part.

4. Read the parts quickly.

5. Make it sound like a real word.

Know your syllable types
Know Your Syllable Types!

Closed Ex. pic-nic, ab-sent

Open Ex. ve-to, a-pron

Silent e Ex. de-bate, base-ball

Vowel team Ex. re-frain, car-toon

Vowel-r Ex. en-ter, or-phan

Consonant -le Ex. bot-tle, bea-gle

Other Ex. gar-bage, fur-ni-ture

Final thoughts
Final Thoughts

Approach all reading as if you were a detective and the text represents the case that needs to be solved.

Use the clues and strategies that you have been given and never dismiss any case as too difficult.

The clues will ALWAYS lead you to the correct conclusion if you use your critical thinking skills and pay attention to detail.

Enjoy the journey of reading! 