The importance of learning English Word Roots

Today I want to talk about why learning English Word Roots are critical for those learning English from scratch. The chief reason is that you can simply boost your English vocabularies so much quicker and easier than memorising word by word. English Word Roots consist of three elements: namely, prefix, suffix and roots (etymology).

In terms of ‘prefix’, first, if you know many prefixes, you should be able to do guesswork. For instance, if you know the meaning of ‘anti’-, then you probably guess what ‘antidisestablishmentarianism’ means. Of course, this word is horrible, because it is quite long one. However, you know what establishment is, right? The answer is “opposition to the disestablishment of the Church of England”. Overall, prefixes essentially provide you with a certain clue to the meaning of a word.

Secondly, ‘suffixes’, by contrast, do not give you a clue to the meaning of a word, instead they offer a clue as to which part of speech a word should be used, Verb? Noun? Adjective? Adverb? For example, when you are reading an article, you found it difficult to understand the word ‘stratification’. In this case, if you know what part of speech -fication is, you should be able to understand this word instantly. I understand, however, that if you don’t know what ‘strati’ means, it’s still going to be hard to get the hang of it. ‘Strati’ is a kinda layer, so when you are talking about geology or sociology, you might see this word. Overall, suffixes are very useful when it comes to guessing the word form. Also, if you know all suffixes, you’ll be good at writing as well.

Finally, in respect of word roots or etymology, like you might be able to read between the lines as you can predict the word’s meaning behind in terms of culture, politics as well as linguistic origination. It’s like Kanji in Japanese. If you know a wide range of different Kanji characters, then you should know some linguistic originations such as 氵(sanzui) means a word sorta relating to river, lake or ocean, right? By the same token, English words also contain this kinda etymological perspective. So, that’s why native speakers do not necessarily need to consult with a dictionary every time because of them being equipped with this skill from scratch.

Interesting? If you guys think oh I’m not good at word roots, then please give it a shot! I’m teaching general English as well online, so if you are passionate about learning English words but don’t know how, then please don’t hesitate to contact me via email or just leave your comments below.

Thanks for reading today!

Have a great one mate!

Published by Masato Kawaguchi

I am an English entrepreneur here in Australia. I've been teaching the PTE exam for the last 2 years or so, now mainly general English online.

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