English Vocabulary: Roots, Prefixes and Suffixes

by: Daniel Byrnes

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[Music] welcome to this lesson just a warning this lesson is going to be a little academic it is intended for high intermediate to advanced students this lesson will give you the tools you need to take 2,000 words and turn them into more than 15,000 words trust me I did it in university actually this is the first in a series of lessons in which you will learn how to create new words and understand words that you have never seen before after this lesson you will know how to describe the structure of a word and you will have the vocabulary that you need to take yours to the next level we will cover the terms morpheme root a fix prefix suffix grammatical suffix derivational suffix and word family the first word we'll cover is morphine this is a word that is used in linguistics it is used to describe a group of sounds that is meaningful for example the word morpheme has two morphemes in it morph and morph means shape and team means meaningful we know that they are separate meaningful units because they can be added to different words while having the same meaning for example morph is used in the words polymorph an organism that can take many forms metamorphosis the process of changing form or shape morphology the study of morphemes morph this is a verb that means to change shape morphogenesis the origin and development of biological forms etc the list goes on M is a technical morpheme it is only used in linguistics one of the words that uses it is phoneme phone means sounds and team means meaningful so a phoneme is a meaningful sound in a language all words are made of morphemes English uses two types of morphemes roots and a fixes roots can exist independently they do not need to be added to anything else to be used in a sentence for example eat if you try to separate E or tur they have no meaning on their own therefore eat is a root there are two types of a fixes prefixes and suffixes prefixes are added to the beginning of a root a suffix is added to the end it is possible to have several a fixes added to one root for example the Latin root sieve or civis means citizen a person who is a member of a state many roots can be added on to it for example ill this gives us the word civil it has three meanings one is belonging to the affairs of a people of a state for example civil law these are the laws that govern citizens as opposed to members of the military it can also mean polite if we add the prefix on to create the word uncivil this means not polite we could say his behavior was truly unsafe with the word civil you could add the word eyes meaning to make or become and create the word civilize which means to make more culturally advanced adding the suffix IDI to this creates the word civilized meaning being in a culturally advanced state and uncivilized means not being culturally advanced and it goes on we could create many more words the point is that one root can take many a fixes and suffixes can be added to other suffixes to create even more words let's slow down for a minute there are actually two kinds of suffixes grammatical and derivational first we'll look at grammatically suffixes grammatical suffixes do not change the class of a word so they will not change a verb to an adjective or a verb to a noun they simply add grammatical information a few examples are the plural s one banana two bananas the possessive S John's bananas the third-person s John eats bananas these are not all of the grammatical suffixes but I hope it's enough to give you an idea of what they are do not change the class of a word derivational suffixes do for example the adjective quick can have ly added to it to create the adverb quickly here are two examples sentences he had a quick snack that's an adjective he ate it quickly that's an adverb learning how to use these derivational suffixes is one of the keys to speaking English fluently before we finish there is one more important idea for us to look at and that is the word family a word family is all of the words that can be made from a single root take a look at this verb expect we can make the noun expectation we could also make an adjective expectant or the adverb expectantly here's another fun verb explode we could make the noun explosion and the adjectives exploded explosive and explodable there is also an adverb explosively let's take a look at the noun shape there's also a verb shape this means to give shape to something there are other nouns schaper shapeliness and shapelessness then we have the adjectives shapeable shaped shapely and shapeless here's a quick summary of what we've learned in this lesson you've learned about morphemes which are a meaningful group of sounds we've also looked at two types of morphemes in English the root and the a fix there are two types of a fixes prefixes and suffixes prefixes are added at to the beginning of a word and suffixes are added to the end again there are two types of suffixes grammatical and derivational grammatical affixes do not change the class of a word derivational suffixes on the other hand do change the words class finally all the different words that can be created by adding a fixes to a roof are called a word family mastering word families is one of the key - English fluency well that's it folks have a great day

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is the first in a series of videos on English prefixes and suffixes.
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