120 Commonly Used Roots, Prefixes, and Suffixes

The English language is filled with words borrowed from ancient Greek and Latin, which makes supplementing your instruction with word parts practice that much more critical. There are countless ways to incorporate word parts into your lesson plans. You may already have a structured plan in place, or you might be testing the waters. Either way, teach your students to be word detectives. A word detective looks at all the clues to determine a word’s meaning. When students know how to decode large words by identifying root words and affixes, they will be sufficiently prepared to tackle higher level texts.

The table below lists 120 commonly used Greek and Latin root words, prefixes, and suffixes. It also includes the meaning of each word part and several example words. It’s a great place to start if you’re interested in adding a regularly scheduled word parts practice to your daily teaching agenda.

Word Part Meaning Example Words
ab away absent, abnormal, absorb
ab away absent, abnormal, absorb
able/ible capable of reversible, breakable, visible
ad to; toward adhere, adjoin, adapt
al having to do with herbal, factual, seasonal
amb/ambi around; both ambient, ambiguous, amble
ante before anterior, antebellum, antecedent
anthrop human anthropology, misanthrope, philanthropist
anti against antibiotic, antisocial, antifreeze
aqu water aquarium, aqueduct, aquifer
ast star astronomy, astrology, asteroid
aud hear audio, audience, auditorium
auto self autograph, automobile, autobiography
ben/bene good benefit, benign, benevolent
bi two bicycle, bilingual, bisect
bio life biology, biography, biopsy
cent hundred century, percent, centipede
chrono time chronic, chronological, chronicle
circum around circumvent, circumscribe, circumference
co/con with; together construct, collaborate, confer
counter opposing counterbalance, counterfiet, counteract
cred believe incredible, discredit, credence
cycl circle recycle, bicycle, cyclone
dec ten decade, decimal, decibel
dem/demo people democracy, demographics, epidemic
di/du two duet, dissect, dialogue
dia across; through dialogue, diameter, diagnosis
dic/dict speak; say dictionary, dictate, contradict
dis not disagree, disinfect, disobey
ence/ance state; condition performance, conference, insurance
equ equal equator, equality, equation
ex former; past ex-girlfriend, ex-president, ex-mayor
fer carry transfer, conifer, aquifer
frac/frag break fraction, fragment, fragile
ful full of thoughtful, painful, helpful
gen born gene, gender, genesis
geo earth geology, geode, geography
grad step graduation, graduate, gradual
graph write paragraph, calligraphy, autograph
hydro/hydra water hydrate, hydrogen, hydroplane
hyper over; beyond hyperactive, hyperlink, hyperventilate
ian related to; like librarian, pedestrian, historian
ic/tic having to do with realistic, organic, metallic
ile related to reptile, sterile, juvenile
in not incapable, incomplete, inaudible
inter between internet, intermission, international
intra within intrastate, intramural, intrapersonal
ism condition; belief in racism, tourism, journalism
ist person who does soloist, artist, cyclist
ity state of being creativity, disability, equality
ject throw eject, reject, interject
junct join juncture, junction, adjunct
less without homeless, useless, wireless
log word monologue, prologue, eulogy
ly how; how often quickly, hourly, carefully
magn large; great magnify, magnitude, magnificent
mal bad; evil malady, malaria, malice
man hand manicure, manage, manual
medi middle mediocre, medium, medieval
mega large megabyte, megaphone, megalith
meter measure diameter, perimeter, thermometer
micro small microscope, microwave, microbe
min small miniature, minute, minimum
mis wrong misbehave, misspell, miscount
miss/mit send missile, transmit, dismiss
mon/mono one monument, monologue, monorail
mort death immortal, mortify, mortuary
multi many multicolored, multicolored, multigrain
non not nonviolent, nonstop, nonfiction
oct/octo eight octopus, octagon, octave
ology study of biology, zoology, psychology
ortho straight orthodontist, orthopedic, orthodox
ous having virtuous, adventurous, hazardous
pan all panorama, pandemic, pantheon
para beside; related parallel, parasite, paramedic
path disease; feeling pathogen, psychopath, sympathy
ped foot pedal, pedestrian, pedometer
phobia fear claustrophobia, hydrophobia, arachnophobia
phon sound telephone, saxophone, microphone
photo light photon, photography, photosynthesis
phys body; nature physician, physical, physique
plex parts; units complex, cineplex, duplex
poly many polygon, polytheism, polygraph
port carry airport, transport, import
pos put; place position, compose, deposit
post after posterior, postscript, postpone
pre before pregame, preview, prepay
psych mind psychology, psychic, psychiatrist
quad four quadruple, quadrant, quadratic
re again rebuild, refund, renew
retro back; backwards retrospect, retroactive, retrograde
rupt break disrupt, interrupt, erupt
scope look; see periscope, telescope, microscope
script/scrib write scribble, prescribe, manuscript
sect cut section, dissect, intersect
semi half semicircle, semifinal, semicolon
sens/sent to feel sentimental, sensitive, consent
soci people sociology, social, associate
sol alone solo, solitary, desolate
spec see inspect, spectacle, spectator
spir breathe conspire, inspire, respiratory
struct build construction, structure, instruct
sub under subway, submarine, subtitle
super over; greater superior, supervisor, superimpose
syn/sym with; together sympathy, synonym, symptom
tech craft; skill technique, technology, technician
tele far television, telephone, telescope
terr/terra land; earth terrain, terrace, territory
the/theo god theology, monotheism, polytheism
therm heat thermometer, thermos, hypothermia
tion action; state of being infection, addition, celebration
tract drag; pull attract, subtract, contraction
trans across; through transform, transaction, translate
tri three tripod, tricycle, triple
un not unhappy, unhealthy, unsafe
uni one unicycle, uniform, united
vac empty vacuum, vacant, evacuate
ven come prevent, venue, invent
vert/vers turn conversation, introvert, reverse
vid/vis see visible, video, television
zoo animal zoology, zookeeper, zoo

FREE! 120 Commonly Used Roots, Prefixes, and Suffixes

120 Root Words, Prefixes, and Suffixes PDF List

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