Tag Archives: word roots

Word Root Exercise: Lex

Here is a worksheet on the Latin word root lex. It means “word,” “law,” and “reading.” This is a very productive root in English–n.b. that it morphs to leg for most legal terms–and yields a number of academic words, many of which you already know, like lexicon, lexical, and, of course, dyslexia. This root, when it morphs, gives us high-frequency words such as legal and illegal.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Word Root Exercise: Micro-

Here is a worksheet on the Greek root micro-. This root is so productive in English that I imagine it would be hard to find anyone over the age of five who doesn’t understand that it means “small.” It also means, according to the book from which I drew the text at the base of all the word root exercises found on this blog, “millionth.”

This productive root can be found at the base of such high-frequency words in general discourse as microphone and microwave as well as scientific vocabulary like microbe and microclimate.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Pulchritude (n)

While it is far from a high-frequency word (which means I almost certainly wrote it during the height of the first wave of the Covid pandemic, when it popped up as the Word of the Day at Merriam-Webster), here is a context clues worksheet on the noun pulchritude. It means “physical comeliness,” i.e. “beauty.” An old friend of mine would refer affectionately to his wife as a “pulchritudinous little plumcake,” which is the first time and place I heard the word.

In any case, the word stems from the Latin root pulcher. As Merriam Webster puts it, Pulcher hasn’t exactly been a wellspring of English terms…”. While I am not a betting man, if I were, I would wager that Pulcinella, a figure from commedia dell’arte (and namesake of the superb ballet by Igor Stravinsky) has a name that originates with pulcher.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Word Root Exercise: Junct

Here is a worksheet on the Latin word root junct. It means “to join.” As you have probably noticed, this is a robustly productive root in English, growing such relatively high-frequency words as conjunction, injunction, junction, and juncture.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Word Root Exercise: Iso-

Here is a worksheet on the Greek word root iso-. It means equal and same. It’s at the root of a number of frequently used words in mathematics and the sciences; the two words I recognize from the list on this document (which were chosen, as the book from which they were drawn emphasizes, because of the frequency with which they appear on college admissions tests like the SAT) are isosceles and isotope.

Otherwise, as you will quickly perceive, the words on this worksheet are not high-frequency words in everyday discourse.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Word Root Exercise: Heli/o

Here is a worksheet on the Greek word root heli/o. It means, simply, sun. Like many Greek roots, this one forms the basis of a number of scientific words like heliograph, heliotrope, and helium. I understand these are not exactly high-frequency words in English, but these words, if the book that animated this series of worksheets is accurate, will show up on the SAT and other gatekeeping instruments for post-secondary institutions and graduate programs.

In any case, it’s hard to imagine a global studies or world history course (or whatever your school district calls it) that wouldn’t mention heliocentrism.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Word Root Exercise: Ject

Here is a worksheet on the Latin word root ject. It means, simply, “to throw.” This is an extremely productive root in English, found in high-frequency words like eject, inject, reject, projectile, and trajectory.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Word Root Exercise: Gyr, Gyro

Here is a worksheet on the Greek word roots gyr and gyro. They mean, simply, circle. You’ll find these roots at the basis of words like gyroscope, gyro, and gyrate, which aren’t exactly high-frequency words in English. Nor are gyrocompass, autogiro, or spirogyra, which also grow from these roots. Still, if the book from which I drew both the inspiration and the content for word root worksheets is trustworthy, these are all words which will show up on the SAT and other high-stakes college and graduate school gatekeeping tests.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Word Root Exercise: Intra, Intro

Here is a worksheet on the Latin word roots intra and intro. They mean within, inward, inside, and into. You’ll find these roots at the base of words used in the medical profession like intradermal, intramuscular, and intravenous, but also in higher frequency English words like intramural and introduce–all included on this worksheet.

These roots should not be confused with inter which means between and among; if you seek a word root worksheet on inter, you can find that here.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Word Root Exercise: Inter-

Here is a worksheet on the Latin word root inter. It means between and among. As you have no doubt already recognized, this is an extremely productive root in English, growing such high-frequency words as interfere, intercept, and interim (all present in this document), among many others. Inter should not be confused with intra and intro, which mean within, inward, inside, and into (a worksheet on which is forthcoming).

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.