Words of classicalLatin
origin and composition lend dignity and elegance to the English language. They also allow finer and broader shadings of meaning and enable a writer or speaker to build words to fit his ideas. A writer should learn to blend the Anglo-Saxon and classical elements of our language to secure the best possible adaptation of content on many subjects to a wide spectrum of readers.
We are under special obligation to the Latin
. Though sometimes called a dead language
, it is nevertheless modern in many respects.
In the lists below the Latin
elements greatly predominate. Many business words in daily use are derived from the Latin.
An addition made at the beginning of a word, modifying its meaning, is called a Prefix
. An addition made at the end of a word, modifying its meaning, is called a Suffix
. The central part of a word, or its original part to which prefixes and suffixes are added, is called the Root
In the word construction,
for instance, con
is the prefix; struct
is the root; tion
is the suffix. Struct
is from the Latin struo (structus),
meaning build; con
is a Latin prefix meaning with
or together; tion
is a Latin
suffix, meaning state of.
The word construction
therefore means "state of building with or together."
When the root of a word to which a prefix is made begins with the letter that the prefix ends with, one of the letters may be dropped, or the prefix may be
otherwise modified in order to make pronunciation easier. The prefix sub
may thus become sue
in success (sub
would be an awkward combination. For the same reason it becomes suf
in suffer (sub
and fero), sug
in suggest (sub
and gero), sup
in support (sub
Similarly the last letter of the root of a word or the first of a suffix may be dropped or modified when they are the same, as in construction
The principal roots used in English words are as follows. The
root is in heavy type, its meaning is in parentheses, an illustrative word follows the parentheses: ROOTS.
ac or ag (drive), reaction; amo (love), amiable; astron (star), astronomy; cop/, cept (take), inception; ced, cess (yield), concession; chronos (time), chronic; die, diet (speak), dictation; due, duct (lead), conductor; fac, fact (make), manufacture; fer (bear), transference; fid (trust), fidelity; fleet (turn), reflection; fric (rub), friction; ger
(bear), belligerent; gramma (letter), monogram; graph(write), biography; hudor (water), hydrant; grav (heavy), gravity; impera (rule), emperor; jaci,ject (throw), reject; logos (word), logical;magno (great), magnitude; mane (remain), permanent; metron (measure), thermometer; mitt, miss (send), admittance; mov (move), removal; pell, puis (beat), repelling; phonos (sound), euphony; polis (city), Indianapolis; rapi,rupt (destroy), interrupt; sci (know), science; scrib,
script (write), inscription; sequ (follow), consequence; serva (save), conservative; sta (stand), restoration; struct (built), construction; sponde (promise), correspondence; tend (stretch), superintendence; trah, tract (draw), subtraction; veni, vent (come), convention; vert (turn), convert; viv (live), revive; voca (call), invoke.
Following are the principal prefixes and suffixes used in the composition of English words. As in the case of the roots above, most of these are Latin also
prefixes and suffixes are in heavy type, their meanings are placed in parentheses, illustrative words follow: PREFIXES.
a, ab, abs, an (from, away, without), abduct, abhor, absolve, abstract, anarchist; ad, a, ac, af, ag, al, an, ap, ar, as, atthe last letter often changed into first letter of root to which prefixed(to, toward), accord, affix, aggregate, allude, annex, append, assist, attract; ante (before) antecedent, antechamber; anti (against), antidote, antarctic, antipathy; be (by, near), bedeck,
before, beset, beside;bi, bis (two, twice), bivalve, bisect, bicycle; centum (hundred), cent, century, centennial; dream, cira (about, around), circumference, circuit; con, co, cog, col, com, cor (with, together withused sometimes to intensify), cognomen, cohere, consume, collect, commerce, correspond; contra, counter (against), contraband, contradict, counterfeit, contrary; de (of, from, down, out, away), decay, defeat, defend, degrade; decern (ten), December, decimal, decimeter; dia, di (through, across), dialog, diaphragm, diameter,
diocese; dis, di, dif(apart, opposite), differ, dispel, displeasure, displease, divert, divide; dis, di (twice, two), dissyllable, dilemma, diphthong; duo (two), dual, duplex, duplicate; ex, e, ec, ef (out of, from, away, beyond), excess, eject, eccentric, effort; extra (outside of, over), extraordinary, extravagant; fore, for (for, before), forward, forefront, forgive, forearm; in, il, im, ir, also un, en (in, into; not), include, illuminate, imbibe, irrigate, inactive, illegal, unable, encounter; inter, intro (among,
within, between, together), intercede, intermission, introduce; mille(thousand), million, millennium, millimeter; mis (wrong), mistake', misadventure; mono (single), monogram, monosyllable, monopoly, monotony; non (not), nonsense, nondescript, nonentity; ob, o, oc, of, op (in the way, against), object, occur, offend, oppose; octo(eight), octave, October; per (through, by means of), perspire, permission; poly (many), polygon, polysyllable; post (behind, after), postpone, postscript; pre (before), prefix, prepay, precise,
preface; primo (first), prime, primary, primer; pro (for, before, forward), pronoun, produce, procure, protect; quattuor, qua (four), quarto, quart, quadrille, quadruped; quinque (five), quintuple, quintessence;re, refro (back, again), recede, repeat, retrograde, retrospect; se (apart, away, aside), secede, separate; secundus (second), second, secondary; semi, hemi (half), semicolon, semicircle, hemisphere; sex (six), sextuple, sextette; sub, sue, suf, sug, sum, sup, sus (under, beneath, near), submarine, succeed, suffix,
suggest, summon, suppress, sustain; subter (same as sub, under), subterfuge; super, sur(over, above), superfine, superfluous, supernatural, survive, survey; syn, sy, syl, sym (with, together), syndicate, synonym, system, syllable, sympathy; tele (far), telescope, telepathy; trans, tran, tra (beyond, across), transfer, transcend, traffic; tres, tre, tri (three, thrice), trefoil, treble, triangle, trifle, trio, tripod, trinity; ultra (superior, beyond), ultra-marine, ultra-fashionable; unus (one), universe, uniform, union, unique;
up (upward, above), uphold, upshot, uprising. SUFFIXES.
able, ible, ble, He
(that may be, capable, fit), movable, possible, soluble, docile; acy
(quality of being), piracy, privacy;age
(act of, condition of), marriage, carriage, dotage; al, eal, ial
(relating to), legal, prac
The common suffixes ed
used respectively for the formation of the past tense and the past participle of verbs, arc not included in the list for the reason that they are suffixes of inflection rather than of meaning. tical, lineal, serial; an (one who, relating to), artisan, civilian, captain, Lutheran; ance, ence, ancy, ency (condition of, quality of), attendance, prudence, brilliancy, despondency; ant, ent (one who), tenant, student; ary, ory (relating to), sedentary, preparatory; ate, ite (one who), delegate, favorite; cle, cule, ale (little), particle, molecule, ferule; er, ar, ee, eer, ier, or, tor (one who, agent), gainer, actor, registrar, defender, auctioneer, cashier, employee, circular, popular; ess, trix, ine, a (feminine),
hostess, executrix, heroine, sultana; ful(having quality of), successful, cheerful; fy (to make), fortify, magnify, glorify; gram, graph (writing), telegram, telegraph, monogram; ic (like), graphic, comic, civic; ise, ize (to perform, to render), criticize, fertilize, advertise; ion, sion, Hon (act of, state of being),' evasion, confusion, attention; ity, ty (state of being), security, divinity, liberty; ist (one who), organist, typist; ive (having the power of), responsive, comprehensive, sensitive; let (little), booklet,
leaflet; ly (like), kingly, lovely, fearfully; ment (state of being, that which), sentiment, armament, battlement, commandment; ness (quality of being), goodness, meanness; phon (tone or sound), telephone, dictaphone, megaphone; tious, ous, ious, uous (full of), ambitious, leprous, arduous; tude, itude (condition of), servitude, magnitude, longitude, latitude; ure, ear (act of), departure, tenure, grandeur; ward (direction toward), eastward, backward.