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    #1

    Prefixes, roots, and suffixes

    Hi all, I am wondering if is there anyone actually remember all the prefixes, suffixes and root in English. I was told that if I know a set of 20 prefixes and 14 roots, and knowing how to use them, I can unlock the meaning of over 100.000 words. That sounds like a good deal . I went to find any reference about prefixes, but one thing I cannot find is how to use them but learn them by rote. That is no problem too, but then I came to another difficulty.

    Here is my example: these prefixes a, ab, abs mean away from. We can easily guess absent mean not to be present or away. But when it comes to other word such as abate, abash etc.. according to the meaning of that prefix, I will guess these words mean away or something that related, but it doesn't. Perhaps, it means different entirely.

    So my questions is is there any rules that prefix must follow to form its meaning or how do we know when to u guess the right meaning of the word that starts with a prefix.

    Thank you

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    #2

    Re: Prefixes, roots, and suffixes

    Sometimes a string of letters at the beginning of a word is a prefix, and sometimes it's just part of a word which isn't related to the prefix. Sometimes one string of letters can relate etymologically to more than one prefix. Here's abash's etymology according to Google:
    Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French aba´ss-; compare with Old French esba´ss-, lengthened stem of esba´r, from es- ‘utterly’ + ba´r ‘astound.’
    With practice, you'll start to be able to identify common roots, prefixes, and suffixes. You'll see patterns typical of the Germanic, French, Latin, and Greek roots from which most English vocabulary descends. Having guessed that the root is Latin, look for Latin prefixes and suffixes, and so on.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #3

    Re: Prefixes, roots, and suffixes

    Hi thank you, how do I practice ? do I have to learn all the German, French, Latin or Greek roots to be able to define the right meaning or just simply pay attention to every words I bump into.

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    #4

    Re: Prefixes, roots, and suffixes

    Hi

    Also, I wondering where I can check if it's Latin, German or Greek root. Most of the sites on the internet just provide a long list of prefixes, roots and suffixes but they don't tell where the root derives from.

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    #5

    Re: Prefixes, roots, and suffixes

    Why is it important for you to know that?

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    #6

    Re: Prefixes, roots, and suffixes

    Because I love language, English in particular and I want to remove the language barrier entirely, I am irritated when my comprehension skill is limited. And like I said I read on the internet and it said if I know a set of 20 prefixes and 14 roots, and knowing how to use them, I can unlock the meaning of over 100.000 words. Sound like a treasure. But that's a long term goal. In short term, to pass my English test, it helps me to enhance my vocabulary without learning by rote. At least I can guess a correalation between words.

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    #7

    Re: Prefixes, roots, and suffixes

    Fair enough. I don't disrespect your thirst for knowledge.

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    #8

    Re: Prefixes, roots, and suffixes

    Quote Originally Posted by danghuynh88 View Post
    I was told that if I know a set of 20 prefixes and 14 roots, and knowing how to use them, I can unlock the meaning of over 100.000 words. That sounds like a good deal.
    It sounds too good to be true - it is too good to be true.

    If you have an analytical mind, and know the most common prefixes, suffixes and roots, you should be able to work out the meanings of many words, but I think your dream of 100.000 words is rather optimistic.

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    #9

    Re: Prefixes, roots, and suffixes

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    It sounds too good to be true - it is too good to be true.

    If you have an analytical mind, and know the most common prefixes, suffixes and roots, you should be able to work out the meanings of many words, but I think your dream of 100.000 words is rather optimistic.
    I am not that ambious, but I would love to understand thing entirely, how it was created and see the part of the iceberg under water, Plus I guess it will be helpful if one day I want to pick up other language. I guess it doesn't harm to know more.

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    #10

    Re: Prefixes, roots, and suffixes

    Quote Originally Posted by danghuynh88 View Post
    Also, I wondering where I can check if it's Latin, German or Greek root. Most of the sites on the internet just provide a long list of prefixes, roots and suffixes but they don't tell where the root derives from.
    I don't know where to find an etymological list of roots. If you methodically look up the etymology of interesting words for a while, you'll start to see patterns that can help you guess. For example, roots containing ph are generally Greek in origin. I just Googled the phrase I've linked from and found a nice list of words to consider.
    I am not a teacher.

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