Root Words, Roots, And Affixes
When it comes to learning the English language, there are various subsections that you need to take into consideration. For example, many words are formed by taking another basic, stand-alone word and adding suffixes or prefixes. In other words, you will need to understand how the various words are constructed to develop your vocabulary.
In this article, we will be discussing exactly what is meant by the terms ‘root word’, ‘root,’ and ‘affix.’ More so, we will mention a few ways in which these items are used to create other, more complex words.
In short, a root word is a basic word that has affixes (suffixes or prefixes) added to it. To be more specific, these items are used to create more complex words with a different (but somehow related) meaning.
For example, the word ‘love’ is a root word. It cannot be broken down into anything more straightforward, as no prefixes or suffixes have been added. However, if you take the word ‘lovely,’ you will notice that it contains the root word ‘love.’ In this case, ‘lovely’ has a different meaning to the word ‘love,’ but it is still related to the emotion of really liking something.
On the other hand, a root is described as the basis of a new word. However, unlike root words, these items cannot stand alone.
For example, if you take the word ‘reject,’ you will notice that it contains the prefix ‘re-.’ With that being said, ‘ject’ does not have a meaning in the English dictionary, meaning that it is not a root word. For this reason, we describe ‘ject’ as a root, as it is derived from the Latin language.
Affixes are very important when it comes to learning the English language. Many words are constructed using these items, making them a crucial part of speaking.
This category is broken up into two separate groups: prefixes and suffixes. The former is a short, dependent item added to the beginning of a root or root word. On the other hand, a suffix is a dependent item added to the end of a root or root word.
For example, if we look at the word ‘friendly,’ we will notice the root word ‘friend.’ The ‘ly’ on the end is described as a suffix, as it changes the meaning of the word. The ‘re’ in ‘repurpose’ is described as a prefix as it can be found at the beginning of another word.
You must understand precisely what root words, roots, and affixes are to develop your vocabulary. These items make up the building blocks of English words. Root words can be described as stand-alone words, whereas roots are not. Affixes are added to roots and root words to change the meaning.