How to Understand Root Words | 123Read&Write


A large amount of the vocabulary we use comes from a root word. Once you take away any prefixes or suffixes, the root word is what remains. When you have discovered the root, you can often discover a difficult word’s meaning.  For instance, in the word scissors, the root word is sciss, which means cut.


Lesson 1: Why Do I Need to Understand the Root Word?

By knowing a word’s root can assist in understanding difficult words in text.


If you understand the meaning of the root word, you are able to comprehend more difficult words. 


Many words have either Latin or Greek origins. 

Now, use your new understanding of root words and answer the following scenario.


Lesson 2: Understanding Root Words Helps in Grouping Ideas


By understanding a word’s root, you will be able to group similar words and ideas.


Lesson 3: Roots and Prefixes and Suffixes


Think for a moment how adding prefixes and suffixes can change the meaning of the root. Let’s take the root form” which means shape. 


Lesson 4: Steps in Finding the Meaning of a Word Using the Root


To find the meaning of a particular word utilizing the root, follow four easy steps.



Lesson 5: Separate Affixes


Begin by separating any prefixes and/or suffixes from the root.


Now, identify the meaning of the root and any correlating affixes.

Now, try combining the meanings to see what fits with the context clues of the sentence.


At last, test the meanings out in the sentence to see which one seems to fit properly.

Lesson 6: You Give it a Go!


Directions: Write in a word or two that use examples of these roots in the far right section of the chart.



Directions: Match the image with the correct root.

Directions: Combine prefixes and root words to match the meanings provided.