Do your students need extra practice using root words to create other words? Practicing with root words is the beginning of understanding other grammar concepts such as prefixes, suffixes and compound words.
Defining Root Words
A root word, also known as a base word, is a word in its own right that can be turned into other words with the addition of affixes—that is a prefix, a suffix, or both. A prefix is a group of letters added to the beginning of a word and a suffix is a group of letters added to the end of a word.
Here are some examples of root words with prefixes and suffixes attached:
- Care: cares, cared, caring, careless, careful, carefully
- Decide: decides, decided, deciding, decisive, decision, indecisive, indecision
- Excite: excites, excited, exciting, excitement, exciting, unexcited, unexciting, excitable
- Friend: friends, befriend, befriended, befriends, friendly, unfriendly, friendless
- Happy: happiness, happier, happiest, unhappy, unhappier, unhappiest, unhappiness
- Love: loves, loved, loving, loveable, unloved, lovely, lovelier, loveliest
- Suit: suits, suited, suitable, unsuitable, suiting, unsuited
- Use: uses, used, usable, using, user, misuse, useless
Practice with Root Words
To get some real practice with root words, here are some worksheets on prefixes and suffixes.
A. Directions: Make new words combining the root word and one of the following prefixes. Each is used twice.
non mis im un re
1. ___ behave
2. ___ sense
3. ___ possible
4. ___ happy
5. ___ fiction
6. ___ place
7. ___ prove
8. ___ chief
9. ___ healthy
10. ___ move
B. Directions: Make new words combining the root word and one of the following prefixes. Each is used twice.
de over anti pre dis
1. ___ place
2. ___ code
3. ___ vent
4. ___ social
5. ___ obey
6. ___ act
7. ___ septic
8. ___ age
9. ___ pend
10. ___ serve
Directions: Write the root word on the blank.
- sunny __________
- loving __________
- noisy __________
- pumping __________
- candies __________
- likeable __________
- confusing __________
- description __________
- relaxation __________
- misspelled __________
- preferred __________
- commitment __________
- confusion __________
- explosion __________
- education __________
- discussion __________
- admission __________
- division __________
- copying __________
- imaginary __________
Online Practice with Root Words
Here are some sites where you can get more practice with root words.
- Fun Brain has practice with words, number words, and months. It helps you figure out what a prefix means and has four levels of difficulty.
- Play Kids Games offers several games to practive Greek and Latin root words. Some of the games are Stingray Chaser, Pinball and Word Scramble.
- Scholastic has a game to practice Greek prefixes and roots with a "Go for the Gold" activity.
- QUIA has three games that give practice with roots and prefixes. The Matching game matches the prefix with its definition, in Concentration you must match the prefix with its definition but remember where each one is located, and the Word Search puzzle is a puzzle using prefixes.
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"Real Practice with Root Words." YourDictionary, n.d. Web. 17 August 2018. <http://education.yourdictionary.com/for-teachers/real-practice-with-root-words.html>.
Real Practice with Root Words. (n.d.). Retrieved August 17th, 2018, from http://education.yourdictionary.com/for-teachers/real-practice-with-root-words.html