Happy #morphememonday!

It is the time of the year that many students are starting to head back to school after summer break. This year, why not make sure students learn some new morphemes. This can be done both at home and at school.

The more morphologically aware an individual is, the more equipped they will be when they encouter a word they are not familiar with. This is particularly helpful as they start reading more academic and informational texts. The majority of the new words students come across in this type of reading material contain morphemes.  Not only will it help them with the pronunciation of the word, it will aslo give them clues as to it’s meaning.

Origin: Latin

Definition: between

Examples: intercontinental, intermediate, intermarry, interlude, interlope, international

<inter> + <act> = interact

<inter> + <ject> + <ion> = interjection

<inter> + <sect> + <ion>  = intersection

<inter> + <cept> + <ion> = interception

<inter> + <com> = intercom

  • The prefix <inter> has a consistent pronunciation of /i/ /n/ /t/ /er/
  • This prefix is fairly common and can be taught to students in the middle school grades

Origin: Latin

Definition: hundred, hundredth

Examples: percentile, mid-century, centurion, centuple, centiliter

<centi> + <pede> = centipede

<per> + <cent> + <age> = percentage

<centi> + <meter> = centimeter

<per> + <cent> = percent

  • The root <cent> has a consistent pronunciation of /s/ /e/ /n/ /t/
  • When referring to specific time period with century, a hyphen is used between the period and century
    Examples: late-century, seventeenth-century, turn-of-the-century
  • This root is one that has limited use, it is one that is best taught in context in science when using vocabulary containing it or when introducing the concept of centuries.
  • This is one of the few Latin roots that can stand alone. For example, in many countries, a fraction of their currency unit is considered a cent. For example, one dollar equals 100 cents. One of these coins is referred to as a penny or a cent.

Origin: Old English

Definition: origin, resembling or like

Examples: clownish, fortyish, ravish, Spanish, dullish

<Dane>  + <ish> = Danish

<sheep> + <ish> = sheepish

<self> + <ish> = selfish

<style> + <ish> = stylish

<green> + <ish> = greenish

  • The suffix <ish> has a consistent pronunciation of /i/ /sh/
  • This suffix is fairly common and younger students who have a foundation of the common suffixes like <ing>, <ed>, and <s> enjoy learning this suffix.
  • When adding the suffix <ish> to a base word ending in the letter ‘e’, drop the ‘e’ and add the suffix. Example: <tickle> + <ish> = ticklish
  • When adding it to a single syllable word with a short vowel sound that ends with one consonant, double the final consonant. Example: <red> + <ish> = reddish


Last week, August 12, 2019, we focused on the prefix <mis>, the root <aster> and the suffix <ness>.


Next week, August 26, 2019, we will be focusing on the prefix <dis>, the root <therm>, and the suffix <ous>.

Be sure to check out more graphics for these morphemes on our Facebook, InstagramPinterest, and Twitter pages.


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