Wow! This is the 6th#morphememonday and it has proven to be a great success!

So much so, that this fall Garforth Education will be launching an online course for educators to learn about morphemes in a more formal manner.  This course will provide educators with practical skills and tools they need to teach morphemes to their students at any stage of their reading development. Stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks.


Last Friday, August 2, we started #phonologicalfriday have you read the first post yet?


Alright, now back to this week’s morphemes. As a reminder, a morpheme is the smallest unit of meaning in the English language.


A prefix is a morpheme found at the beginning of a word.


A root is a morpheme that provides the basis for the word’s meaning.


A suffix is a morpheme found at the end of the word.


Origin: Old English

Definition: not, do the opposite

Examples: unknown, unhappy, untie, unaffected, unspoken, unbelieving

<un> + <think>  + <able> = unthinkable

<un> + <bend> = unbend

<un> + <made> = unmade

<un> + <said> = unsaid

<un> + <invite> + <ed> = uninvited

<un> + <affect> + <ed> = unaffected

  • The prefix <un> is consistently pronounced with a short /u/ vowel sound
  • This prefix is suitable to teach younger children. They can have a lot of fun with coming up with their own words!

Origin: Latin

Definition: to hear or listen

Examples: audiotape, audiophilic, inaudible, auditor, audition, auditorily

<aud> + <i>  + <ence> = audience

<aud> + <ile> = audile

<aud> + <i>  + <ology> =audiology

<aud> + <i> + <phone>= audiphone

<aud> + <ible> = audible

  • The root <aud> is consistently pronounced with an /aw/ vowel sound like found in law or hawk
  • This root is frequently followed by the letter ‘i’ before a suffix is added (as seen in the examples above)
  • This root is best for students who have developed a foundation of the common morphemes found in the English language but would be suitable for students in middle school.

Origin: Latin

Definition: state of, result of

Examples: diction, expression, junction, progression, injection, exhaustion

<con> + <vict> + <ion> = conviction

<in> + <fuse> + <ion> = infusion

<ex> <haust> + <ion> = exhaustion

<sect> + <ion> = section

<sub> + <mers> + <ion> = submersion

<fract> + <ion> = fraction


  • The suffix <ion> pronounciation is typically dictated by what procede’s it.
    • if the syllable before it has a short vowel sound, it is usually pronounced as /shǝn/; example: admission, confusion, tension
    • if the syllable before it has a long vowel sound, it is usually pronounced as /zhǝn/; example: erosion, abrasion, infusion
    • if the base word before it ends in a ‘t’, it is usually pronounced as /shǝn/; example: probation, intention, exception
  • This suffix is noun forming, for example, in mathematics the word ‘add’ is a verb with a complimentary noun form of ‘addition’
  • This suffix should be taught when students are starting to come across words that containing it in their reading and spelling vocabulary.
  • In many tutoring programs, this suffix is taught as the spelling patterns -tion and -sion.
  • This suffix was commonly misspelled in a spelling error analysis I conducted on students who were English Language learners with a Chinese first language. This study concluded that students with a Chinese first language background would benefit from morphological instruction.




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

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Last week, July 29, 2019, we focused on the prefix <sub>, the root <min> and the suffix <s>/<es>.


Next week, August 12, 2019, we will be focusing on the prefix <mis>, the root <aster>, and the suffix <ness>.