Happy #morphememonday!

Origin: Greek

Definition: self

Examples: automotive, automation, autonomic, authentic, autoinfection

<auto> + <bio> + <graph> + <y> = autobiography

<auto> + <arch> + <y> = autoarchy

<auto> + <clave> = autoclave

<auto> + <graph> = autograph

<auto> + <mat> = automat

  • Technically speaking, <auto> is considered to be a Greek combining form
  • If it comes before a base element that begins with an ‘h’ or vowel it presents as <aut>, Example: autarchies and authentic
  • While this prefix can be taught to younger students in context, it is better left for teaching when students have a vocabulary that includes more words containing it.

Origin: Latin

Definition: to say or tell

Examples: contradict, predicament, dictum, indictment, malediction

<ver> + <dict> = verdict

<dict> + <ion> + <ary> = dictionary

<pre> + <dict> + <able> = predictable

<in> + <dic> + <ate> = indicate

<contra> + <dict> + <ory> = contradictory

  • This root is best taught to students in high school once students are encountering more words containing it.
  • This root would be a good candidate for a structured word inquiry. It will allow students to see several words containing the root <dict>. This activity could prompt a writing assignment where they are asked to include a certain number of words from the structured word inquiry into their writing.

Origin: Latin

Definition: having, act of

Examples: final, legal, vocal, pedestal, emotional

<ab> + <norm> + <al> = abnormal

<verb> + <al> = verbal

<opt> + <ion> + <al> = optional

<med> + <ic> +<al> = medical

<hymn> + <al> = hymnal

  • This suffix is best left for older students who have a good repertoire of suffixes. While it is frequently found in the English language, the meaning of the word is fairly apparent from the base element.

Last week, November 18, 2019, the morphemes were the prefix <super>, the root <aqua> and the suffix <less>.


Next week, December 2, 2019, the morphemes will be the prefix <auto>, the root <dict> and the suffix <al>.

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