Happy #morphememonday Everyone!

I hope everyone is settling nicely back into a routine now that school has started again. While I enjoy the break from routine in the summer, I find I am more productive when things have a bit more of a schedule.

Origin: Old English

Definition: Middle

Examples: midwestern, midpoint, midyear, midnight, midsection, midwinter

<mid> + <air> = midair

<mid> + <ship> + <man> = midshipman

<mid> + <way> = midway

<mid> + <wife> = midwife

<mid> + <town> = midtown

  • <mid> is a combining form, this means it is a word element that is used in forming derivatives.
  • <mid> should be taught to students once they are coming across derivatives using it.
  • When teaching <mid>, it can be discussed how using it helps provide the listener/reader with clarity.
    For example when speaking about a midsummer festival instead of a summer festival, one can assume that the festival occurs in the middle of the summer and not at any time during the summer whereas if you just heard the vague description of a summer festival, it would be harder to guess when the festival would take place.

Origin: Latin

Definition: pleasing, thanks

Examples: grateful, gratification, congratulate, ingratitude

The root <grat> has a allomorph, <gre>

Examples of <gre>: agree, disagreement, agreeable

  • The root <grat> and its allomorph <gre> would be best taught during a structured word inquiry to older students and to students who are struggling with spelling/reading words that contain this root.

Origin: Old English

Definition: state, dignity, skill, quality, office or profession

Examples: citizenship, seamanship, relationship, showmanship, ladyship, professorship

<own> + <er> + <ship> = ownership

<horse> + <man> + <ship> = horsemanship

<read> + <er> + <ship> = readership

<chair> + <man> + <ship> = chairmanship

<kin> + <ship> = kinship

  • The suffix <ship> is noun forming, this means when it is affixed (added) to a word, the word becomes a noun.
  • This suffix is suitable for students who understand what suffixes are and have a good foundation of the more basic and common suffixes.
  • Middle school students could be given a list of nouns containing words with the suffix <ship> and asked to sort them into categories based on meaning.


Last week, September 9, 2019, the morphemes were the prefix <uni>, the root <spire> and the suffix <ian>.

Next week, September 23, 2019, the morphemes will be the prefix <semi>, the root <phobia> and the suffix <er>.

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


If there is anything I can do or post to help you learn more about the importance of morphological awareness (or any other topic for that matter) please send an email to blog@garfortheducation.com


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