Affixes in English (Very, very Rough Copy)
So called (supposedly) difficult words in English are only mind-boggling if you do not understand the structure of English. English is really several languages in one. There is that area of the language which everyone, educated or not, understands. That is the Germanic aspect. It is the oldest part of English. It is also the part which forms of the core of English. Most of the most basic and most frequently used words in English are Germanic in origin.
All of the closed class words* (function or grammatical words) come from the Germanic area of English. The overwhelming majority of the most common and frequently used words in English are Germanic, rather than Latin, base. These words are rarely a problem to native English speaker. For the speaker of Latin-based (French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese) this area of the language can be hell.
The words that English speakers have problems with are those words which are Latin and Greek based. These are the words are neither known nor spoken by everyone who speaks English. They are taught in school. Students are forced to memorize them in primary, secondary and high school. The standardized tests which students are obligated to take to graduate, are full of words from this area of the language. The SAT, ACT, GRE do not ask questions on the Germanic-based vocabulary of English. They test one’s knowledge of those words known which are known only by the educated part of the English-speaking population. These words, known as collegiate, are what one is expected to write and express oneself to demonstrate one’s educational level. If one has not had the benefit of an education or a good education, this area of English is as strange and alien as any foreign language.
One can learn these words by memorizing them. This site will NOT help you to do that. What we WILL do is help you understand how many of collegiate words are formed. This way, even though you do not understand a word, you will be able to figure out what its meaning. This is done by studying some of the most important prefixes, roots and suffixes in English. This site was developed to help you to have the meaning of some of the most important prefixes and roots in English. Although the majority of prefixes and roots are from Greek and Latin origin, also included here will be those prefixes which are from Anglo-Saxon origin.
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