HOW TO USE ENGLISH WORD ROOTS, PREFIXES AND SUFFIXES TO IMPROVE VOCABULARY FOR GOVERNMENT EXAMS

Having good vocabulary is very important for government exam aspirants as they have to answer reading comprehension, antonyms-synonyms, and other vocabulary-based questions that are asked in almost every government exam. English section can be very scoring for aspirants, if they have a strong vocabulary. We all know that, the number of times we are exposed to a word, the stronger our understanding becomes. But, what if we do not have much time left for this repetitive practice, then we look for short cuts to remember things, which could help us score high in the exam.

The best thing aspirants can do to improve vocabulary, is to understand it using word root. If you have understanding about the root of the word you do not need to remember meaning of every word. You will be able to guess the meaning of the word easily through its root. Finding the correct antonym or synonym through its suffix or prefix is a lot easier than to remember the meaning of the word. Using root-based vocabulary, you will be able to save time and score well in the vocabulary-based section. If you have knowledge about the positive-negative suffix and prefix, the task becomes a hell lot easier.

Although, there are always tricky words that need attention. You cannot find shortcut for everything, you need to remember some. Why I give emphasis on word root-based vocabulary? Because you never know which word will come up in the exam, and it’s tough to remember thousands of words. Through this type of learning you do not need to remember meaning of thousands of words. You only need to remember roots, which will help you reach the meaning of the word.
Below are some roots, suffixes and prefixes, along with their meanings and examples, which will help improve your vocabulary.

Roots Meaning Word
alter other alternate
amic love amicable
enni year perennial
aqua water aquatic
arthro joint arthritis
biblio book bibliophile
brev short abbreviate
cap take, seize capacity, captivate
cogn know cognitive, recognize
carn meat carnivorous
chrom color monochrome

PREFIXES

MEANING

EXAMPLE

Com-

together/common

Commune=talk together

Chron-

time

Chronic= long-lasting

Macro-/ Mega-

big

Macromolecule=a large molecule

Neo-/nov-

new

Noval= new

Agri-

farming

Agriculture=farm management

Cardi-

heart

Cardiologist=heart specialist

Poly-

More than one/many

Polyglot= person fluent in many languages

Ami-/Phil-

love

Amiable=lovable

Bio-

life

Biology=science of life

Bible-

book

Bibliography=list of books

Demi-

Half/ small portion of

Demitasse= small cup of coffee

Dict-

speak

Dictate=to speak out loud

Geo-

earth

Geography=study of earth’s surface

Heap-

liver

Hepatitis=liver inflammation

Iso-

equal

Isometric=equality of measure

Jud-

law

Judiciary=system of courts of law

Liber-

free

Liberty=freedom

Mal-

bad

Malcontent=bad content

Medi-

middle

Medium=in the middle

Omni-

all

Omniscient=knowing everything

Nephr-/ Nephro-

kidney

Nephritis=inflammation of kidneys

Pro-

Before, forward, in front of

Prognosis=probable outcome of a disease

Opt-

best

Optimal= most desirable

SUFFIXES

MEANING

EXAMPLE

-acity

quality of

Veracity=quality of being truthful

-meter

measure

Centimetre=unit of measure of length

-cracy

rule/power

Democracy=government from by power of people

-ee

receiver

Nomiee=potential receiver of another’s right under a contract

-ency

quality

Clemency=quality of being clement

-ess

female

Lioness=female lion

-less

without

Fearless=without fear

-opia

eye defect

Myopia=near-sightedness

-opsy

examination

Biopsy=examination of tissue removed from a living body

-pathy

Diseased/feeling

Apathy=lack of feeling

Many studies have shown the importance of building vocabulary using word roots. A study has also revealed that a set of 14 roots and 20 prefixes, and knowledge of using them, will help unlock the meaning of more than 100,000 words. This shows the power of word roots, prefixes and suffixes. Can you imagine? Meaning of how many words you can unlock using word roots and suffixes.

Use the power of word root and score better. All the best!

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