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Welcome to the Root Word and Vocabulary Refresher: Word Building with Prefixes, Roots, and Suffixes

According to some linguistic studies, approximately 60 percent of our English words are derived from Latin and Greek. One reliable study has shown that a selected list of 20 prefixes and 14 root elements pertain to more than 100,000 words in an unabridged dictionary. Here we have done even better—we’ve given you a list of prefixes and roots that will give you meanings of more than 150,000 words! The following entries of Latin and Greek roots, prefixes, and suffixes frequently show up in some of the words in the SAT Verbal areas, such as Reading Comprehension. Learn these Latin and Greek word parts to increase your vocabulary immensely—and thus score well in the Verbal part of your SAT.

“The shortest and best way of learning a language is to know the roots of it; that is, those original primitive words from which other words are formed.”
Lord Chesterfield, British statesman (1694–1773)

Lord Chesterfield is, in effect, saying that roots are used as important “building blocks” of many of our English words. As you study the following list of Latin and Greek roots, prefixes, and suffixes, have a dictionary by your side. Look up the meanings of the word examples that are given if you do not know their meanings.


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