(Prefixes and Suffixes) The main part of a word hidden inside the longer word The root is the biggest clue to a word’s meaning. Often, you can figure out a difficult word by finding its root. EXAMPLE: Read the following word: misunderstand Within this word, you can find the word “understand.” You know that understand means to comprehend. You just made it easier to figure out the meaning of the longer word above. Answer the following question. Identify the meaning of the root word underlined within the following word: description A. B. C. D. mix move write close The root word SCRIPT means a system of writing (noun) or to write (verb). Prefix: A group of letters that comes before a root word Look at the chart of examples below. Prefix Meaning Examples Dis- not dislike Fore- before foresee, foreshadow In- not insecure, incomplete Mis- wrong, badly mislead, misinform Multi- more than one multi-task Non- not nonsense, nonfiction Post- after posttest, postgame Semi- partly, half semicircle, semisweet Un- not unimportant, undone Uni- single, one unicycle Suffix: A group of letters that comes after a root word Look at the chart of examples below. Suffix Meaning Examples -able worthy or capable of desirable, fixable -an person musician, mathematician -dom place, state of being wisdom, kingdom -less lacking careless, meaningless -ly attributes a quality happily, excitedly -ness state, condition happiness, hardness -ous full of marvelous, humorous Using your knowledge of prefixes, suffixes, and root words, answer the question. We sat in a semicircle and watched the instructor at the front of the room. What does the word semicircle mean in the sentence above? A. full circle B. two circles C. small circle D. half circle Semi- is a Latin prefix meaning "half." A semicircle is half of a circle. Civilizations of people lived before historical records were written down. What word describes this time period? A. prehistoric B. posthistoric C. unhistoric D. antihistoric The prefix pre- means before. In this case, prehistoric means the time period before historical records were taken. Using your knowledge of prefixes, suffixes, and word roots, answer the question. Cara could easily recognize her grandfather in the old family portrait by the famous Dutch painter. She said it was a good likeness of him. What does the word likeness mean in the sentence above? A. sanctuary B. similarity C. skill D. guard The Anglo-Saxon root word "lik-" means "similar." The Anglo-Saxon suffix "-ness" means "state of." Therefore, likeness is the state of being similar.