Words from the Latin Root Ponere 

This list of common English words made from the Latin root ponere shows how studying roots can build your vocabulary. Ponere means 'to put or place.' (The 'pos' form comes from part of the past participle of ponere.) The list gives each word, its part of speech (n= noun, v= verb, adj= adjective), and a simple definition of the most common meaning(s). Consult an English dictionary for more complete definitions and all the meanings of each word.

At the bottom of the page are some fill-ins to practice these words. If you learn best by trying things for yourself, you can start by going to the practice section and come back to check any meanings that don't make sense. If you don't know much about prefixes, see List of Prefixes first, for the meanings of com-, de-, dis-, ex-, im-, ob- (changed to op- in words beginning with 'p' to sound better), post-, pro-, re-, sub- (also changed to sup- for sound), and trans-.

Ponere-- to Put or Place

√ component, n.- a part of something, one piece of the whole

compose, v.- to put thoughts or music together (and record them)

composition, n.- a carefully arranged piece of music or writing

decompose, v.- to break down and fall apart

√ depose, v.- to take away one’s position (as in a revolution people depose their king)

deposit, v.- to put down: often to put money into a bank account

deposit, n.- what is put down (It can also refer to layers of minerals or soils laid down by erosion or other processes)

√ disposal, n.- “I’m at your disposal” means “I’m available for whatever you want.” A garbage disposal is a machine that grinds up garbage.

dispose of, v.- to throw away something (permanently put it away from you)

disposed (to), adj.- inclined to

disposition, n.- personal inclination or temperament: “She has a sunny disposition.” (or maybe someone has a cranky disposition- always complaining.)

√ exponent, n.- a mathematical term for a factor that multiplies a number by itself a certain number of times. For example, 5 to the 3rd power=5x5x5.

exponential, adj.- increasing very rapidly

expose, v.- to put into open view, or to put outside in the weather

exposition, n.- a large trade show, fair, or exhibition OR a full explanation of an idea

exposure, n.- being exposed (as actors want publicity, or as iron rusts on exposure to oxygen.)

√ impose (on), v.- to make demands or put a burden on someone

imposing, adj.- noticeable or impressive

imposition, n.- an unreasonable demand or requirement

√ opponent, n.- a person competing against another and trying to cause him to fail

oppose, v. - to hinder, disagree, or work against 

opposite, adj.- completely different (180 degrees apart)

opposition, n.- set against someone or something

√ pose, v.- to put oneself into an attractive position for someone to draw, paint, or photograph (or just admire)

position, n.- location, a person’s job within a company OR placement of one’s arms and legs in a certain arrangement (example: the five positions of the feet in ballet)

√ postpone, v.- to put off or delay an action until later

√ proponent, n.- person in favor of a proposal

proposal, n.- a formal suggestion (also an offer of marriage)

propose, v.- to suggest or put forward an idea

proposition, n.- a topic for discussion (or to be voted on)

√ repose, v.- to rest

√ suppose, v.- to guess about something: put out a trial idea

supposition, n.- a guess.

√ transpose, v.- to put music into a different key

transposition, n. - a change of position or different placement


Practice with forms of this Latin Root

Now see if you can use these words in sentences.

Fill in the blanks with English words derived from ponere in the list above. 

For each blank, choose which prefix is likely to give you the right meaning. (If you can't find any, you can click the question mark (?) for the first letter-- but it will take away points.Then decide the part of speech you need for each blank to help you choose the suffix. When you have finished, click on the "check" button (and try again if any are incorrect.)

Example: The Green Party organized a protest to ____________ the factory’s pollution.

Think: we need to find a verb that means against. ‘Oppose’ fits-- and is the correct answer. (‘Expose’ would also fit, if they mainly wanted to make the public more aware of the problem.)


Joe just lost his job, so now he is looking for work. Job hunting is hard, but he shouldn’t the search or wait for employers to come to him. First he needs to a resume, and send it to many companies in his field. Even if they don’t have job openings right now, he needs the . He hopes they will think of him when a becomes available.

Joe is fortunate to have a hopeful , so he doesn’t get discouraged easily. His friends also want to help him. They call him often to new companies to try.

To study more Latin roots and the English words that come from them, see 50 Word Roots from Latin. See List of Suffixes for more on the word endings that change the part of speech and position of a word in a sentence.

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