Try this challenge on English words with Latin roots for a quick vocabulary boost. Learn a few roots and prefixes to recognize so many related words!
The best way to build English vocabulary is to read on various subjects in English every day that you can.
There is a shortcut, though. The most basic English words come Anglo-Saxon roots, but the vast majority come from Latin (often by way of French.) Learning a small number of Latin roots and prefixes can boost your vocabulary very quickly.
It’s even easier if you speak a Latin-based language like Spanish, Portuguese, or French, since you already know words from the same roots. You just need to notice the patterns in the ways English has adopted them and learn the English ways to pronounce them.
The 25 Latin roots in this challenge are the base of over 400 English words. You can start learning any you don't know-- and reinforce the meaning of those you DO know in just a few minutes.
(The challenge asks you to think of words you know that may come from each root. Then you can check your answers and see some other words that come from them.
A number of these roots are the basis for 30 or even 40 common English words each.)
It takes time to completely understand a new word and be able to use it correctly. But you can get a fast start on whichever of these words you don't already know as you see how they are related. You'll also be likely to guess the meanings of many words you don't know from these roots the next time you see them.
You know words made from these roots. Learn the Latin word roots themselves for a big boost in vocabulary!
Do you wonder what a prefix means? Check out this alphabetical listing of about 50 of the most useful English prefixes, with their meanings & examples.
More English roots-- from Latin verbs of motion: attract & retract from the Latin for 'pull;' compulsive, expel, & repulsive from the root for 'driven'-- + more.
You can also practice many of these words on 50 Latin Word Roots (fill in the blanks or gaps), plus Match 18 Words from Latin Roots, Exercise your Sense Vocabulary, Roots of Comparison, and Important Latin Roots (all matching words with their meanings.)
EnglishHints also has pages on Greek Roots, prefixes, and suffixes. You can find links to them on the Roots, Prefixes, and Suffixes page below.
If you have any questions, leave them in the comments or contact me from the link in the blue section of site information at the bottom of the page. I love studying word origins and would be glad to help!