Roots and Rules
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am, amat: love amateur, amatory, amiable ann, enn: year anniversary, superannuated, annuity aqu: water aqueduct, aquiculture, subaqueous ie Rule—“I” before “e”, except after c, or when it sounds like “a,” as in “neighbor” or “weigh” Examples: fiend, receive, conceit, reign Exceptions: leisure, weird, foreign, either, neither, seize, counterfeit, caffeine Roots and Rules aud, audit: hear audible, audiophile, audit capit: head decapitate, capitol, per capita cent: hundred cent, centenarian, centiliter “y” to “i” Rule—If the “y” at the end of a word is preceded by a consonant, change the “y” to “I” before adding an ending (unless the ending begins with an “I”). Examples: replied, merriment, delayed Exceptions: paid, said, laid, daily Quiz 1 Study for Quiz 1, make sure you know all words in the definitions. Roots and Rules cred, credit: believe; trust credible, accredit, credulity dic, dict: say benediction, contradict, diction duc, duct: lead conducive, ductility, induce Adding Prefixes—the spelling of a word does not change when a prefix is added. Examples: unnecessary, misspell, dissatisfied Roots and Rules fid: faith; trust confide, fidelity, perfidy frater: brother fraternity, fraternize, fratricide greg: flock congregate, gregarious, egregious Adding Suffixes to Words Ending in Silent “e”— If the suffix begins with a vowel, drop the silent “e,” Come + ing=coming use+ able=usable When the suffix begins with a consonant, keep the “e,” Care+ful=careful lone+ly=lonely Words ending in “ce” or “ge” keep the “e” when followed by an “a” or “o” Courageous, peaceable, noticeable, advantageous Exceptions: argument, ninth, truly, judgment Roots and Rules litera: letter alliteration, literal, literate loc: place allocate, locale, dislocate loqu, locut: talk circumlocution, colloquial, eloquent Doubling the Final consonant: If a suffix begins with a vowel, double the consonant at the end of the word IF a) the word ends in 1 vowel + 1 consonant AND b) the word is accented on the last syllable. Examples: runner, tapped, stopped, beginner, occurrence, opened, referred Roots and Rules mal: bad maladjusted, maladroit, malediction man: hand manacle, mandate, manufacture mater, matr, metr: mother maternal, matriarch, metronymic Affect/Effect Affect is a verb, meaning “to influence” Think AV (affect verb) Effect is usually a noun meaning “the result”; occasionally it is a verb meaning “to bring about” or “to put into effect” Examples: The decision affects me. The effect of the decision is unknown. The changes will be effected next year. Quiz 2 Study for Quiz 2, make sure you know all words in the definitions (some have two). Roots and Rules mit, miss: send emissary, intermittent, missive mor, mort: death mortality, mortify, post-mortem mov, mot, mob: move demote, remote, motivation Comma with Compound Sentence (also called coordinated sentence) Use a comma before a conjunction like “and” or “but” ONLY IF there is a complete sentence on BOTH SIDES of the conjunction. Examples: They went to the party, but they left early. They went to the party but left early. Roots and Rules nov: new innovation, novel, novice omni: all omniscient, omnivorous, omnipresent ped: foot pedestrian, impediment, pedometer Lay/Lie Lay—“put” lie—“rest Must have a direct object cannot have a direct object Present tense: lay lie Past tense: laid lay Participle: laid lain Laying lying Examples: Lay the book down. The cat lies on the rug. I laid the book down. The cat lay on the rug yesterday. I have laid the book down. The cat has lain on the rug all day. I am laying the book down. The cat is lying in the sun. Roots and Rules pos, posit: place composition, repository, juxtapose port, portat: carry deport, portfolio, rapport scrip, script: write circumscribe, nondescript, inscribe Semicolon (part one) A semicolon may be used to balance two independent clauses (sentences) of equal importance, especially if the second begins with a word like “however” or “therefore.” Examples: She was intelligent; he was handsome. They worked for three days on the project; therefore, the other work remained undone. Roots and Rules sign: sign assign, insignia, designate spec, spect: look aspect, introspection, perspective spir, spirat: breathe conspire, expire, inspire Semicolon (part two) A semicolon may be used to separate items in a list that already has commas. Examples: We visited Chicago, Illinois; Miami, Florida; and Lima, Ohio. They elected Selma, president; Fred, vice president; Zelda, treasurer; and Zeb, secretary. Quiz 3 Study for Quiz 3, make sure you know all words in the definitions (some have two). Roots and Rules tempor: time extemporaneous, temporal, contemporary terra: earth disinter, terrestrial, terrace urb: city urban, suburban, interurban Amount of/number of Use “number” with things that are countable, if only in theory. Use “amount” with things that could never be counted. Examples: Amount of knowledge, rain, money Number of people, calories, dollars Roots and Rules vid, vis: see vista, revise, providence voc, vocat: call advocate, evoke, vociferous ante: before antebellum, antedated, anterior Go, went, gone Be sure to use “gone” after the helpers “has” or “have.” Examples: They have gone to the movies. He has gone to his grandmother’s house. Roots and Rules bi: two bicameral, bifocals, bipartisan circum: around circumference, circumvent, circumlocution contra, contro, counter: against contraband, contradiction, controvert So. . .that If the word “that” fits in a sentence logically somewhere after “so,” you must write in the “that.” Examples: I was so tired after working all day that I couldn’t stand up. The reason she is so unhappy about the change in date is that she can no longer participate. There was a thunderstorm, so the meet was canceled. Roots and Rules inter: between interlinear, interregnum, intercultural intra, intro: within intramuscular, intramurals, intrastate multi: many multiplied, multivalent, multiparous Commas and Periods with Quotation Marks Commas and periods ALWAYS go BEFORE quotation marks. Examples: We read “The Raven.” “Go home,” he said. Elmo said that the idea was “true genius.” Quiz 4 Study for Quiz 4, make sure you know all words in the definitions (some have two). Roots and Rules post: after posthumously, posterity, post-mortem pre: before precedence, prejudice, preamble retro: back retrogressing, retro rocket, retroactive Its/It’s Use “it’s” to mean “it is.” Use “its” as a possessive word before a noun. Examples: It’s my car. The dog lost its bone. Roots and Rules semi: half semilunar, semicentennials, semidiameter sub: under subconscious, subcutaneous, subterranean super: above; beyond supersensory, superstructure, supersonic Raise/rise Raise (to lift or grow) rise (to move up) Present: raise rise Past: raised rose Participle: raised risen Raising rising Examples: Raise the shades. I rise to speak. I raised potatoes. The sun rose. I have raised money. The star has risen. We are raising our sights. Our hopes are rising. Roots and Rules trans: across transpolar, transversal, transgress uni: one unicameral, unicorn, unique ac, acr: sharp acrimony, acid Commas with Introductory Dependent (Subordinate) Clauses Use a comma after a dependent clause that starts a sentence. The clause begins with a subordinate conjunction (“danger word” in the sophomore text) like “because,” “since,” “although,” “if,” before,” or “unless.” Examples: When we have finished here, we will leave. Because you are great, you win the prize. Since you did your reading, you earned a high grade. Roots and Rules aer: air aerial, aeronautics, aerodynamics agr: field agrarian, agriculture ali: another alias, alliance, alimentary Center around Things center on, never around. Example: The problem centers around on money. Quiz 5 Study for Quiz 5, make sure you know all words in the definitions (some have two). Roots and Rules alter, altr: change alternate, alternative anim: spirit; life animosity, animation, animate apt, ept: adjust aptitude, inept Feel bad Use “bad” after a form of “feel,” not “badly.” (Badly indicates a weak sense of touch.) Examples: I feel bad about what happened. They felt bad after the game. Roots and Rules arm: arm; weapon armistice, armament, armada, armadillo art: art; craft artificial, artifact, articulate avi: bird aviary, aviator, aviation Different from—things are different from (or from what) each other, not different than. Examples: This is different than from what I expected. Your room is different than from mine. Roots and Rules bel, bell: war rebel, belligerent, rebellion ben, bene: well benefit, benevolent brev: short abbreviate, brevity Titles (part one) The titles of shorter works—essays, stories, chapters, songs, poems, articles—are put in quotation marks. These are works not published separately. Examples: “The Raven” is a famous poem. We studied “The Lady and the Tiger.” The song is “The Victors.” Roots and Rules carn: flesh incarnate, carnal, carnage cid, cis: kill; cut precise, incision, concise civ: citizen civil, civic, civilian Titles (part two) The titles of longer works—books, plays, movies, magazines, newspapers—are underlined (or italicized). These are works published separately. Examples: We studied The Canterbury Tales. Romeo and Juliet is a tragic play. I read it in the Chelsea Standard. Quiz 6 Study for Quiz 6, make sure you know all words in the definitions (some have two). Roots and Rules ego: I egotist, egoist, egocentric err: wander error, erroneous, erratic fin: end; limit define, finite, final, infinity Colon to introduce a list Use a colon to introduce a list only when the part of the sentence up to the colon sounds complete. You cannot place a colon between subject and object or subject and other kind of complement. Example: Bring the following items: bread, milk, eggs. There are three reasons: time, money, and volunteers. Incorrect: The three things are: time, money, and volunteers. Roots and Rules fort: strong fortify, fortress, fortitude fus: pour effusive, fusion, fusible gen: birth; race progeny, genocide, generation Agreement with Indefinite Pronouns The following pronouns are singular; therefore, all words that refer to them must be singular: everyone, anyone, someone, everybody, anybody, somebody, everything, anything, something, either, neither, each, every. Examples: Everyone does his or her work. Either of the answers is correct. Neither of them wants her own show. Roots and Rules grat: please; favor gratify, gratitude, grateful grav: heavy gravity, grave jac, jact, jec: throw eject, deject, reject Apostrophe to show possession To form the possessive of a singular noun, add an apostrophe and an s. Example: a poem’s rhyme To form the possessive of a plural noun ending in s, add only an apostrophe. Example: the swimmers’ times To form the possessive of an irregular plural noun not ending in s, add an apostrophe and an s. Example: the women’s books To form the possessive of any singular proper noun, add an apostrophe and an s. Example: Mr. Jones’s class To form the possessive of a plural proper noun, add only an apostrophe. Example: the Smiths’ house Quiz 7 Study for Quiz 7, make sure you know all words in the definitions (some have two). Roots and Rules clam: shout exclaim, exclamation claud, claus: close closet, claustrophobia cogn: know incognito, cognition, cognate Try to Use “to” after “try,” not “and.” Examples: Try and to be polite. Roots and Rules cord: heart cordial, accord corp: body corpse, corporal, corporation cruc: cross crux, crucify, crucible The reason is because Use “that” in a sentence after “reason,” not “because.” Example: The reason I’m unhappy is because that the dance was canceled. I know the reason they are spending so much time on choosing the candidate is because that they are hoping to improve the council. Roots and Rules dent: tooth indent, dental, dentist dign: worthy dignity, dignify, indignation doc, doct: teach; prove doctor, document, docile Irregardless Not a word. Use “regardless.” Example: I won’t agree, irregardless of what you say. Roots and Rules dom: master domineer, dominant, dominion don: bestow donate, donation du: two duet, dual Off of Say “off,” not “off of.” Example: The dog fell off of the couch. Quiz 8 Study for Quiz 8, make sure you know all words in the definitions (some have two). Roots and Rules junct: join adjunct, junction, conjunction labor: work elaborate, belabor, laborious leg: law legal, legislature, legality, legislation Comma with coordinate adjectives If you have two adjectives before a noun, separate the adjectives with a comma IF a) you can reverse the order of the adjectives OR b) you can say “and” between the adjectives. Examples: We had a long, difficult trip. Elmo is a loud, obnoxious person. We need a few good people. Roots and Rules lev: light; rise levity, levitate lib: book libel, library luc: light elucidate, lucid Apostrophe to form plurals of non-words Do not use an apostrophe to form the plural of an abbreviation or a number. Examples: The PhDs don’t know how to work the VCRs. The practice was common in the 1990s. Roots and Rules magn: large magnify, magnitude mar: sea mariner, marine, marinate medi: middle medium, mediate As far as “As far as” must be followed by a verb, such as a form of “go” or “is” or “are” concerned. Examples: As far as money [goes], we have enough. She is qualified as far as academic background [is concerned]. Roots and Rules min: little; less minimum, minor, diminutive mon, monit: warn premonition, admonish mor: custom moral, amoral, immoral Use of “however” “However” is not a conjunction and therefore cannot be used to join sentences with just a comma. Use a semicolon before “However” when it joins two sentences. Do not use a semicolon if “however” is in the middle of a single sentence. Examples: We were there; however, you were not. The game they played, however, was phenomenal. Quiz 9 Study for Quiz 9, make sure you know all words in the definitions (some have two). Roots and Rules mut: change mutation, mutant nav: ship navigator, navigation, navel nomen, nomin: name nominee, nominal Farther, further Use “farther” to refer to physical distance. Use “further” for everything else. Examples: Detroit is farther than Ann Arbor. We should look into that further. Roots and Rules ocul: eye monocle, oculist, bifocal par: equal parity, parallel, par pater, patr: father patron, paternity, patriarch Like/As When making a comparison, use “like” when no verb follows. If a verb follows, use “as,” “as if,” or “as though.” Examples: He looks like a walrus. You look like as if you’ve seen a ghost. It is like as though you’ve never been here before. Roots and Rules prim: first prime, primary, primitive rat, ration: reason rational, ration rect: right direct, rectify, correct Then/Than Use “then” when referring to time. Use “than” when making a comparison. Examples: We went to the game. Then we went for food. This is harder than I thought. Roots and Rules rupt: break erupt, rupture, corrupt sanct: holy sanction, sanctuary, sanctify, sanctimonious seg, sect: cut bisect, segregate, segment, section Who’s/Whose Use “who” to mean “who is” or ”who has.” Use “whose” as a possessive if front of a noun. Examples: Who’s been there before? Who’s here for food? I don’t know whose book this is. Quiz 10 Study for Quiz 10, make sure you know all words in the definitions (some have two). Roots and Rules vac: empty vacant, vacate, vacuum vert, vers: turn revert, convert, overt vinc, vict: conquer victory, invincible, victim Disinterested/uninterested “Disinterested” means impartial or unbiased. “Uninterested means you’re not interested at all or have no financial interest. Examples: We should ask a disinterested person to be the judge. People don’t attend if they are uninterested. Roots and Rules vit: life vital, vitality, vivid vulg: common divulge, vulgar, vulgate anthrop: man anthropocentric, anthropomorphism, misanthrope Use of “only” The word “only’ must be placed as close as possible to the word it modifies. Examples: It only costs ten dollarsIt cost only ten dollars. She only brings her umbrella when it rainsShe brings her umbrella only when it rains. Roots and Rules astr: star asterisk, asteroid, astrodome auto: self autobiography, autocrat, automation bibli: book bible, bibliography, bibliophile Imply/infer “Imply” means to hint at without saying directly. “Infer” means to figure out from what someone else says or writes. Examples: Her smile implied the outcome would be positive. I inferred from her smile that the outcome would be positive. Roots and Rules bio: life biodynamics, biopsy, biogenesis chrom: color chromatic, chromosome, pan chromatic chron: time chronic, chronicle, synchronize Use of although “Although” cannot be used by itself. It must be used to introduce an entire clause. If you need a comma after “although,” use “however” or another transition instead. Examples: Although they won, they did not break any records. Although, However, they were happy with the results. Quiz 11 Study for Quiz 11, make sure you know all words in the definitions (some have two). Roots and Rules sequ, secut: follow sequel, sequence, nonsequiter simil: like simile, similar, assimilate sol: alone soliloquy, solo, solitary, solitude Principal/principle Use “principle” to refer to a rule or doctrine. Use “principal” for everything else, including most important, leader of a school, original amount of a loan. Examples: I believe in the principle of honesty. She is the principal dancer in the show. We still owe thousands on the principal. Roots and Rules son: sound assonance, sonic, sonar struct: build construct, destruct, reconstruct ten: hold tenacious, tenacity Commas with interrupting clauses (nonessential clauses) If an interrupting expression (such as those beginning with ”who” or “which) is just additional information and not needed to identify the preceding word, add commas around the interrupter. Examples: Matilda, who is a great bungee jumper, lives in Dexter. The woman who is a great bungee jumper lives in Dexter. Roots and Rules tract: draw; pull extract, detract, retract, contract turb: agitate turbine, turbulent, turbocharger umbr: shade umbrage, umber, umbrella Aggravate/Irritate In formal usage, “aggravate” means to make something worse. If you mean “to annoy,” use “irritate.” Examples: Saying something rude will only aggravate your problem. It really aggravates irritates me when you do that. Quiz 12 Study for Quiz 12, make sure you know all words in the definitions (some have two). Roots and Rules crypt: secret crypt, cryptogram, cryptographer cycle: circle; wheel cycle, cyclone, encyclical dec: ten decade, deciliter, decimal Flaunt/flout To “flaunt” means to show off. To “flout” means to treat with disrespect. Examples: He flaunts his wealth by parking his expensive car in a prominent location. If you flout the judge’s ruling, you will be cited for contempt. Roots and Rules dem: people demagogue, democracy, epidemic derm: skin dermatitis, dermatologist, epidermis dyn: power dynamic, dynasty, hydrodynamics Allude/refer “Allude’ means to call attention to indirectly. “Refer” means to call attention to directly. Examples: Zeb alluded to the possibility of a fireworks display. Refer to the bibliography for more information. Roots and Rules gram, graph: write autograph, calligraphy, cryptogram hetero: other heterodox, heterogeneous, heterosexual homo: same homochromatic, homogeneous, homogenize Cite/site/sight “Cite” means to mention something as support. “Site” is a place where something is located. “Sight” is vision. Examples: You need to cite your sources to avoid plagiarism. That is the site for the new building. Roots and Rules hydr: water hydraulics, hydrophobia, hydrotherapy log: word; study apology, eulogy, logic metr, meter: measure barometer, geometry, metronome Plurals of words ending in “sis” To form the plural of a word ending in “sis,” change the “I” to “e.” Examples: analysisanalyses basisbases oasisoases Quiz 13 Study for Quiz 13, make sure you know all words in the definitions (some have two) and you know which rules to underline! Roots and Rules morph: form amorphous, anthropomorphic, metamorphosis neur: nerve neurologist, neuron, neurotic orth: right; true orthodontics, orthodox, orthopedics Use of while “While” means “at the same time.” If you do not mean time, use “whereas.” Examples: While we were singing, they were dancing. While Whereas Shakespeare was a playwright, Swift was a novelist. Roots and Rules paleo: ancient Paleolithic, paleontology, paleozoology pan: all panacea, Pan-American, pan chromatic path: disease; feeling antipathy, apathy, empathy, psychopath Plurals of words ending in “um” Form the plural of a word ending in “um” by changing “um” to “a.” Examples: curriculumcurricula mediummedia Roots and Rules phil: loving bibliophile, philander, philanthropy phon: sound phonetic, phonograph, phonology physi: nature physical, physician, physiology Plurals of words ending in “on” Form the plural of a word ending in “on” by changing the “on” to “a.” Examples: phenomenonphenomena criterioncriteria Roots and Rules pseudo: false pseudoscience, pseudopod, pseudoclassic psych: mind; spirit psyche, psychedelic, psychology pyr: fire pyre, pyromaniac, pyrexia Capitalizing directions and family names Capitalize north, south, east, west and their variations only when the direction refers to a region of a country. Capitalize words like mom, dad, grandma, etc. when the word replaces the name and is NOT preceded by a possessive word. Quiz 14 Study for Quiz 14, make sure you know all words in the definitions (some have two) and you know which rules to underline! Roots and Rules arch: chief archangel, archetype, arch fiend dia: through diathermy, diameter, diaphanous epi: upon; beside epidermis, epitaph, epicenter Illusion/allusion/delusion An “illusion” is a false impression or a deceptive appearance. An “allusion” is a reference to an idea or story generally known. A “delusion” is a false belief. Examples: It is an illusion that the sun rises. The work has several allusions to Greek mythology. He has the delusion that he is Napoleon. Roots and Rules soph: wisdom philosophy, sophomore, sophisticated tele: far telecast, telephone, telegraph the: god atheism, pantheism, theology Capitalizing languages, religions, school courses. Always capitalize the names of languages and religions. Capitalize the names of a school course if it is a language or if it has a number in it. Examples: It is not hard to find an Islamic person who speaks English. I will take physics and Spanish, but not Algebra III. Roots and Rules eu: good; well euphoria, eulogy, euthanasia hyper: excessive hypercritical, hyperopic, hyperthyroidism hypo: under hypothermia, hypothesis, hypopituitarism Split infinitive Generally, do not put any words between “to” and a verb. Move the word to the most logical place in the sentence. Examples: I want to really knowI really want to know. This is how to quickly fix the problemThis is how to fix the problem quickly. Roots and Rules therm: heat thermometer, thermal, thermodynamics amphi: around; on both sides amphibians, amphitheater anti: against antipathy, antithesis Abbreviations In formal writing, abbreviate only if the reader would have trouble understanding the full word. Examples: Mr., Mrs., A.M., P.M., A.D., B.C., PhD., FBI, CIA On TV television, the shows end happily. Quiz 15 Study for Quiz 15, make sure you know all words in the definitions (some have two) and you know which rules to underline! Roots and Rules syn, sym: together synthesis, synchronized, symphony agog: leader pedagogue, demagogue cosm: world; order cosmic, cosmopolitan, cosmos “and me” (me as object) Use “and me” not “and I” when the expression is used as an object, such as a direct object, an indirect object, or an object of a preposition. Examples: Myrtle fired Zeb and I me. Give the forms to Fred or I me. Just between you and I me, I think we’ll win. Roots and Rules kilo: thousand kilocycle, kilometer, kilowatt meta: change; after metamorphic, metaphors, metabolism mono: one monolith, monodrama, monomania Compliment/complement “Compliment” means to flatter. “Complement” means to complete. Examples: She complimented him on his paper. The salad complements the meal. Roots and Rules crac, crat: power plutocrat, democrat, aristocrat erg: work energy, synergistic gam: marriage monogamy, polygamy, bigamy Hopefully Technically, this word means “with hope,” not “it is hoped.” Examples: They went hopefully to the doctor. Hopefully, we will win We hope we will win. Roots and Rules neo: new neophyte, neologism, neoclassicism peri: around perimeter, periphrasis, peripatetic poly: many polygon, polysyllable, polytechnic Used to, supposed to Don’t forget the “d.” Examples: You used to be intelligent. People are supposed to enjoy learning new things. Quiz 16 Study for Quiz 16, make sure you know all words in the definitions (some have two) and you know which rules to underline! Roots and Rules gen: race; kind genetics, gene, progeny, regenerate geo: earth geometry, geology, geothermal gon: corner; angle hexagon, polygon gyn: woman gynecology, philogynist hem: blood hemophilia, hemorrhage Roots and Rules iatr: heal geriatrics, pediatrics, chiropractic iso: same isobar, isochronal, isometrics lith: rock monolith, Paleolithic, lithograph mega: great megaphone, megaton, megalith micro: small microbe, microscope, microphone Roots and Rules necr: dead necrobiosis, necrology, necrophobia nom: law; order economy, astronomy onym: name antonym, synonym, homonym ped: child pedant, pediatrician, pedagogue phos, phot: light photograph, photon, photo kinetic Roots and Rules pod: foot podiatrist, podiatry poli: city police, metropolis, megalopolis scop: see; watch Episcopal, bioscope, microscope techn: art; skill technique, technician, technology zo: animal zoo, zoometry, zoophobia Roots and Rules gen: race; kind genetics, gene, progeny, regenerate geo: earth geometry, geology, geothermal gon: corner; angle hexagon, polygon gyn: woman gynecology, philogynist hem: blood hemophilia, hemorrhage iatr: heal geriatrics, pediatrics, chiropractic iso: same isobar, isochronal, isometrics lith: rock monolith, Paleolithic, lithograph mega: great megaphone, megaton, megalith micro: small microbe, microscope, microphone necr: dead necrobiosis, necrology, necrophobia nom: law; order economy, astronomy onym: name antonym, synonym, homonym ped: child pedant, pediatrician, pedagogue phos, phot: light photograph, photon, photo kinetic pod: foot podiatrist, podiatry poli: city police, metropolis, megalopolis scop: see; watch Episcopal, bioscope, microscope techn: art; skill technique, technician, technology zo: animal zoo, zoometry, zoophobia
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