I’d like to return to my series on affixes for a while and talk about Greek and Latin roots. These roots refer not only to affixes, but base words (also called “stems”; these are the main word to which affixes or prefixes are added) as well.
Again, for teachers, I would still highly recommend the book Greek and Latin Roots: Keys to Building Vocabulary. For students, I would like to feature what is probably the most useful chunk of the book here: common classical roots of English vocabulary. All content here, while essentially common etymological knowledge, I’m taking from Appendix C of Greek and Latin Roots, with periodic changes in the sample words (just because I felt like it). Since I’ve already talked (to an extent) about affixes, I’d like to start with base words. No Swedish translations are given this time, as they would be much more difficult to sort, and not nearly as helpful.
|ag, act, igu||drive, go||agile, action, ambiguous|
|adelph||brother||Philadelphia (“the city of brotherly love”)|
|aer(o)||air, wind||aerate, aerobic|
|agog(ue), agogy||lead (verb)||pedagogy, synagogue|
|al, alma||nourishing||alimony, alma mater|
|alg||pain, ache||nostalgic, analgesic|
|am(a), amat, amor||love, friend||amiable, amateur, amorous|
|annu, enni||year||annual, perennial|
|anthrop(o)||human being, mankind||anthroplogy|
|audi, audit||hear, listen||audience, audition|
*Note that this one has also become synonymous with flight; while “avian” means “pertaining to birds” and an “aviary” is large, enclosed space to keep birds, an “aviator” is not a bird, but a human being who pilots an airplane (or other flying machine).
If the sample words are new to you, or you’re not sure how they connect to the meaning of the base word, I recommend looking them up in the Online Etymological Dictionary.