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Learn English Word Roots - Part 2


The English language has developed over two thousand years and has words from many other countries. The ancient Romans were so important that many English words are based on their language, Latin. If you want to learn English well, you should learn the basic Latin roots below. Then, when you see new words while reading, you will be able to guess their meaning and understand how to use those words. (To see Part 1, go to Learn English Word Roots, Part 1)

11. "urb" means "city". A "suburb" is a small town or village outside a big city. Anything "urban" is connected in some way to a city.

12. "vac" means "empty". A "vacant" apartment is one where nobody lives. (So you can live there if you want!) A "vacation" is empty time that you can enjoy. To "evacuate" is to get people out of a place that has trouble, such as war or a hurricane, and take them to a safe place.

13. "vid" means "see". A "video", of course, is something you can see. "Evidence" is also something you can see, which shows you what is a fact and what is not a fact.

14. "volv" means "turn". "Revolve" means to turn around, such as a revolving door in a shopping center. A "revolution" is when power turns to another group of people or when a great change comes.

15. "cap" means "head". A "captain" is the head (or leader) of an army or a team. The capital city is the head of a city. To "decapitate" someone means to cut off their head!

16. "don" means "give". The word "donate" means to give money or food to the poor or to someone who needs it more than you. A "donor" is someone who gives, for example, someone who gives blood to help sick people. The word "pardon" means to give someone your forgiveness.

17. "div" means "divide". "Divorce" is when a husband and wife are divided into two single people again. A "dividend" is money that a company gives to its owners at the end of the year - the owners divide the money among themselves. A "division" is one part of a company or organization.

18. "ject" means "throw". To "eject" is to throw something out. "Eject" is also used on DVD players - it's the button you push to open the player and take out your DVD. To "reject" means to say "no". A "project" is some work that is "thrown out" for people to do.

19. "min" means "small". "Minimum" means the smallest amount. "Minus" means to take away which also means "to make smaller". And the word "minor" is someone who is still considered a child (usually under the age of 18) so that person is considered "small".

20. "mort" means "death". "Immortal" means someone who cannot die but "mortal" means someone can die. A "mortician" is a person who prepares dead people for a final ceremony. "Mortified" means "scared to death"!

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