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Learn English Word Roots - Part 4


In previous articles, we learned English root words that came from ancient Rome, from the Latin language. (See Learn English Word Roots, Part 1 and Learn English Word Roots, Part 2.) Then, in part 3, we learned some English roots that came from the ancient Greek language. (See Learn English Word Roots, Part 3.) In this article, we will learn more English roots from ancient Greek. Learn the English roots in this article and the previous three, then when you read English, you will be able to guess the meaning of many new words. Sometimes you won't need a dictionary at all!

9. "chron" means "time". A "chronic" disease is something that continues a long time. A "chronicle" is a story that is written over time with the writer adding something every day perhaps. The word "synchronize" means "at the same time", so that "synchronized swimming" is when more than one swimmer can make the same moves at the same time.

10. "dem" means "people". A "democracy" is a system of government where the people can choose their own leaders. "Demographics" is the description of how many people there are in a society. The word "epidemic" describes a disease that is spread to many people.

11. "gen" means "birth". "Generate" means to make something new, for example, to "generate electricity" or to "generate ideas". A "generation" is a new set of people, for example the "younger generation" or the "World War II generation". The word "Genesis" is used to describe a story of how the world was born.

12. "hydr" means "water". "Dehydrate" means to become completely dry (without water), for example, to describe the human body during a hot summer! Energy that comes from a large waterfall or from a dam on a river is called "hydroelectric power". A "fire hydrant" is the place in the roads of many cities where firemen can get water to put out fires.

13. "log" or "logue" both mean "word". An "apology" uses words to say "I'm sorry". A "dialogue" is the same as a conversation, normally between two people. On the other hand a "monologue" is a talk by just one person, as you can often see on TV.

14. "opt" means "eye". An "option" is a choice, in other words it is another way of doing something that we can "see". If we see many choices, then we have many "options". Anything that is "optical" is related to either the eyes or tools that we can use to see better, such as lenses, microscopes, etc. An "optometrist" is a doctor who helps people with their eyes.

15. "ped" means "child". The word "pedagogical" is used to describe the way children learn. A set of books that can help children learn about many, many subjects is called an "encyclopedia". A doctor who treats only children is a "pediatrician".

16. "pod" means "feet". A cameraman uses a "tripod" (a stand with three "feet") to keep his camera still. A speaker standing in front of many people can put his notes on a stand at the front of the room called a "podium". A doctor who only helps people with their feet is a "podiatrist".

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