Oct 5, 2009

WORD OF THE WEEK: What's Your Bio?

Summary: Studying prefixes and suffixes can help boost vocabulary, as can studying root words, like bio, which means "life." Once you know a lot of prefixes, root (or base) words, and suffixes, you not only understand language, but you also know how to spell even better than before.

So, you've been studiously acquainting yourself with suffixes and prefixes over the last few weeks. Good for you! You can already see how your vocabulary is growing. Now for the coup d'├ętat: Study root words, or base words, to know all the various common parts of almost any word.

Bio is a good example of a root word, although it is often listed as a prefix, as well. In and of itself, it means "biography or biographical sketch." (For example, recently I mentioned in a blog post that my bio says I've always had a passion for language. In this case, I was referring to the written biography, or life story of my career history, that I give potential corporate clients.) But as a prefix, it simply means "life."

Think of such words as biology, biotechnology, or even antibiotic or autobiographical. If you've been studying your prefix and suffix lists, you can define them all! And you can also spell them quite easily when you hear them said, as well. (Hint: Learning the definitions and spellings of suffixes and prefixes is a great way to boost your spelling capabilities, too.)

Play this matching game by Quia and see if you can pair up the prefixes and suffixes with their definitions. Then study root words on your own—and share the resources you discover here! (Here's one more hint: Homeschooling websites are terrific for this type of study.)

© KiKi Productions, Inc. 2009

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