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We can build new words! February 12, 2010

Posted by americanex in Uncategorized.


I recently went to Kiev for a Peace Corps Language Seminar. I learned a lot of interesting things about the Russian language, including that a root word is used to build new words by adding a prefix or a suffix. (a root word is the main part of a word that creates new words)

A prefix is put before the root word. An example in Russian would be двигать, which means the process of moving something. You can change the word to mean the result of or the process of moving something if you change the word to двинуть.

Well, you can do the same thing with English words. For example, the word “authorize.” Authorize is a  verb which means to approve of something. For example, the president of a country may authorize a city to close the schools if the weather is so bad that it is dangerous to be outside.

If you add the ending – ation – you get a whole new word – “authorization.” Authorization is a noun and it is the approval of something, such as the written authorization from the mayor to close the schools. Or  having authorization or approval from your teacher to leave your classroom.

If you add the ending – ity – you get the new word – “authority.” Authority is a noun that is a person that has the power to make a rule or law.

Below is a word game. See how many words you can create from the root word. If you can create two new words from each root word, bring your list into the Kherson Oblast Children’s Library and get a prize.

I’ll do the first one for you. Remember, you can use a prefix or a suffix; you may also find that the spelling of the root word changes a little.

List of root words:
















Have fun and I’ll see you at English Club on February 14 at 12:00 noon.

Deborah Garofalo, Peace Corps Volunteer


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