The study of word origins
Where do the words we use
• English is a blend of words from many other
• These words made their way into the
English language in many ways
o Occupation by other countries/cultures
o English occupation of other
o Brought by immigrants
The English language
o Cultural trends and fashions is always
Greek and Latin have had the
biggest influence on English.
This influence started thousands
of years ago…
Latin was the language spoken in ancient Rome.
When the Romans conquered territories—
including most of Europe—they brought
their language to those territories. That is
why there are so many words in our language
that have Latin roots.
How Latin words got into English
The Roman Empire
Britain, bringing Latin
Latin words found
their way into the
of the people in
Miles of streets and roads were created.
Mile is from the Latin word mille, which means 1,000.
The Roman mile was measured as 1,000 paces.
Why Should YOU Learn Word Roots?
• You will recognize word chunks in unfamiliar words
and be able to narrow down the possible meaning
of the word
• It will help you with vocabulary in many subject
• You will be better able to pronounce unfamiliar
• You will become a better speller
• Since many languages have common roots to Latin
and Greek, it makes learning a foreign language
Some Common Roots
Can you think of words that contain these roots?
ortho = straight
dyna = power
ann = year
orb = circle
pop = people
struct = build
terr = land
alt = high
reg = rule
dom = rule