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ATI TEAS 7 English & Language Usage Course

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  1. Introduction

    Free ATI TEAS English and Language Usage Diagnostic Test
    1 Quiz
  2. Vocabulary Acquisition
    Determine Meaning of Words by Analyzing Word Parts
    1h 5m|
    5 Lessons
    |
    4 Quizzes
  3. Use Context Clues to Determine Word Meaning
    24m|
    2 Lessons
    |
    2 Quizzes
  4. Conventions of Standard English
    Use Conventions of Standard English Spelling
    41m|
    2 Lessons
    |
    3 Quizzes
  5. Use Conventions of Standard English Punctuation
    3h 51m|
    9 Lessons
    |
    9 Quizzes
  6. Analyze Various Sentence Structures
    29m|
    2 Lessons
    |
    3 Quizzes
  7. Knowledge of Language
    Use Grammar to Enhance Clarity in Writing
    48m|
    3 Lessons
    |
    3 Quizzes
  8. Distinguish Between Formal and Informal Language
    2h|
    3 Lessons
    |
    4 Quizzes
  9. Apply Basic Knowledge of the Elements of the Writing Process
    20m|
    1 Lesson
    |
    1 Quiz
  10. Develop a Well-Organized Paragraph
    53m|
    3 Lessons
    |
    3 Quizzes
  11. Timed Practice Test Simulations
    ATI TEAS English and Language Usage Practice Tests
    6h 10m|
    10 Quizzes
Topic Progress
0% Complete

Welcome to NurseHub’s lesson on Using Common Root Words to Determine Meaning. This lesson will help you to prepare for this skill on the TEAS 7 exam.

Learning Goals

By the end of this lesson, you will be able to:

● Understand the difference between root words and affixes

● Use strategies to understand the meaning of words

Key Vocabulary

Here are some words you should know that will make this lesson easier:

Root – A simple word before affixes (prefixes or suffixes) are added. These are the basis of our entire word study, and a major word part.

Affix – A prefix or suffix that comes before or after a root word.

Prefix – An affix that comes before the root word.

Suffix – An affix that comes after the root word.

Key Points

Word structures can include:

Root + Root

Prefix + Root

Root + Suffix

A combination of these (even Prefix + Root + Suffix words)

These question types will test your ability to analyze the word structure of these pairings. Let’s look at two example questions first!

Example Question 1: Knowledge of Two Word Parts
Take a look at this first example question.

Based on an analysis of word structure, an “arachnophobe” is:

A. A person who loves spiders
B. A person who fears spiders
C. A person who fears snakes
D. A person who loves snakes

This question is asking you for the definition of “arachnophobe”. This word is made up of two parts:

Root word: arachno
Suffix: -phobe

You can approach this in two ways:

– Call upon your knowledge of root word meanings.
– Create context. Ask yourself: “Where have I seen or heard these words before?”

Let’s take a look at the answer options and understand which one is correct!

A person who loves spiders
A person who loves spiders is an “arachnophile”. “Arachno” means “spiders” and “-phile” means “love or fascination of”.

A person who fears spiders
This is the correct answer! “Arachno” means “spiders” and “-phobe” means “fear of”.

A person who fears snakes
A person who fears snakes is an “ophidiophobe”. “Ophidio” means “snakes” and “-phobe” means “fear of”.

A person who loves snakes
A person who loves snakes is an “ophidiphile”. “Ophidio” means “snakes” and “-phile” means “love or fascination of”.

Let’s look at one more example before we delve into the strategy for this question type.

Example Question 2: Knowledge of One Word Part
Take a look at this example question.

Based on an analysis of word structure, an “herbicide” is:

A. A chemical used to kill plants
B. Related to plants
C. The study of plants
D. Herbal medicine

This question is asking you for the definition of “herbicide”. This word is made up of two parts:

Root word: herb
Suffix: -cide

You can approach this in three ways:

– Call upon your knowledge of root word meanings.
– Analyze your answer options. Ask yourself: “What is being assessed?”
– Create context. Ask yourself: “Where have I seen or heard these words before?”

Let’s take a look at the answer options. Notice how all of the answer options have to do with either plants or herbal things. So, we can single out the suffix “-cide”, which can give you a helpful clue when answering this question. That’s why this question type is classified as a “One Word Part” question.

A chemical used to kill plants
This is the correct answer! “A chemical used to kill plants” is a “herbicide”. The suffix, “-cide” is a suffix meaning “to kill or harm”.

Related to plants
“Related to plants” is “herbal”. The suffix, “-al” means “related to or including”.

The study of plants
The study of plants is “herbalism”. The suffix, “-ism” is a suffix meaning “to study”.

Herbal medicine
“Herbal medicine” is the opposite of our correct answer, and it doesn’t have a root + suffix word in the English language.

Now that we’ve looked at two examples, let’s explore how we can identify these questions and strategies we can use to answer them.

How do we identify word structure?

1. Study and memorize root word and suffix meanings.
Preparation is key. This is a great option, especially with questions that don’t have context clues (most questions on the TEAS exam are like this!)

2. Analyze the answer options and answer the question, “What is being assessed?”
Once you know what is being asked in the question, you can “plug” unfamiliar word parts into words you are already familiar with. Using affix and root words can help you use Process of Elimination and answer selection. We’ll use this strategy in our lesson!

3. Create context. Ask yourself: “Where have I seen these words or parts of these words before?”
When applicable, you can use context clues within the question to answer it!

By using a combination of these strategies, we can tackle word knowledge questions.

Why do we need to know this skill?

As someone who will be working in the medical field, you’ll need to be able to identify different types of words, many of which will contain prefixes or suffixes. Understanding root words can help you decipher many types of new vocabulary. Plus, in the English Language Usage section of the TEAS 7, you will be asked to identify the meaning of words based on their root word and affixes.

Sample Question 1: One Word Part
Our first sample question is an example of a “One Word Part”. Read the question and the answer options first.

Based on an analysis of word structure, “fertile” means:

A. A chemical or natural substance added to soil or land to increase its fertility
B. The quality of being fertile; productiveness
C. Producing or capable of producing new life
D. Unable or incapable of producing new life

(NurseHub Note: The suffix of this word is “-ile” and the root word is “fert”.)

We have two strategies to help us with these type of questions:

a. Study and Memorization: You can use your previous knowledge to answer this question.

b. Plugging this suffix into words we already know: The root word “fert” can be plugged into words you’re familiar with, like: “fertilizer” and “fertileness”, etc. The suffix, “ile” can be plugged into words like “mobile” and “juvenile”, etc.

Now that we’ve looked at the suffix and root word, let’s take a closer look at the answer options. Notice how the first two answer options (A and B) contain the words “fertility” and “fertile”. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that one of them is correct!

A chemical or natural substance added to soil or land to increase its fertility
This is another way to say “fertilizer”. It uses the same root word of “fertile”, but a different suffix (-izer).

The quality of being fertile; productiveness
This is the definition of the word “fertility”. Again, it uses the same root word of “fertile”, but a different suffix (-ity).

Producing or capable of producing new life
This is the correct answer! It’s the correct definition for the word “fertile”.

Unable or incapable of producing new life
This is the opposite of the correct answer, since it means “infertile”. When you place “in-” in front of the root word, it gives us the antonym of the word “fertile”.

Now, let’s look at another One Word Part question!

Sample Question 2: One Word Part
Read the question and the answer options first. Notice how the question asks you to find just one word part.

Based on an analysis of word structure, “flexible” means:

A. An action that is performed as a response to a stimulus and without conscious thought
B. Unwilling to change
C. A muscle whose contraction bends a limb or other parts of the body
D. Able to bend easily without breaking

(NurseHub Note: The suffix of this word is “-ible” and the root word is “flex”. Keep in mind that the suffix, “ible” can also mean “able”, depending on your root word choice!)

Since all of the answer options have to do with “flexing” in some way, we know that this is a one word part question. Just like the first sample question, we can call upon two strategies to answer this question:

a. Study and Memorization: You can use your previous knowledge to answer this question.

b. Plugging this suffix into words we already know: The root word “flex” can be plugged into words you’re familiar with, like “flexors”, “reflexes”, and “inflexible”, etc. The suffix, “ible” can be plugged into words like “responsible”, “eligible”, “tangible”, etc.

Let’s look at the answer options in detail now.

An action that is performed as a response to a stimulus and without conscious thought
This is the definition for a “reflex”, or a response to a stimulus without conscious thought. So, this isn’t the correct option for “flexible”.

Unwilling to change
This is actually the opposite of the word “flexible”! If something is “unwilling to change”, it’s “inflexible” and resistant to change.

A muscle whose contraction bends a limb or other parts of the body
This is the definition for the word “flexor”, such as your bicep, which helps to move and bend your elbow. Even though a “flexor” might be “flexible”, this option is incorrect.

Able to bend easily without breaking
This is the correct option! If something is “flexible”, it’s “able to bend easily without breaking”. Remember, since “-ible” can sometimes mean “able” (depending on your root word choice), this option makes the most sense.

Now let’s take a look at a Two Word Part question!

Sample Question 3: Two Word Part
Read the question and the answer options first. Since this question is asking for the definition of the entire word, “derma – t – ology”, we must examine multiple word parts.

Based on an analysis of word structure, “dermatology” is:

A. An inflammation of the skin
B. The study of the skin and its functions
C. An inflammation of a cancerous cell or tumor
D. The study of cancer and its behaviors

With a Two Word Part question, we have three strategies that we can use:

a. Study and Memorization: You can use your previous knowledge to answer this question.

b. Plugging our word parts into words we already know: The root word “derm” is in words like “dermatitis” and “epidermal”, etc. The suffix, “ology” is in words like “sociology”, “psychology”, “reflexology” etc.

c. Process of Elimination and our two distinct answer “types”: These specific answer options provide two types of answer types. Answer options A and B refer to the skin whereas options C and D refer to cancerous cells. This is one clue that we need to look at both the root word and the suffix!

All of the answer options are medical words. Let’s look at the answer options in detail.

An inflammation of the skin
Since the suffix, “-itis” means “an inflammation of”, this answer option is the definition for “dermatitis”, or inflammation of the skin.

The study of the skin and its functions
This is the correct answer!

An inflammation of a cancerous cell or tumor
This answer option is an oncological issue, but there isn’t a specific English word for it. In any case, “dermatology” is the study of skin and its functions, and not specific to oncology.

The study of cancer and its behaviors
Once again, this answer option is an oncological issue. “Dermatology” is the study of skin and its functions, and not specific to oncology.

(NurseHub Note: Notice how the prefix, “onco-” and “derma-” were used in the answer options. This can help us with Process of Elimination!)

Sample Question 4: Two Word Part
Read the question and the answer options first.

Based on an analysis of word structure, “fracture” means:

A. The cracking or breaking of a hard object or material.
B. A small or tiny part, amount, or proportion of something.
C. To shorten a word, text, or phrase.
D. A concise statement or summary.

Once again, we have three strategies to choose from:

a. Study and Memorization: You can use your previous knowledge to answer this question.

b. Plugging our word parts into words we already know: The root word “frac” is in words like “fraction”, “fractal”, etc. The suffix, “ture” is in words like “denture”, “closure”, etc.

c. Process of Elimination and our two distinct answer “types”: These specific answer options provide two types of answer types. Answer options A and B refer to breaking a piece of something whereas options C and D refer to shortening or summarizing.

The cracking or breaking of a hard object or material.

This is correct! This answer option is the correct definition for “fracture”.

A small or tiny part, amount, or proportion of something.

This answer option is the correct definition for the word “fraction”, like ⅔ of something.

To shorten a word, text, or phrase.

Another way to say this would be “an abbreviation” or “to abbreviate”.

A concise statement or summary.

This answer option refers to a “brief”, which is a term used in government or legal matters.

Excellent work! Now it’s time to wrap up this lesson with a review of the key points.

Review of Key Points

– A root is a simple word before affixes (which are prefixes or suffixes) are added.

– You can use three different strategies with these questions:

– First, you can call upon your study and memorization techniques of vocabulary.

– Next, you can use your knowledge of all word parts to help you.

– Thirdly, look to your answer options in order to understand similarities and differences.

– Ask yourself: Are all four options using the same word part? If so, then you only need to focus on the unidentified word part!

Keeping a list of common root words, suffixes, and other affixes will help you recognize them more easily. Here’s a list of the suffixes used throughout this lesson, along with their meanings.

Root words
Suffixes
Completed words
Meanings
arachno -phobe (denoting a person having a fear or dislike of what is specified) arachnophobe a person with a fear of spiders
arachno -phile (denoting a person or thing having a fondness for a specified thing) arachnophile a person who loves spiders
ophidio -phobe (denoting a person having a fear or dislike of what is specified) ophidiophobe a person with a fear of snakes
ophidio -phile (denoting a person or thing having a fondness for a specified thing) ophidiophile a person who loves snakes
herb -cide (denoting a person or substance that kills) herbicide a chemical used to kill plants
herb -ism (forming nouns denoting an action or its result) herbalism the study of plants
herb -al (relating to; of the kind of.) herbal relating to plants
fert -ile (forming adjectives and nouns) fertile producing or capable of producing new life
fert -izer (used to form nouns which are formed from verbs from nouns or adjectives, the final nouns having the sense of “the agent which makes what is denoted by the noun/adjective) fertilizer a chemical or natural substance added to soil or land to increase its fertility
fert -ity (forming nouns denoting quality or condition) fertility the quality of being fertile; productiveness
flex -ible (forming adjectives meaning: able to be, suitable for being, causing, having the quality to) flexible able to bend easily without breaking
flex -or (forming nouns denoting a person or thing performing the action of a verb, or denoting another agent) flexor a muscle whose contraction bends a limb or other parts of the body
flex -ibility (forming nouns corresponding to adjectives ending in -ible ) flexibility the quality of bending easily without breaking
derma -ology (denoting a subject of study or interest) dermatology the study of the skin and its functions
derma -itis (forming names of inflammatory diseases) dermatitis an inflammation of the skin
frac -ure (forming nouns denoting an action, process, or result, denoting an office or function, or denoting a collective) fracture the cracking or breaking of a hard object or material.
frac -tion (forming nouns denoting an action or its result) fraction a small or tiny part, amount, or proportion of something
frac -al (relating to; of the kind of) fractal a curve or geometrical figure
dent -ure (forming nouns denoting an action, process, or result, denoting an office or function, or denoting a collective) denture a removable plate or frame holding one or more artificial teeth
clos -ure (forming nouns denoting an action, process, or result, denoting an office or function, or denoting a collective) closure an act or process of closing something
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