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What is the difference between base words and root words?

What is the difference between a base word and a root word?
Base words are similar to root words, but they are not exactly the same.
A base word is a standalone English word that can also form other words by using prefixes and suffixes (whereas, root words cannot always be used as an independent word).

Root Words:
Root words come from Latin or Greek.
They aren’t usually words that can stand alone in English.
For example: For example,* aud **is a Latin word root that means to hear or to listen.
_Aud_ doesn't mean anything on its own in English — that is, you can't use it as a stand-alone word.
It is the root of common English words like auditorium, audio, audience, and audition, all of which have to do with hearing someone or something.

Base Words
Base words, on the other hand, are always words that can stand alone in English. These words have meaning on their own, but they can also have prefixes and suffixes added to them to make new words.
For example, cycle is a full word in English, but it can function as the base of other words when affixes are added. Modern linguists suggest that a base is any form you can add affixes to.
Cycle is the base word, or the simplest form of the word without any prefixes or suffixes added.
Prefixes can be added to make words like bicycle, tricycle and motorcycle.
Suffixes can be added to make words like cyclist, cyclical or cyclers.

How should root words and base words be incorportated into the PLD SSP lesson?
On the reverse of the Word Study Templates in the Structured Synthetic Phonics Time Savers resources, there are word study activities focusing on base and root words. These should be incorporated into your SSP lesson throughout the week, see below:

Use Word Family Trees. These are located a the back of the Structured Synthetic Phonics Time Savers resources. Creating word family trees challenges students to use their knowledge of rots and base words, prefixes and suffixes to create new words. In addition they provide an opportunity to discover how meanings are changed and also practice spelling concepts.
Word Family Trees

Updated on: 21/03/2023

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