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CAHSEE on Target

UC Davis, School and University Partnerships

CAHSEE on Target
English Language Arts Curriculum
Published by
The University of California, Davis,
School/University Partnerships Program
2006
Director
Sarah R. Martinez, School/University Partnerships, UC Davis
Developed and Written by
Syma Solovitch, School/University Partnerships, UC Davis
Reviewers
Jennifer Osborne, UC Davis English Graduate
Faith Paul, School/University Partnerships, UC Davis
Linda Whent, School/University Partnerships, UC Davis
Sarah Rees, School/University Partnerships, UC Davis
Design and Layout
Bo Botelli, Publications Coordinator
Jack Zhang, Publications Assistant
Advising Services, UC Davis
The CAHSEE on Target curriculum was made possible by
funding and support from the California Academic Partnership Program,
GEAR UP, and the University of California Office of the President.
We also gratefully acknowledge the contributions of those teachers
and administrators at Sacramento High School and Woodland High School
who piloted the CAHSEE on Target curriculum.
Copyright The Regents of the University of California, Davis campus, 2005-06
All Rights Reserved. Pages intended to be reproduced for students activities
may be duplicated for classroom use. All other text may not be reproduced in any form
without the express written permission of the copyright holder.
For further information,
please visit the School/University Partnerships Web site at:
http://sup.ucdavis.edu

CAHSEE on Target

UC Davis, School and University Partnerships


Student Workbook: Word Analysis Strand

Introduction to the CAHSEE


The CAHSEE stands for the California High School Exit Exam.
The English Language Arts section of the CAHSEE consists of
72 multiple-choice questions (45 reading items and 27 writing items)
and one essay (accounting for 18% of the section).
The items span across 6 distinct strands:
Word Analysis: 7 Questions
Reading Comprehension (Informational Text): 18 Questions
Literary Response & Analysis: 20 Questions
Writing Conventions: 15 Questions
Writing Strategies: 12 Questions
Writing Applications: 1 Essay (18% of the total score)


What is
CAHSEE on Target?
CAHSEE on Target is a tutoring
course specifically designed for
the California High School Exit Exam
(CAHSEE). The goal of the program is to
pinpoint each students areas of weakness
and to then address those weaknesses
through classroom and small group instruction,
concentrated review, computer tutorials and
challenging games.
Each student will receive a separate workbook for
each strand and will use these workbooks during
their tutoring sessions. These workbooks will
present and explain each concept covered
on the CAHSEE, and introduce effective
strategies for reading comprehension,
essay writing, and text revision.

CAHSEE on Target

UC Davis, School and University Partnerships


Student Workbook: Word Analysis Strand

What is Word Analysis?


When we read, we often come upon unfamiliar words. How do we
figure out the meaning? Looking the word up in the dictionary is
one way, but this may not always be convenient or possible (as in a test).
Word Analysis refers to strategies used to figure out the meaning of
unfamiliar words. In this packet, you will learn seven such strategies.

Strategies for Deducing Meaning


1. Context Clues (& Signal Words)
2. Multiple-Choice Strategies
3. Structural Clues
4. Direction
5. Charge
6. Word Association
7. Deconstruction

While there are only seven CAHSEE questions that directly test your
word analysis skills, the ability to approximate the meaning of unfamiliar
words is a skill that comes into play whenever we read and will be key to
your success in every CAHSEE strand (including math).

CAHSEE on Target

UC Davis, School and University Partnerships


Student Workbook: Word Analysis Strand

Vocabulary Strategy 1: Context Clues


Context clues are words in a sentence or paragraph that help the reader
deduce (reason out) the meaning of an unfamiliar word.

A. Types of Context Clues


There are five major types of context clues:
1. Synonym Clue: Sometimes an unfamiliar word is used as a synonym
(a word having either the same or similar meaning as another word).
You can infer (figure out) the meaning of the unfamiliar word by replacing
it with the familiar word.
Example: I feel completely satiated; in fact, I am so full that I could not
possibly eat another morsel of food.
Full is a synonym for satiated. We can conclude that the word satiated
means full or satisfied.
2. Comparison Clue: Sometimes an unfamiliar word is used in a comparison
with a familiar word or group of words.
Example: The children huddle around their teacher, like baby chicks
around a mother hen.
The children are being compared to baby chicks around a mother hen;
we can conclude, then, that huddle means crowd together closely.
Note: The phrase like baby chicks around a mother hen is a simile.
A simile is a literary device that uses the words like or as to describe
one thing by comparing it with another.

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Student Workbook: Word Analysis Strand

3. Contrast Clue: Sometimes an unfamiliar word may be used in contrast


to a familiar word or group of words. You can infer the meaning of
the unfamiliar word by giving it the opposite meaning of the familiar word.
Example: Unlike Robin, who is full of life, Rachel is lackluster.
The opposite of full of life is empty of life. The word lackluster
is used to contrast Robin and Rachel. We can conclude, then,
that the word lackluster means lacking liveliness.
4. Explanation Clue: Sometimes an unfamiliar word may be followed
with an explanation, in which a familiar word or group of words is used.
Example: Marsha is insatiable; she can eat all day and never feel full.
Here, the second part of the sentence (she can eat all day and never feel full)
is used to explain the first part of the sentence (Marsha is insatiable).
We can conclude, then, that insatiable means incapable of being full
or incapable of being satisfied.
5. Example Clue: Sometimes an unfamiliar word may be followed by an example,
in which the familiar word is used.
Example: In college, you can choose courses from a broad range of academic
disciplines, such as history, economics, mathematics, and psychology.
You are probably familiar with the primary (first) meaning of the word
discipline - - control. But that doesnt quite fit in the context of the
above sentence. The word discipline also has a secondary meaning;
we can use the context of the sentence to figure out this meaning.
The word is followed by several examples: history, economics, mathematics,
and psychology. (Note: The words such as let us know that examples
will follow.) We can conclude, then, that each of these subjects is
an example of a discipline and that the word discipline means
a branch of instruction or learning.

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Student Workbook: Word Analysis Strand

CAHSEE Example
1. What does delicate mean as used in the following sentence?
Now more than 100 years old, many of Andersens delicate paper cuttings
still exist in a museum in Denmark devoted to his work.
A. thin
B. fragile
C. creative
D. old
Passage: The Remarkable Paper Cuttings of Hans Christian Anderson
Source: California Department of Education, 2004
In the example above, underline your clue words.
What is the correct answer?

Context Clues in Surrounding Sentences


Sometimes the clues to a words meaning are not found in the same sentence. You must
read a few sentences before and/or after the sentence in which the word appears.
Read the following passage and underline all of the words that provide clues to the
meaning of institutions.
California has many educational institutions that have been affected by the recent
state budget cuts. Its public universities have been badly hit and will need to
increase tuition. In addition, next years funding for elementary, middle, and high schools
has been cut significantly.
Meaning of institution: _____________________________________________________

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Student Workbook: Word Analysis Strand

B. Signal Words
Context clues often follow signal words and phrases. These alert
or signal to the reader that an important clue is coming.
Pay attention to these words when you are reading; they will help
you figure out the meaning of unfamiliar words.
Lets reexamine an earlier example:
Example: In college, you can choose courses from a broad range
of academic disciplines, such as history, economics, mathematics,
and psychology.
In the sentence above, the phrase such as signals to the reader
that examples of academic disciplines will follow. Even if you
are unfamiliar with the meaning of an academic discipline,
you are probably familiar with all of the examples (history, economics,
mathematics, psychology). You can therefore conclude that a discipline
is a branch of instruction or learning.
Example: The Sacramento Bee is a quotidian publication because
it is put out every day.
In this sentence, because is a signal word. It alerts the reader
that an explanation follows. Here, the words every day define
the word quotidian.
Example: Unlike Robin, who is full of life, Rachel is lackluster.
In this sentence, unlike is a signal word. It lets the reader know
that lackluster can be contrasted with full of life.

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Student Workbook: Word Analysis Strand
Signal Words for Comparison (or Synonyms)



and
such as
like
similar to

Signal Words for Explanation





because
because of
since
in other words

Signal Words for Contrast














however
although
though
despite
but
in contrast to
rather
unlike
on the other hand
as opposed to
nevertheless
yet
while

Signal Words for Example








for example
for instance
such as
like
other
one kind
includes, including

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Student Workbook: Word Analysis Strand
C. Punctuation Clues
Punctuation marks may also alert the reader to context clues:
1. Commas
Example: Netsuke, a small figure of ivory, wood, metal, or ceramic,
is a form of Japanese art.
In the above sentence, the two commas (,) that enclose the words
a small figure of ivory, wood, metal, or ceramic signal to the reader
that a definition of the word netsuke follows.
2. Colons
Example: There are many different types of professions in society:
law, medicine, accounting, and education.
In the above sentence, the colon (:) signals to the reader that a list
of examples will follow. Law, medicine, teaching, and accounting
are all examples of professions.
3. Semicolons
Example: Neil is such a cynic; he finds it difficult to believe that
I would help him out of the goodness of my heart.
In the above sentence, the semi-colon (;) signals to the reader
that an explanation (or continuation of the thought) will follow.
The fact that Neil thinks the worst of everyone explains why
the author believes that he is a cynic. A cynic is someone
who believes that only selfishness motivates human actions.

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Student Workbook: Word Analysis Strand
4. Parenthesis
Example: Damian was fatigued (he hadnt slept for two days)
and came straight home from school.
In the above sentence, the parentheses ( ) signal to the reader
that an explanation is provided. Although you may not know
what the word fatigued means, you can probably figure out
its meaning through the explanation contained within the parentheses
(he hadnt slept for days). Someone who hasnt slept for days is
most probably very tired, and that is exactly what fatigued means.
5. Hyphens
Example: Once a nasal infection reaches the bronchial tubes,
ciliatiny hair-like structures can act to prevent further damage.
In the above sentence, the hyphen () signals to the reader that
a definition follows. We know, therefore that cilia means
tiny hair-like structures.
6. Dashes
Example: Neurology--the science of the nerves and the nervous system-is a popular major at our university.
In the above sentence, the dashes (--) signal to the reader that a definition
or explanation follows. We therefore know that neurology
means the science of the nerves and the nervous system.

CAHSEE on Target

UC Davis, School and University Partnerships


Student Workbook: Word Analysis Strand

Exercise: Signal Words and Context Clues


List all signal words (or punctuation marks) and context clues for each sentence;
then guess the meaning of the underlined word. The first one has been
completed for you.
1. Working with a tutor may have many beneficial results; one positive
outcome is that you may feel more comfortable asking questions
in a one-on-one setting than you would in a large classroom.
Signal Word/s (or Marks): Semicolon (;)
Context Clue/s: one positive outcome is
Meaning of beneficial: positive, advantageous
2. I despise broccoli, but I adore spinach.
Signal Word/s: _________________________________
Context Clue/s: _________________________________
Meaning of despise: ________________________________
3. My itinerary for this trip includes a three-day stay in Italy and
a cruise to Greece.
Signal Word/s: ________________________________________
Context Clue/s: _______________________________________
Meaning of itinerary: __________________________________

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Student Workbook: Word Analysis Strand
4. In contrast to my sister, who is quite taciturn, I am extremely talkative.
Signal Word/s: ____________________________________________________
Context Clue/s: ___________________________________________________
Meaning of taciturn: _______________________________________________
5. I have found Michael rather duplicitous at times; for example,
he encouraged me to apply for the promotion but then he voted against me.
Signal Word/s: ______________________________________________
Context Clue/s: ____________________________________________
Meaning of duplicitous: ______________________________________
6. Success on the job entails a number of skills: it requires strong
analytical, communication and organization skills.
Signal Word/s: ______________________________________
Context Clue/s: ____________________________________
Meaning of entails: ___________________________________
7. While I do not necessarily concur with all of his viewpoints,
I completely agree with his recent decision to delay the project.
Signal Word/s: _______________________________________________
Context Clue/s: ____________________________________________
Meaning of concur: _________________________________________

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Student Workbook: Word Analysis Strand

Vocabulary Strategy 2: Multiple-Choice Strategies


On the CAHSEE you will be asked to find the meaning of a word that appears in a sentence from a
reading passage. Lets look at two strategies for answering these types of questions on the CAHSEE:

Strategy A: Dont look at the choices until the end.


1. Cover the answer choices with your hand.
2. Go back to the passage to determine how the word is used in context.
(Note: These clues may appear in the same sentence or in the sentence/s
before and/or after the word.)
3. Underline clue words.
4. Before looking at the answer choices, write what you think the word means.
(What word would fit in the context?)
5. Examine the choices. Eliminate answer choices that are very different
from your word. Pick the answer choice that most closely matches your word.
Example: Tragically, many tropical rain forests are so threatened by overdevelopment
that they may be completely eradicated by the end of the century.
1. Cover the answer choices with your hand.
2. Look at the passage to see how the word is used in context.
3. Underline clue words in the sentence.
4. Write in a word that would fit the context. _______________
5. Now look at the answer choices. Cross out all answer choices that are not
synonymous with your word.
A. isolated

B. destroyed

C. rejuvenated

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D. expanded

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Student Workbook: Word Analysis Strand
Strategy B: Try out each choice in the original sentence.
1. Read the sentence or paragraph in which the word appears.
2. When you get to word in question, cover it with your hand.
3. Substitute each of the answer choices for the word you have covered
and read the sentence.
4. Ask yourself, Does this word make sense in the sentence?
5. Cross out those words that do not fit and choose the word that makes
the most sense in the sentence.
CAHSEE Example
But in captivity, when their keepers unknowingly were giving them leaves contaminated
with acid, the koalas were left with only two options: eat the poisonous leaves or starve.
A. carried with
B. polished with
C. poisoned with
D. grown from
Source: California Department of Education, 2004
1. Read the entire sentence.
2. Cover the word contaminated with your hand.
3. Substitute each of the choices and read the sentence.
4. Ask yourself, Does this word make sense in the sentence?
5. Cross out choices that do not make sense and choose the word
that makes the most sense in the sentence.

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Student Workbook: Word Analysis Strand

Vocabulary Strategy 3: Structural Clues


How does the word fit in the sentence?
Can you get a sense of the words meaning by looking at where it appears?
Does it appear beside any words that you can associate it with?
Type of Word: Is the word used as a noun, verb, adjective, or adverb?
If it is used as a noun, is it singular or plural? Is it a proper noun or common noun?
If it is used as a verb, look at its tense: Is it past, present or future?
If it is used as an adjective, look at the noun it is modifying. Connect these.
If it is used as an adverb, look at the verb it is modifying. Connect these.
Example: Some of the Sequoias in these forests are several hundred years old.
Probable meaning of Sequoias: ______________________________________
Example: The putrid odor seemed to be coming from the garbage cans.
Probable meaning of putrid: _________________________________________

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Student Workbook: Word Analysis Strand

Vocabulary Strategy 4: Direction


Use signal words, phrases, and punctuation marks to determine the direction of the word.

Same Direction

Change Direction

and

however

because, since

although, though

including

nevertheless

in fact

but

indeed

in contrast to

; (semi-colon)

rather

: (colon)

despite, yet

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Student Workbook: Word Analysis Strand
Vocabulary Exercise
Mark the direction of the underlined word in each passage and guess the words meaning.
1. The change did not occur overnight; on the contrary, it was progressive.
Direction: ___________
Meaning of progressive: ____________________________________________________
2. I love taking a long walk early in the morning; in fact, I find the experience invigorating.
Direction: ___________
Meaning of invigorating: ____________________________________________________
3. Rather than being destroyed, many historical buildings are now being preserved.
Direction: ___________
Meaning of preserved: _____________________________________________________
4. Unlike her sister, who enjoyed time alone, Sylvia preferred the camaraderie of her colleagues.
Direction: ___________
Meaning of camaraderie: ___________________________________________________

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Student Workbook: Word Analysis Strand

Vocabulary Strategy 5: Charge


The charge of a word can be positive, negative or neutral:
positive:

Charge Words

negative:

neutral:

Charge Words

Charge Words

happy

frightened

work

honest

angry

change

brave

lazy

brunette

smile

cry

telephone

Exercise: For each sentence, write the charge of the underlined word.
1. When Mrs. Brown saw the horrible mess her students had made while she was absent,
she became livid.
What is the charge of livid? ________
2. I try to overlook many things, said Mr. Dalton, but this mistake is so egregious
that I will have to take action!
What is the charge of egregious? ________

Note: If word is difficult to pronounce or decode, substitute it for xxxxx,
or blah blah blah. It wont affect its meaning.
3. Fred was confident that he had performed well. Several people in the audience
went even further and called his performance superlative.
What is the charge of superlative? ________

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Student Workbook: Word Analysis Strand

4. Heidi has an inferiority complex; she has absolutely no confidence in herself.


What is the charge of inferiority? ________
5. The building is so old and dilapidated that the landlord cant find anyone willing to rent it.
What is the charge of dilapidated? ________
6. If you continue to disobey me, I will have to take punitive action.
What is the charge of punitive? ________
7. Never give up; always persevere!
What is the charge of persevere? ________
8. She woke up late and showed up to work with her hair disheveled and her clothes wrinkled.
What is the charge of disheveled? ________
9. I found her story heart wrenching; I cried for hours.
What is the charge of heart wrenching? ________
10. When Mr. Franklin saw his daughter accept her award, he was overcome with mirth.
What is the charge of mirth? ________

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Student Workbook: Word Analysis Strand
Vocabulary Exercise
1. Despite her lack of experience, Eleanor handled the difficult project commendably.
Signal Word/s or Punctuation Marks: ________________________________________
Context Clues: __________________________________________________________
Direction: ________
Charge: ________
Meaning of commendably: ________________________________________________
2. Ethan is usually known for his brevity. Today, however, he was horribly long-winded.
Signal Word/s or Punctuation Marks: ________________________________________
Context Clues: __________________________________________________________
Direction: ________
Charge of brevity: ________
Meaning of brevity: ______________________________________________________
3. Pompeii is one of many ancient cities destroyed by a catastrophic event.
Signal Word/s or Punctuation Marks: ________________________________________
Context Clues: __________________________________________________________
Direction: ________
Charge of catastrophic: ________
Meaning of catastrophic: __________________________________________________

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Student Workbook: Word Analysis Strand
4. I find the man arrogant; he looks down on everyone around him.
Signal Word/s or Punctuation Marks: _________________________________________
Context Clues: ___________________________________________________________
Direction: ________
Charge of arrogant: ________
Meaning of arrogant: ______________________________________________________
5. He gingerly placed the delicate and priceless vase on the table and sighed with relief.
Signal Word/s or Punctuation Marks: _________________________________________
Context Clues: ___________________________________________________________
Direction: ________
Charge of gingerly: ________
Meaning of gingerly: ______________________________________________________
6. Because of the altercation, the two men never spoke to one another again.
Signal Word/s or Punctuation Marks: _________________________________________
Context Clues: ___________________________________________________________
Direction: ________
Charge of altercation: ________
Meaning of altercation: ____________________________________________________

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Student Workbook: Word Analysis Strand

7. Jason is a genuine raconteur: he excels at telling stories that fascinate his listeners.
Signal Word/s or Punctuation Marks: ________________________________________
Context Clues: __________________________________________________________
Direction: ________
Charge of raconteur: ________
Meaning of raconteur: ____________________________________________________
8. The divorce was extremely acrimonious. The husband and wife had really come
to hate one another.
Signal Word/s or Punctuation Marks: ________________________________________
Context Clues: __________________________________________________________
Direction: ________
Charge of acrimonious: ________
Meaning of acrimonious: __________________________________________________

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Student Workbook: Word Analysis Strand

Vocabulary Strategy 6: Word Association


A. Seeing Smaller Words
Examine each of the following words and see if you can recognize a
smaller word (or words) inside it. Underline the smaller word.
The first word has been done for you.
Superlative
Proffer
Differential
Underlying
Expertise
Enthrone
Egotistical
Belittle
Ingenious
Longevity
Legendary
Marginal
Maniacal

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Student Workbook: Word Analysis Strand

B. Seeing Bigger Words


Examine each of the following words and see if you can recognize a bigger word outside it.
Write the bigger word. The first one has been done for you.
Example:
Engage:

Engagement

Excel:

___________________________

Propel:

Repel:

___________________________

Censor:

___________________________

Dcor:

___________________________

Converse:

___________________________

Repute:

___________________________

___________________________

C. Seeing Similar Words


Examine each of the following words and see if you can recognize a similar word in it.
Write the similar word. The first one has been done for you.
Circulatory:

Circulation

Emotive:

___________________________

Exemplify:

___________________________

Brevity:

___________________________

Nutrient:

___________________________

Unison:

___________________________

Spacious:

___________________________

Salutation:

___________________________

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Student Workbook: Word Analysis Strand

Vocabulary Strategy 7: Deconstruction


Many English words can be traced back to Latin and Greek. Often you can guess
the meaning of an unfamiliar word if you know the meaning of its parts:
the Latin or Greek roots, prefixes and suffixes.
A word root is a part of a word. It contains the core meaning of the word.
Example: The Latin root scrib- or script means to write.
Example: The Greek root anthrop- means human.
A prefix is placed at the beginning of a word to change its meaning;
it cannot stand alone.
Example: The Latin prefix pre- means before.
Note: A prefix is an affix (something that is attached) that comes before a word.
Example: The Greek prefix bio- means life.
A suffix is a word part that is placed at the end of a word to change its meaning;
it cannot stand alone.
Example: The Latin suffix -fy or -ify means to make or cause to become.
Example: The Greek suffix -ology means the study of.

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Student Workbook: Word Analysis Strand

Roots combine with prefixes and suffixes to form new words. Often, you can take apart
(or deconstruct) an unknown word by examining each individual part.
Example: The Latin root -tract- means to pull. You can combine it with the prefix de-,
which means away to get the word detract. Detract means to pull away.
Example: Now lets combine the root -tract- with the prefix re-, which means again or
back. The word retract, means to pull back.

On Your Own:
The Greek prefix bio- means life and the Greek suffix -ology means the study of.
What does the word biology mean?
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
The root -cardio- means heart and the suffix -ologist means one who studies.
What does the word cardiologist mean?
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
The prefix auto- means self. The prefix bio- means life.
The root -graph- means to write. The suffix -ical means pertaining to,
or about.
What does the word autobiography mean?
____________________________________________________

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Student Workbook: Word Analysis Strand

Learning the Roots, Prefixes & Suffixes


The most common roots, prefixes and suffixes are presented over the next several pages.
Try to learn five each day and you will see how fast your vocabulary will improve!

A. Roots
In general, roots serve the role of nouns, verbs and adjectives.
Look at the examples for each root and see if you can figure out the meaning.

Root

Meaning

Examples

-ambul-

to walk

ambulatory, ambulance, somnambulist

-audi-

to hear

audience, auditory, audible, auditorium,


audiovisual, audition

-cardio-

heart

cardiovascular, cardiology, cardiologist

-bene-

good, well

benefactor, beneficial, beneficiary,


benevolent, benefit

-chron-

time

chronology, chronic, chronicle

-cide-, -cis-

to kill, to cut

fratricide, suicide, incision, excision

-cred-

to believe

credo, credible, credence, credit,


credential, incredulous

-cycl-

circle, wheel

bicycle, cyclical, cycle, tricycle

-dei-, -div-

God, god

divinity, divine, deity, divination, deify

-demo-

people

democracy, demagogue, epidemic

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Student Workbook: Word Analysis Strand

Root

Meaning

Examples

-dict-

speak

predict, verdict, dictionary, dictate,


diction, contradict

-duc-, -duct-

to lead, pull

produce, abduct, product, deduce, reduce, induce

-dyn-, -dyna-

power

dynamic, dynamite, dynamo, dynasty

-flu-, -flux-

flow

influence, fluctuate, confluence, influx

-flect-, -flex-

to bend

flexible, reflection, deflect, flex

-graph-, -gram-

to write

polygraph, grammar, biography, telegram,


autograph, graphic

-jac-, -ject-

to throw

reject, eject, inject project, trajectory, interject

-lat-

side

lateral, bilateral, unilateral

-man-

hand

manual

-meter-

measure

perimeter, micrometer, thermometer, speedometer

-mit-, -miss-

to send

transmit, permit, missile, mission, missionary,


remit, admit

-morph-

shape

polymorphic, morpheme

-psyche-

mind

psychology, psychologist

-pel-

to drive

compel, dispel, impel, repel, repellent

-pend-

to hang

append, depend, impend, pendulum

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Student Workbook: Word Analysis Strand

Root

Meaning

Examples

-phot-

light

photograph, photosynthesis

-port-

to carry

porter, portable, report, transportation, deport,


import, export, support

-quest-

ask

question, request, questionnaire

-sanct-

holy

sanctify, sanctuary, sanction, sanctimonious

-scrib-, -script-

to write

describe, description, subscribe, subscription,


transcribe, transcription, inscribe, inscription,
prescribe, prescription, manuscript, scribble, scribe,
scripture, script

-sect-, -sec-

cut

intersect, transect, dissect, section

-spect-

to look

inspect, spectator, circumspect, retrospective,


prospect, spectacle

-syn-

together

symphony, synthesis, syndicate

-tele-

distance, from
afar

television, telephone, telegraph. telecommute

-temp-

time

temporary, temporal

-theo-, -the-

God

theology, theist, monotheism, polytheist

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Student Workbook: Word Analysis Strand

Root

Meaning

Examples

-tract-

to pull, drag,
draw

attract, tractor, traction, extract, retract, detract,


subtract, contract, retract

-veh-, -vect-

to carry

vehicle, convection

-vert-, -vers-

to turn

convert, revert, invert, divert, versatile, vertigo,


extraverted, introverted

-vita-

life

vital, vitality, vitamins, revitalize

-volve-

to roll

revolve, revolution

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Student Workbook: Word Analysis Strand
B. Prefixes
Prefixes come at the beginning of a word. Many prefixes serve the role of prepositions.
They are used to signal the position or direction of one thing in relation to another.
Look at the examples for each root and see if you can figure out the meaning.

Prefix

Meaning

Examples

ab-

from, away from

absent, abnormal, abduct, abstain

ante-

before

antebellum, antedate, antecedent, antediluvian

anti-, ant-

against, opposite

antisocial, antichrist antidepressant, antifreeze,


antibiotic

auto-

self

automobile, automatic, autobiography, autograph,


autonomous, autopilot

circum-

around

circumnavigate, circumvent, circumstance,


circumference, circulatory

co-

together

cooperate, coauthor, cosign

con-, com-

with, together

convene, compress, contemporary, converge,


compact, combine

contra-, counter-

against, opposite

contradict, counteract, contravene, contrary

de-

from, down,
away

detach, deodorize, devoid, deflate, degenerate

dia-

through, across,
between

diameter, diagonal, dialogue dialect, diagnosis

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Student Workbook: Word Analysis Strand

Prefix

Meaning

Examples

dis-, dys-, dif-

away, not,
negative

dismiss, differ, disallow, disperse, dissuade,


disconnect, disrespect, disbelief,
discomfort, discredit

equi-

equal

equidistant, equilateral, equilibrium, equinox,


equitable, equation, equator

e-, ex-

out, away, from

emit, expulsion, exhale, exit, express, exclusive,


exceed, explosion

exter-, extra-

outside of

external, extrinsic, exterior extraordinary,


extraneous extracurricular

hetero-

other

heterogeneous, heterosexual

homo-

same

homogenized, homonym, homophone

hyper-

over, above

hyperactive, hypersensitive, hyperventilate

hypo-

below, less than

hypotension, hypodermic, hypoglycemia,


hypoallergenic

in-, im-

not

innocuous, intractable, innocent, impossible

infra-

beneath

infrared, infrastructure

inter-, intro-

between

international, interfaith, interracial, intertwine,


introduce, intermission, internal, intermittent

intra-

within, into

intravenous

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Student Workbook: Word Analysis Strand

Prefix

Meaning

Examples

mal-

bad, badly

malformation, maladjusted, dismal, malady,


malcontent

mega-

great, million

megaphone, megabyte, megalopolis

meta-

beyond, change

metaphor, metamorphosis, metabolism

micro-

small

microcosm, microscope

mis-

bad, badly,
wrong

mistake, misinform, misinterpret, mispronounce

multi-

many

multitude, multiply, multipurpose

neo-

new

neologism, neoclassic, neophyte

non-

not

nonabrasive, nondescript

omni-

all

omnipotent, omnivorous, omniscient

poly-

many

polytheist, polygon, polygamy, polymorphous

pan-

all

panorama, pantheism, panacea

post-

after

postdate, postwar, postnatal

pre-

before

pre-register, prepare, predate, prefix, predict

re-

back, again

report, realign, retract, revise, regain

retro-

backwards

retrospective, retroactive

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Student Workbook: Word Analysis Strand

Prefix

Meaning

Examples

semi-

half

semifinal, semiconscious, semiannual, semicircle

sub-

under, below

submerge, submarine, substandard, subnormal

super-, supra-

above

superior, supernatural, supervisor, superscript

tele-

distance,
from afar

distance, from afar

therm-, thermo-

heat

thermal, thermometer, thermodynamic

trans-

across

transport, translate, transcribe, transoceanic,


transnational, transmit

un-

not

uncooked, unharmed, unintended, undeserving

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Student Workbook: Word Analysis Strand
Number Prefixes: Part I

Prefix

Meaning

Examples

mono-

one

monopoly, monologue, monorail, monotheist

uni-

one

unilateral, universal, unity, unanimous, uniform

bi-

two

biweekly, biannual, bimonthly, bicultural, bilingual,


bilateral, bicoastal

di-

two

divide, diverge, dissect, divert

tri-

three

triangle, tricycle, trinity, trilateral, trilogy, trilateral,


trilingual, triathlon

quat-, quad-

four

quadrangle, quadruplets, quadrilateral, quadrant

quint-, penta-

five

quintet, quintuplets, pentagon

hex-, ses-, sex-

six

hexagon, sextet, sextuplets

sept-

seven

septet, septennial

oct-

eight

octopus, octagon, octogenarian, octave

non-

nine

nonagon, nonagenarian

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Student Workbook: Word Analysis Strand
Number Prefixes: Part II

Prefix

Meaning

Examples

dec-, deka-

ten

decade, decagon, decathlon, decalogue

deci-

tenth

decimal

cent-

hundred

centennial, century, centuplicate

centi-

hundredth

centipede, centimeter

mill-, kilo-

thousand

millennium, kilobyte

milli-

thousandth

milligram, millimeter

mega-

million

megabyte

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Student Workbook: Word Analysis Strand
C. Suffixes
Suffixes come at the end of the word. Look at each example and see if you can
guess the meaning of the word.

Suffix

Meaning

Examples

-able

forms adjectives
and means capable of

manageable, respectable,
likeable, flexible

-al

relating to

logical

-ation

forms nouns from verbs

beautification, purification

-ence, -ance

condition

confidence, radiance

-ful

full of

beautiful, grateful, hopeful

-ic, -ical

pertaining to

scientific, biological,
psychological, medical

-ician

someone who works with

beautician, electrician

-ify

forms verbs and means to make


or to cause to become

beautify, quantify, purify

-ism

practice

socialism, capitalism, racism

-ist, -gist

one who studies, one who is


skilled in

scientist, psychologist

-less

without

homeless, hopeless, tireless

-ology

study of

sociology, psychology

-ous

having, full of

wondrous

-phile

love

audiophile, Francophile

-phobia-

fear

claustrophobia, hydrophobia

-phon-

sound

telephone, phonics, phonograph,


phonetic, homophone, microphone
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Student Workbook: Word Analysis Strand
Exercise: Deconstruct the following words and provide your definition.
in suffer able: __________________________________________________________________
auto bio graphy: ________________________________________________________________
psych ology: ___________________________________________________________________
theo logy: _____________________________________________________________________
hypo derm ic: __________________________________________________________________
equi nox: ______________________________________________________________________
pseudo nym: ___________________________________________________________________
homo phone: __________________________________________________________________
hydro phil/ic: __________________________________________________________________
hydro phobic: __________________________________________________________________
dia logue: _____________________________________________________________________
mono logue: ___________________________________________________________________
franco phile: ___________________________________________________________________

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Student Workbook: Word Analysis Strand

Checklist for Tackling New Vocabulary


1.



Look for context clues:


Are there signal words or marks that can help me?
What does the text around it say?
What is the charge of the word?
What is the direction of the word?

2. Look for structural clues (part of speech is the word)


3. Can I take apart the word?
Do I recognize a root within the word?
Does the prefix or suffix give me any information?

Example: The man was immutable; even his wife couldnt get him to change his ways.
1. Context Clues:
Signal: The semicolon (;) signals that an explanation is coming.
Text Around it: His wife couldnt get him to change his mind
(explanation of why the man is immutable)
Charge:
Direction:
2. Structural Clues: Adjective to describe a character trait
3. Deconstruction: I recognize a similar word: mutate, which means to change;
the prefix im- means not; the suffix -able means able to or capable of.
The word immutable means not changeable.

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UC Davis, School and University Partnerships


Student Workbook: Word Analysis Strand

Vocabulary Exercise
Use all of your vocabulary strategies (Context Clues, Structural Clues, Direction,
Charge, Word Association, Deconstructing the Word) to decipher the meaning
of the underlined word in each sentence below. Beneath the sentence,
write what you think it means.
1. Our cross-country road trip was leisurely; we took our time and were able
to see many wonderful places.
____________________________________________________________________________
2. The president hopes for bipartisan support.
____________________________________________________________________________
3. I sued my doctor for malpractice.
____________________________________________________________________________
4. Sometimes external forces cause major changes in our lives.
____________________________________________________________________________
5. Please expel that noisy group from the library.
____________________________________________________________________________
6. In this country, there is a huge chasm between the rich and poor.
____________________________________________________________________________

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Student Workbook: Word Analysis Strand
7. I find my job so monotonous; I do the same thing day in and day out.
____________________________________________________________________________
8. Loquacious children should be taught to speak only when spoken to.
____________________________________________________________________________
9. After the Sacramento Kings great victory, the crowds went wild; there was chaos
in the streets, but the police were able to restore calm quickly.
____________________________________________________________________________
10. I met with the cardiologist yesterday, and he assured me that I have nothing
to worry about.
____________________________________________________________________________
11. I find the man insufferable!
____________________________________________________________________________
12. I made a unilateral decision.
____________________________________________________________________________

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UC Davis, School and University Partnerships


Student Workbook: Word Analysis Strand

Nonsense Word Activity


Part I:
The underlined word in each sentence below is a nonsense word; it is not
a real word. Using all of the word strategies that you have learned, try to
figure out its intended meaning.
1. Although the dentist tried to be as gentle as possible, I still felt
considerable popodo.
2. If you want to go to college one day, you need to dorrididoop
very hard in all of your classes.

Part II:
Now, working in pairs, invent your own nonsense words (blablablum, popodo).
For each word, make up your own definition, write it down, and then create
a contextual sentence using the word. Underline the nonsense word in
each sentence. Give your classmates these sentences and see if they can guess
the definition based on your sentence.

Part III:
Look up words in the dictionary and choose one that is especially challenging
(for example, epidemiologist). Write a sentence using your word and provide
sufficient context so that your classmates can deduce the meaning of the word.

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Student Workbook: Word Analysis Strand

Word Jeopardy: Board

Speaking

Mind/Body

Numbers

Opposites

Time

$100

$100

$100

$100

$100

$200

$200

$200

$200

$200

$300

$300

$300

$300

$300

$400

$400

$400

$400

$400

$500

$500

$500

$500

$500

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