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Inside The Language

Inside The Language

Date: Sep 26 2011

Topic: Conversational English

Author: englishteacher24/7


Inside the Language – Lesson No. 1

Learning English can be challenging and the beginning is to learn the basic Parts of Speech which will provide the rules of the language. In many countries, English is the native language and others it’s taught in junior and high school.

This structured study is necessary and the teachers are limited by time and the vastness of the language. My area of teaching English is to focus on the area that is not taught or is only taught by way of mentioning it. The side of English that is not taught is as large or larger than the structured parts of English.

This side of English is an area that doesn’t have any rules and many times cannot be understood by using logic. This is what I call “Inside the Language” which I will attempt to reveal to you in a brief lesson.

The areas I’m speaking of are comprised of the following:

1. Figures of speech- Using words in a distinctive manner to guide or mis-guide the listener. The titles below can all be placed under this name.

2. Puns- A word or phrase that has a double-meaning and used to allude the listener. William Shakespeare was known to use puns in his plays.

3. A play on words- Using puns to express a thought that has a double meaning.

4. Phrases and Idioms- Using a phrase to express a thought. Examples: A pretty penny (something was expensive), a drop in the bucket (a small contribution to the amount that is required.)

“An idiom is a phrase where the words together has a meaning that is different from the dictionary definitions of the individual words.” (UsingEnglish.com)

5. Homophones (homonyms)- Words that are spelled differently but have the same pronunciation sound. Example: Night /knight, bear /bare, hear/here

6. Personification- A figure of speech in which an inanimate object is used having human qualities. Example: “The ocean screamed in it’s fury!”

In this example, oceans don’t have a voice to scream, but the word “screamed” is used as if it were a human. In other words, the waves of the ocean produced a loud sound.

7. Euphemisms- Substituting an offensive or less desirable word for a non-offensive more desirable word. Example: Instead of saying a person died, you could say they passed away or a pre-owned car instead of a used car.

On this side of learning English, you will have to:

1.  Expose yourself to reading informal English materials.

2.  If possible speak to native speakers.

3.  Write down expressions you hear and make it your goal to learn the meaning.

Step-by-step you will increase your knowledge and you’ll see your improvement over time.

Lesson No. 2 will be: Determining the mood of the speaker


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United States

Hello Amira and welcome. You are absolutely correct and it’s a good example of using the statement “You have to do what you have to do;” however, revisit the definition of “Double-talk” and let us know what you think. I plan to answer a little later this weekend.

05:56 PM May 05 2018 |

La Princesse de la vie


Hi again Mr. Alston,

As far as I get it, I think this sentence “You have to do what you have to do” is a double-talk. And I think it can be an answer to a question like “What do you think I have to do about it?

11:02 PM May 02 2018 |


United States

Topic: Double-talk (Double-speak)

Everything that is spoken should not be taken at face value. There are many ways to camouflage the truth through creative ways of selecting certain words, phrases, and tone of voice. Tactics such as embedding messages “between the lines” “dog-whistling” or various code words can mislead the unknowing but is perfectly clear to those who can receive the message.

“Double-talk” is from the word “Double” which means “twice” and “talk” which means “speak”. Therefore, the word “Double-talk” means to speak twice (or more) about something. It is a method of speaking many words that are unclear and does not answer the question or misleads the listener from the truth. For example:

1. What time is it?

Answer: It’s the same time it was yesterday but I think it may be a little later than that, I’m not sure, but it could be.

2. A voter asked a political candidate, “What will you do about raising the salaries of school teachers if you’re elected?”

Answer: We’re very proud of the dedication of our school teachers and they are some very fine people. I’m a firm believer in recognizing their talents and how they spend their personal time to help struggling students. Without a doubt their students will excel in their careers because of the splendid examples of their teachers.

3. The company is restructuring and as a result will become more efficient, fiscally responsible, and more conducive to being a good corporate citizen.

Answer: Many employees will be laid off (fired).

You can see from the examples that the questions were not answered but many words were spoken or the truth was hidden in a multitude of words.


Is the following sentence, “double-talk?” Answer yes or no. If no, please explain your answer.

“You have to do what you have to do!”

04:22 PM May 02 2018 |


United States

The “Formal English versus Informal English” lesson has been posted.

06:52 AM Nov 28 2017 |


United States

Amira, you’re welcome. The strategy you used for learning formal and informal English has been right on point. In addition, your participation on Englishbaby also adds to your knowledge and experience in English. Carry on!

09:02 AM Nov 21 2017 |

La Princesse de la vie


Hello Mr. Alston,

I used to believe formal and informal English are developed separately. And had quite a quarrel how to develop each alone.

After I had left school, my focus turned to be entirely on learning and using the informal language, so it’s my formal side of language that needs to be worked on more often for further career prospects, of course along with my informal Enlgish.

One way of working on formal English is to keep up with news websites like BBC and CNN in addtion to reading academic books of course.

Thank you so much Mr. Alston for your caring and generosity in receiving and answering our questions :)

12:17 PM Nov 20 2017 |


United States

Formal English versus Informal English:


There are many categories of English, for example: Academic English, Business English, Conversational English, and Everyday English which is common to both British and American English.

Although Formal and Informal English are similar in the fact that both are English, there is a vast difference in interpreting the meaning of various words and phrases. In addition, there can be some overlap where an expression can be either formal or informal depending on the context and manner in which the communication is expressed.

Therefore it depends on the intent of the learner which category of English to pursue. It is my hope that this lesson will help you to spend your time wisely in learning English.


A. Formal English

Formal English is standard textbook English and is used in Education, business and with people you do not know. It does not include contractions, slang, idioms, abbreviations, and phrases which is spoken and written in an official or serious environment.

Concerning contractions, this is when you combine two words into one. For example, the word “don’t” is used instead of “do not.” Consider the following sentence to compare the difference between formal and informal English.

Formal English: ”Do not stare at the sun during an eclipse.”

Informal English: ”Don’t stare at the sun during an eclipse.”

B. Informal English Definition

Informal English is everyday English that is personal, casual, and used among friends, family and in general conversation with people you feel comfortable with. This is the part of learning English that is likely to give English learners difficulty.

Since formal English is what is taught in schools informal English is what actually is spoken in everyday life with the exception of professional environments. However, it is a combination of formal and informal English that will help you to become fluent in English.

If formal English is the only English studied, then the learner will become very good at reading, writing, and understanding written English but may be confused in understanding spoken English.

How to Determine Which English to Learn

It is helpful to identify your reason for learning English which will help you to get the most benefit from your studies.

1. For school- If your purpose for learning English is to be able to pass English tests in school or attend school abroad, and then Academic English is where you want to spend most of your time learning. This is formal English.

2. For business- If you need to learn English for your employment in a company where you interact with English speaking people, then you’ll want to spend time learning Business and Conversational English. This is a combination of Formal and Informal English.

3. Studying abroad in an English Speaking Country- If your plan is to study in an English speaking country then it’s the same as living as a resident in the country coupled with the challenge of study. In this case, you’ll want to spend time learning Academic, Conversational, and Everyday English if you want to be successful.

4. Visiting- If you simply want to visit an English speaking country, Conversational English would be sufficient to be able to understand and communicate on a basic level.

5. Change Countries- If you are planning to become a citizen of an English speaking country then Conversational and Everyday English should be sufficient. However, if you plan to be employed in a professional work environment, especially in the medical field, Academic and Business English would serve you well.

6. For personal knowledge- This is a fun part of learning English because you don’t have the pressure to meet someone’s expectation. In this case, spend time learning basic grammar (formal English), read magazines, news reports, TV, movies, song lyrics, comments, Englishbaby lessons and engage yourself by using what you learn. Don’t be embarrassed to make mistakes but cultivate a challenging “can do” spirit.

7. Pen pal- If you want to learn about another culture and practice English, find a pen pal to communicate and develop your written English. http://www.penpalworld.com/

Always use caution and don’t give personal information such as an address.


Formal English is the foundation of the English language that has been modified and abbreviated to express thoughts in a shorter fashion resulting in informal English.

Don’t be discouraged to think you have to learn two languages but rather think of it as adding to your formal English studies to help you to become complete in your knowledge of the language.

Keep it simple, don’t try to learn the whole English dictionary but make it a goal to use what you know and grow from there.

Case-in-point, Englishbaby post lessons regularly but very few people make any comments or even click to like the lessons. I encourage you to become more engaged and be  proactive in your learning of English. 

If you don’t use it (English), you’ll lose it; try to improve in this regard. Your efforts will be rewarding.

This lesson is dedicated to Amira who requested it, thanks Amira for your suggestion.

10:19 AM Nov 19 2017 |


United States

David, you have given some helpful observations about improving one’s English by listening and not trying to translate word-for-word. In addition (as with learning anything) you start small and grow in knowledge on a consistent basis. We learn by doing, experience is the best teacher. 

Thinking in English and using it at every opportunity in a natural non-academic way is beneficial to becoming fluent. Intense grammar study can be confusing and counter-productive. I would venture to say most native speakers do not even know a lot of grammar other than the basics. Keep it simple and enjoy learning English. 

Thanks for your contribution.

04:05 AM Nov 02 2017 |


Iran, Islamic Republic Of

Hi dear ,

i have an experience in iranian english language teaching . the bigest problem is students suppose they must translate any words one by one in a sentence. You now it is not possible because some words may have not the fix and suitable  meaning in source language and vice versa. I think any learner must listen to the target languge (english) for some times (at least 12month) .i belive , that any baby is born by a tabula rasa (white board) about languge and baby dont speak at the first of his/her living  , and his/her duty is just to listen and after this period .baby start to speak . so learner must pay attention more in listening. 


david siahpoosh 


United States

The “What to Say in English When You Don’t Know What to Say” lesson has been posted.

04:20 PM Oct 28 2017 |


United States

“What to Say in English When You Don’t Know What to Say” 

Amira, thanks for your feedback on the lesson. I agree with you that it is important to train the ears to listen to different people and take note of the sound of the same word.
I welcome your suggestion about writing a lesson on formal and informal English and intend to write it. Thanks a bunch.

01:08 AM Oct 24 2017 |

La Princesse de la vie


That’s a good point to discuss Mr. Alston. I think one must train their ears to listening English, all types of dialects, and of course must speak more to get used to speaking.

Some people are good readers, but poor speakers. they get brain freeze just because they’re not used to speaking the language although they have it.

Thanks Mr. Alston for the topic.

I’d like to suggest that you make a post about formal and informal language and how to improve each of them away from the other. 

Thanks again :)

03:16 PM Oct 23 2017 |


United States

“What to Say in English When You Don’t Know What to Say” 


During my 26 years working in a Japanese company I would communicate with my Japanese co-workers and we shared fun teaching each other our languages. Oftentimes when my co-worker would express himself in English he would interject the phrase “what do you say?” This statement was used as a filler to fill the void while searching of how to construct his thought in English spontaneously.

Before it can be advised what to say when you don’t know what to say in a conversation, let’s first examine some of the reasons of not knowing what to say.

Causes of “Brain Freeze” in a conversation

1. Insufficient vocabulary- You have to acquire a sufficient amount of Basic English vocabulary to avoid not knowing what to say.

2. Lack of knowledge of idioms and phrases- Everyday English is full of idioms and phrases which are commonly used. Therefore, to minimize being in a position of not understanding what is said, make it a goal to write down these items when you come across them and learn the meaning.

3. Misunderstanding of Pronunciation- Different speakers may pronounce the same English word differently which can lead to not understanding the word, thus, possibly the conversation. To improve your listening skills in this regard, spend time listening to the same word pronounced by different people.

4. Knowledge that some words are shortened- Words are many times abbreviated instead of saying the correct version of the word. For example, the word “administration” is often spoken as “admin” or the word “information” as “info.” Be aware of this so you won’t be confused.

5. Trying to translate word-for-word- There is no time during a conversation to translate word-for-word which can be a cause of not knowing what to say. Instead of trying to place each word in its correct grammar category, just keep it simple in responding.

Solution of what to say when you don’t know what to say

It may be uncomfortable to make a response in English when you’re not sure of what to say. Therefore, time is of the essence during a conversation to respond promptly and you have to be ready. A strategy should be planned beforehand to buy you a little time while you decide what to say. Below are some tips to help you:

1. Ask a question concerning the subject matter or ask if the speaker would repeat it. This will give you a little more time to consider what to say. Be sure to be a careful listener.

For example, consider this statement:

“The university has extended its registration time to accommodate students who were impacted by the storm.”

Response to the statement: ”Until when?” or “Would you please repeat what you said.” 

2. Keep your answer as short as possible such as “yes” or “no.”

Example: The weather forecast for this week is going to change from last week and the hot weather is leaving with a chance of rain this weekend.

Your Response: ”Yes!”

3. Modify or change the subject- Take the initiative to change or modify the subject (if possible) without directly answering the question or responding to it.

For example:

“Technology is having a direct effect on communicating news reports using social media.”

Your response: ”Local news is still important.”


To avoid not knowing what to say in response to something is to be a good listener so that you will understand the basic thought. Afterwards, ask the speaker to explain their statement (if necessary) and keep your response simple.

Don’t worry about the rules of grammar or the fear of making a mistake. It’s not necessary to know the exact meaning of every word spoken to be able to understand the basic context of a statement.

Hopefully, this information will add to your own to help you decide what to say when you don’t know what to say.

06:48 AM Oct 23 2017 |


United States

Hello Claudio, it’s good to hear from you again on the forum and I thank you for your feedback. You hit the nail on the head concerning immersing into a language or anything for that matter that you want to learn.

In regards to English, it’s not a matter of learning the answers to pass a test but rather to acquire the language through natural means combined with the academics. Unfortunately a sizeable number of foreign students in US universities are not doing too well because they can’t understand the professor enough to learn the lesson.

Part of the solution is to do what you’ve mentioned in your post and communicate in English at every opportunity and ditch fear of making mistakes. Thanks for your contribution to the forum.

Finally, I’m looking forward to your guitar piece you’re going to send me.

06:30 AM Sep 27 2017 |

1 person likes this




      A pretty interesting and valuable issue you’ve approached in this lesson and I can only thank you for that.

      You’ve listed a series of particularities the subject of communication involves and I’m pretty sure there are still many others. In some languages, for instance, subtle differences in intonation can change completely the meaning of some words and mis-guide a unwary interlocutor. Sometimes it might even throw the poor guy in an awkward situation.

      Therefore, in my point of view as a student, the best thing one can do in order of avoiding this kind of situation and to achieve a upper level of using a language is to explore all the possibilities this language offers. That includes not only studying text books, but also reading all sorts of publication such as magazines, comic books, newspapers and others, besides of listening to lots of songs, speeches, radio streaming, watching TV and so on. That’s some of the expedients I try to use that has helped me to go a little bit more “Inside of the Language”.

10:34 AM Sep 26 2017 |


United States

Hello Nasim,

Thanks for taking the time to communicate your feedback on the English lessons; I’m delighted you enjoy them.

Which phrases and idioms would you like help with? Your grammar is not poor, but even if it was, the solution is to use what you have and improve it.

Keep on keeping on!

03:14 AM Aug 30 2017 |



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

Hi Mr.Alston

I started to reading this English lessons and I have to say I really enjoy them

I think the phrases and idioms in this lesson is the most difficult part for me to understand :D because two simple words can make a strange meaning that I couldnt guess .

sorry for my poor grammer I m sure I will be better ;) 

thank you and God bless u 

07:07 AM Aug 27 2017 |


United States

Amira, you’re welcome and thanks for your feedback. You’ve taken a giant step by not automatically reaching for a dictionary but first thinking about the word. Eventually, you’ll find similarities in the meaning of words using the same prefixes and suffixes.

Additional information can be found by viewing the video I posted on my profile page.

It’s good to hear from you again, you’re an excellent student!

10:13 AM Aug 23 2017 |

La Princesse de la vie


Hello Mr. Alston,

That’s a lot of effort put in here :) I found it very beneficial to go through the whole post. It’s a commen problem for language learners that not all the words in a context look familiar and I myself used to use a dictionary blindly without even trying to guess! But now I give myself the time to think about the meaning from the context before I look up the exact meaning and it often works.

Prefixes and suffixes, sometimes I think they are endless! They’re too many, but very helpful. It happens a lot that I search a word meaning and then realize its meaning is actually within it because it has a prefix or a suffix in it and the root word is a familiar one. Even if the fix part is changing the meaning of the root word, you still can get a hint of what the new compound word might be meaning.

Thank you Mr. Alston :) God bless you for all your efforts :)

09:22 PM Aug 21 2017 |


United States

Tips on How to Learn the Meaning of a Word without a Dictionary:

There may be times when you encounter a word and you do not have the opportunity to use a dictionary. Times such as taking a test, reading something, of listening to a speaker.

On the surface, when you encounter a word that you don’t know the meaning there is a temptation to ignore it. However, sometimes the meaning of a word is critical to the message but there are methods to use that can at least help you to make a good guess based on some fundamental principles of word construction.

Below are some tips that will help you to determine the meaning or make a good guess of a word without the use of a dictionary.

1. Learn a brief history of English

English is not a language that has 100% of the words unique to English. Rather, 60% of English words are from Greek and Latin and in Science and Technology it’s even higher at 90%.

Many words are ”loan words” from other languages and combined with being familiar with other certain words from Greek and Latin you increase your chances of making a good guess at the meaning of an unknown word.

2. Look for context clues

Words that are unknown are usually in a sentence and are a part of the thought communicated by the person communicating. Therefore, think about what seems logical to you concerning the meaning of the word after you consider what the main topic of the sentence is about. 

Sometimes the meaning is directly revealed in the next sentence or paragraph. For example:

Bill is hyper-critical about kids walking on his lawn. He criticizes them all the time to his wife. 

Question: What is the meaning of “hyper-critical?”

Answer: After reading the first sentence, in the next sentence it is said that Bill criticizes kids all the time, therefore the answer in this sentence must mean that “hyper-critical” is that he at least complains excessively or extremely to his wife about the kids walking on his lawn.

3. Learn prefixes and suffixes-

The words from Greek and Latin are used as prefixes and suffixes. Prefixes are abbreviated words added to the front of the root (base) word to change its meaning. Likewise, suffixes are abbreviated words added to the end part of the base (root) word.

For example, consider the following sentence using a prefix (un), a root word (discipline), and a suffix (ed).

“Bill is an undisciplined person.”

Let’s analyze the word “undisciplined” using the strategy of knowing the meaning of prefixes and suffixes.

“Un” is a prefix which means “is not.”

“Discipline” is the root (base) word which means “self-control.”

“ed” is a suffix which changes the base word into past tense.

Now let’s re-write (paraphrase) the sentence using the above information:

“Bill is not a self-controlled person.”

Note: By adding “ed” to the base word “control” makes the sentence to mean that Bill has done things in the past that implies that he loses his temper or doesn’t control himself in something.

At the end of this lesson I provided a partial list of words from Greek, Latin, prefixes and suffixes. If you spend time to learn these common words it will help you in determining the meaning of words without a dictionary.

4. Look for the root (base) word in the unknown word-

A root word is a base word without a prefix or suffix. The root word stands alone but some can receive a prefix and/or suffix and change the meaning of the root word.

By learning some basic prefixes and suffixes you can develop a skill for determining the meaning of a word or at least make a good guess of its meaning without a dictionary. Below are some examples of root words and their prefixes and suffixes with the meanings:

Root word                                     New word

Act= To move or do / Action= The process of doing something

Auto= Self or same / Autograph= Self writing (signature)

Counter= Against or opposite / Counteract= Against an action

Derma= Skin / Dermatology= The study of the skin

Ex= Out or away / Extract= To take out

Intra= Within or into / Intracompany= Within the same company

Multi= Many / Multilingual= More than one language

Omni=All / Omnipresent= Everywhere

Poly=Many / Polytheist=Many gods

Script= Write / Manuscript= An authors text that has not yet been published

Semi= Half / Semicircle= Half of a circle

Un= Not / Unfinished= Not finished

5. Think logically-

Logic can be used to determine the meaning of a word. As you read a sentence and encounter an unknown word, imagine if the word wasn’t there. Does the sentence make sense? Is the sentence dependant on the unknown word, or does it merely adds additional descriptive information to the overall meaning of the sentence?

For example, consider these sentences:

1. “Bill was livid about kids walking on his lawn.” 

Livid means to be extremely angry. In the above sentence it is entirely dependent on the meaning of livid. if you were to remove the word “livid” and read the sentence, it doesn’t make sense.

Using logic, “livid” cannot mean that Bill was happy about kids walking on his lawn because it would eventually damage his lawn.

Therefore, the meaning of “livid” would have to be the opposite of Bill being happy which means he would at least be unhappy which is closer to the true meaning. 

You can conclude this meaning without a dictionary. Upon using a dictionary you would find that he was “extremely angry” but your initial thought of the word allowed you to make a good guess to understand the meaning of the word.

2. “Bill was livid and really upset about kids walking on his lawn.”

In this sentence “livid” is not detrimental to the meaning of the sentence because it is combined with the phrase “really upset” to describe Bill’s feelings about kids walking on his lawn. In other words, if you didn’t know the meaning of “livid” it’s not important because you understand the fact that Bill was upset about kids walking on his lawn.

In this case, you could write down the word livid and look up the meaning later to add to your vocabulary.


Unknown words do not have to be ignored because with an understanding of the above information you can figure out or make a good guess of the meaning of unknown words. I also suggest that you make it a priority to become an avid reader of material that interests you and write at every opportunity.

Avoid keeping a lot of information in your head without using it. It is better to have a small amount of English information that you’re using than an enormous amount of English information that you’re not using.

This website offers many opportunities to write English in the form of comments to the frequent lessons. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes, use a grammar checker to help you minimize mistakes and improve your English.


Below are lists of common root words from Greek and Latin and Prefixes and Suffixes:

Greek root words:

Greek Words / Definition / English Words

A, an / No, not / Aseptic, anarchy

Anti / Against, opposite / Anti-discrimination

Auto / Self / Autograph, automatic

Biblos / Book / Bible

Bio / Life / Biology, biography

Cosmos / World, order / Cosmopolitan

Dia / Through, across / Diameter, dialogue

Demo / People / Democracy

Etho / Race, nation / Ethnic, ethnology

Ge / Earth / Geography, geometry

Graph / Write / Telegraph, lithograph

Hetero / Different / Heterosexual

Homo / Same / Homosexual

Hyper / Over, extremely / Hypersensitive

Mono / One, alone / Monopoly

Para / Beside / Paraphrase

Phone / Sound / Telephone, symphony

Pneuma / Air, breath / Pneumonia

Poly / Many / Polygraph

Tele / At a distance / Telescope, television

Latin words / Definition / English Words

Villa  / House, villa, / Villa, village, /villager

Alta /Tall, high, deep / Altitude, altimeter

Antiqua / Antique, old / Antique, ancient

Longa / Long / Longevity, long

Manga / Large, great / Magnify, magnificent

Pictura / Picture / Picture, pictorial

Terra / Land, earth / Terrestrial, terrain, terrace

Prima / First / Prime, primary, primitive

Sub / Under / Subway

Bona / Good / Bonus, bonanza, bond fide

Aqua / Water / Aquarium, aqueduct

Schola / School / School, scholar, scholastic

Circum / Around / Circumference

Post / After / Postpone, postnatal

Extra / Beyond / Extra, extra-terrestrial


Prefix= Means beginning 


a-, an-
not, without

amoral, anesthetic, apolitical, asocial


away from
abduction, abstain, abnormal

to, toward
adjoin, adjacent (lying near to)
ambidextrous, ambivalent
up, back, again
analogy, anatomy, anagram
antipathy, antiwar, antisocial
from, away from
apology, apologize
autobiography, automobile, autocracy, automaton
benediction benevolent benefactor
cata-, cat-
down, against
catastrophe—a turning down
centro, centri-
around, center
concentric, centrifugal
circumlocution circumference, circumvent
with, together
communal, community
with, together
connect, confide conspire
contradict, contravene
down, away
descend, deject (cast down)
dia-, di-
through, across
diameter, division
apart, not
disengage, discord, discomfort
ill, difficult, bad
dysfunctional, dysentery
out of, from
elect (choose out of), eject (throw out)
on the outside
ectoderm—outer skin
en-, em-
empathy—feeling in
within, inside
endoscope—instrument for observing inside
epitaph epidermis, epicenter
inward, within
esoteric—more inward, esophagus
well, good
euthanasia—good death
out of, from
exhume, exhale, exodus


other, different
heterosexual, heterodoxy, heterodox heterogeneous
homosexual, homogeneous, homogenized
hypertension, hypersensitive, hyperactivity
hypotension, hypodermic
illegitimate, illicit, illegal, illegible
imperfect, impolite, impossible
imbibe (drink in, take in)
indiscreet, invisible
incorporate (take into the body)
intervene (come between), interstate
intrastate, intramural
irregular, irrational, irredeemable


macrocosm, macroeconomics
mal, male-
bad, evil
malediction malevolent, malnutrition
microscope, microcosm, microeconomics
one, single
monologue, monotheism, monarchy, monogamy
new, recent
neologism, neo-liberal, neonatology. neolithic
object, obstruct (build against)
palin-, pali-
back, again
all, every
pantheism, Pan-Hellenic, panorama, pandemic
paramilitary, paralegal, parachute
percolate (flow through) perforate (punch through)
perimeter, periscope
phil-, philo-
like, lover of
philosophy, Francophile, bibliophile, philanthropy
many, several
polygon, polygamy, polytechnic, polytheism
postgraduate, posthumous postpone
precede, predict (tell before)
for, forward
promote, project
toward, in front
prospect—view in front, something coming up
prototype, protoplasm, protobiology
pseudonym, pseudoscience
again, back
repeat, recede, regress (step back)
retrogression, retroactive
away from
seduce (lead away), secede
submarine, subject, subhuman subterranean
sur-, super-
over, above
superhuman, superego, superintend, surpass
syn-, sym-, syl-, sys-
with, together
symphony, synonym, system, syllable
distant, far off
telephone, telepathy, television, telegram
transient, Transatlantic, transport (carry across)


Suffixes definition= After


-a little star


notable for

the belief in
pacifism, terrorism, socialism, communism
one who believes in
pacifist, terrorist, socialist, communist
one connected with
meteorite, polite, cosmopolite


study field of
biology, geology, etymology, cardiology
resembling, like-shaped
asteroid, spheroid
-or, -er
one who takes part in
doctor, actor, teacher, driver
exaggerated fear
photophobia, claustrophobia, agoraphobia
act, state, condition of analysis

This concludes the lesson, hopefully it will be beneficial for you to learn the meaning of words without a dictionary. Continue to build your vocabulary with commonly used words and use the internet for further information. The key is to listen, read, write, speak, and think in English to achieve your goal of improving your English.

If you have any questions or comments about anything in this lesson, please feel free to leave a comment in the forum. Learning English can be fun, enjoy the ride.

09:45 AM Aug 19 2017 |

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