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20 Latin Root Words All English Learners Should Know

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Learning Latin root words, the building block for a lot of English vocabulary, is an invaluable strategy for students studying English as a Foreign Language. By understanding the fundamental building blocks of the English language, students can greatly enhance their vocabulary and comprehension skills. Latin roots form the foundation of many English words, and knowledge of these roots allows students to decipher the meanings of unfamiliar words, recognize patterns, and build connections between related terms.

When you encounter a new word, even if you do not know the exact dictionary meaning, you will be able to make an educated guess based on your knowledge of root words.

Here are 20 important Latin roots along with examples:

Aqua - Water
Examples: Aquarium, Aquatic

Aud - Hear
Examples: Audience, Audible, Auditorium

Bene - Good, Well
Examples: Beneficial, Benefit, Benevolent

Capit - Head
Examples: Decapitate, Capital, Captain

Corp - Body
Examples: Corporation, Corpse, Corporeal

Cred - Believe
Examples: Credible, Credit

Dict - Say, Speak
Examples: Dictate, Dictionary

Duc/Duct - Lead
Examples: Conduct, Educate

Form - Shape
Examples: Conform, Reform, Formation

Ject - Throw
Examples: Eject, Project, Interject

Lumen/Lumin - Light
Examples: Illuminate, Luminous

Man - Hand
Examples: Manual, Manipulate

Mater/Matri - Mother
Examples: Maternal, Matrimony

Port - Carry
Examples: Transport, Import, Portal

Scrib/Script - Write
Examples: Describe, Manuscript, Transcription

Spec/Spect - See, Look
Examples: Inspect, Spectacle

Terr - Earth
Examples: Territory, Terrain, Terrestrial

Voc/Vok - Call
Examples: Vocal, Invoke

Vita/Viv - Life
Examples: Vital, Revive

Volv/Volut - Roll, Turn
Examples: Revolve, Evolution

These roots form the basis of many English words, and understanding them can help EFL students decode unfamiliar vocabulary, making reading and comprehension easier.
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