Have you ever experienced getting stuck on a vocabulary word during an IELTS reading test? When you do not know the meaning of that word, it may prevent you from understanding the meaning of the whole sentence. In fact, English major students have a useful tip for guessing the meaning of a word—–from the roots, prefixes and suffixes.


For example,
“Philanthropist” is consisting of “phil-“(loving), “anthrop-“(human-related), and “-ist”(a profession).
From that, we can roughly grasp the meaning of “philanthropist” who a person who seeks to promote the welfare of others.


Here is a list of useful roots you need to know:


1. Agri, agro, agr (agriculture)

  • agriculture
  • agronomist
  • agrochemical


2. Cord, card (heart)

  • cordial
  • cordate
  • cardiac
  • electrocardiogram


3. Juven (teenager)

  • juvenile
  • rejuvenate
  • juvenilia


4. Manu (related to hand)

  • manuscript
  • manual
  • manufacture


5. Nov (new)

  • novel
  • novation
  • innovate


6. Pel (to push)

  • impel
  • propel
  • repel