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Hi, everyone. I'm Jade. Today we're talking about Greek words in English, and I'm not
teaching you these words because they'll be the most useful words for you, and I'm not
teaching you these words so you can go around sounding really clever using long words when
you're speaking English. The reason is to show you a little bit about how the English
language has evolved, and also so that when you do encounter a long word, you can use
what I'm teaching you today to break it down, and maybe you'll recognize parts of this word
and that will help you understand.
So, let's have a look at some Greek words in English. So, most of the time, when we
find a Greek word in English, it's , it represents a concept or idea,
and there'll be quite a lot of medical language as well. So, looking at medical words for
the mind and body. The Greeks from a long time ago, they were very knowledgeable about
medicine and things like that, so we took a lot of words from their language. We didn't
have idea... We didn't have words for these things, because it was not knowledge known
here, so the concepts came from Greece, and with that, the language came from Greece.
So, when we find a word with "dermo" or "derma" in it, we need to think of this part of the
word as a building block, and you put different building blocks together, and that can help
you understand the whole meaning of the word; otherwise known as a root. So, that means
skin. And when we get this end part of the world... Word, which sounds like "ology",
that means study of the subject. So, skin, study of the skin. You put it together, and
that gives you the full meaning. So, if you have a problem with... With your skin and
you need to go to the hospital, you would go to the "dermatology department", and the
doctor would be a "dermatologist"; a special doctor who knows about skin problems. A different
skin problem is "dermatitis", and the "titis" part means inflammation, it means... Could
be... Could be swollen skin, or it could be inside your body. If it's a problem with your
bones, you get a disease called "arthritis" that older people get, usually, and it's quite
painful and difficult to move their fingers, and things like that. So, these are examples
of medical words. You can sometimes get a sense of what one part means, and maybe guess
the other.
Similarly, when we get words with "hemo" or "hema", this is related to blood. "Hemoglobin"
is a part of what makes up our blood. "Hematoma" is the medical word for bruise. You know when
you hit yourself and skin goes purple? If it's a... If it's a big bruise, then it's
a hematoma. And a "hemorrhage" is a medical problem where... Where blood is suddenly,
like, leaking out where it's not meant to be inside your body, and you can be in very
big, big, big trouble if you get a hemorrhage. Sometimes people get a brain hemorrhage, and
maybe they die from that. So, "hemo" or "hema" means blood.
What about "psycho" or "psych"? What does this mean? Well, this is to do with the mind,
and I think these words have... These words are interesting because we can see how they're
related. So, we have "psychic", that's the power of being able to read somebody's mind;
one mind to another mind. "Psycho" means, like, crazy. And "psychiatrist" means doctor
of the mind. So, whenever you see a word with this, you know it's to do with the mind basically.
That's a useful one, I think; you can find that in a lot of words.
Then, let's have a look at words with "mania". You'll find words with "mania" at the end.
"Mania" means to be mad or addicted to something, so here are two... Here are two words. "Cleptomania"
means somebody addicted to stealing things; thief. They can't help themselves, but steal
things. And "nymphomania" means somebody addicted to sex, somebody who can't help themselves
from having sex. But that we've got many, many words with this "mania" on the end, so
if you see that, you can... You ca get a sense, again, of what it actually means.
And we've got words here, "anthrop" and that means human, related to human things. "Anthropology",
do you remember what this part means? The study of. The study of humans. So, "an anthropologist"
is somebody who studies the way people live in society and culture in the worlds. And
"anthropomorphic", you might use this if you're a kind of literature student or something.
This is a word for when we make things that aren't humans... We talk about things that
aren't humans as if they were. So, when you put a little puppy dog in human clothes, and
you start talking to it like it's a person, you're "anthropomorphising" the little dog,
but it's an anthropomorphic behaviour to dress up a little puppy dog like that. Very long,
complicated words, I know. But we can break it down a little bit more. When you see "ic"
on the end, it means it's an adjective and we're describing something. So, when we come
back we'll look at the next Greek roots... Greek words I want to show you.
Let's take a look at more Greek words in English. We'll start with words with "phone" or "phoney"
in them. Of course, we've got the "phone" that we use, and this root means "sound".
"Phone" is the informal word for "telephone". And this word: "cacophony", I remember...
I'll never forget this word because when I was at school, we wrote... You know, you write
stories. I think I was quite young when this happened, and somebody else's story was read
out, and she used the word "cacophony" in it, and I was so jealous. I was like:
"That's a really long word and you sound really clever", so I think I tried to, like, use it in every
single story I write after then. But it means, like, having very loud, different sounds that
go together, and it's like... It's an unpleasant sort of noise, basically.
So, anyway, I won't forget that word.
Also, I remember that learning this part of the word means string when I was at school
as well, because "poly", we see this in lots of words, like: "polyester" is a kind of plastic,
or when you... When you go to the shop and they give you a plastic bag, that one's "polythene",
a polythene bag. And I remember being at school and my science teacher telling me that "poly"
means string. Because if you think about how plastic is made, it's different atoms stringing
together. You know what? I'm getting a bit science... We're talking about the English
language, here. Anyway, so it's... Yeah, "string" meaning different things together, basically,
so that's what all plastics are. Here's a word: "polyamorous", so we've got more than
one, and this root, "amor" is related to love, and what this word means is relationships
where they're, like, open relationships, and the people can have more than one partner,
polyamorous love; different lovers.
Looking on this side for more technological words, we've got "tele", we already looked...
Already mentioned "telephone", but the "tele" part means distant or far away. So, we have
"telephone", you know, communicating with someone who's not physically near you, someone
who's far away. "Telepathy" is also communicating with someone who is not with you. Actually,
no, they can be with you, but it's just through the mind communication. And "teleport" which,
as far as I know, hasn't been invented yet, but it would be really cool, it's when you
can travel to one place, just like that basically, to be in a different place. You don't need
planes, you don't need buses, you don't need Oyster cards. You can just go, using a teleport.
But we haven't managed to invent that one yet.
And "micro", this root means small. So, we've got "microchip", you find these in laptops,
any kind of electronic devices where all the... All the information... This is, again, like
a science lesson. I'm not going to explain what a microchip is, except that it makes
electronic things work, I think is a good way to explain it. And "microcosm" means something
small within something bigger. So, one way people talk about it, mostly I find is when
talking about the weather, so like in the UK, we don't have many places with good weather,
but some places are described as being microcosms, like some particular beaches are more... Seem
to be sunnier than general... General places in England. Not as much rain, and things like
that, so those places would be described as microcosms of the bigger... You know, the
surrounding climate, which is generally rainy.
We can also thank the Greeks for analytical words. Like, they were, they were measuring
things, probably weren't... We weren't measuring things then, I don't know. But yeah, so, from
the metric system, we have the word "kilo" and related words. This means a thousand of
something. So, a "kilometre" is 1,000 metres, and "kilogram" is 1,000 grams. So, this one
is for distance, and this one is for measurement.
Then you've probably seen "geo" in some words, and that root means the earth and things related
to the planet where we live. So, we've got "geography", which is another school science.
It's about learning about our world, and how it's made up. And "geology", which is the
study of rocks, stones, that kind of thing. So, yeah, here are some Greek words for you.
No... Just paying attention to roots can really help you develop your vocabulary, you just
start to guess things, you don't have to check the meaning of every word that you encounter.
You can go to the engVid website, do a quiz on this lesson, test out your vocabulary brain power.
And if you like this lesson, please subscribe.
I've got all different kinds of lessons on my engVid channel; not just about really long words that you might not ever use when you're speaking.
I've also got my personal channel, and there's lots and lots
of videos on my personal channel, so you need to go and check that out, too. And yeah, I'm
finished, so I'm going to go and
swallow a dictionary now, and learn some really complicated words. So, see ya later.
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How to understand new English vocabulary by learning roots!

21297 Folder Collection
Jenny published on November 18, 2016    Jenny translated    Mandy Lin reviewed
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