Root Words For Kids

Help Your Child Learn When Where And How To Form Other Words Using Root Words For Kids 

Words are an important part of the English language, which helps us to learn how to read and write. A single word is often made up of different parts called morphemes. These morphemes are word parts that hold the meaning of a word and cannot be broken down any further. A word is usually made up of a root word or a base word and prefixes or suffixes. Root words for kids is an important subject that helps children decode unknown words.

These words when put together in order help us form sentences and paragraphs. Good knowledge of words helps children read, comprehend and write well in English. Once children master basic reading skills, they start learning bigger and longer words. Sometimes they struggle with decoding these longer words with multiple syllables. To increase a child’s fluency in reading and writing, they should know how to decode the longer and harder words. This is where a good knowledge of root words for kids comes in handy.

When a child can identify a root word, prefix and suffix, they’ll be better equipped to build new words. This helps expand their vocabulary and helps in developing their comprehension, reading and writing skills. 

List Of Root Words For Kids

Here is a list of common root words along with prefixes and suffixes. 

Greek And Latin Root Words For Kids

Most of the words in the English language are derived from Greek and Latin words. Here is a list of some Greek and Latin root words along with their meanings. The list also includes these words with prefixes and suffixes added to them to use them in sentences.

Root wordMeaning of the root wordPrefix/Suffix
telefrom afartelephone

English Root Words For Kids

Root words are words with nothing in the beginning or at the end, they are the basis of many other words. Here is a list of English root words and word families formed by adding prefixes and suffixes. 

List Of Root Words For Kids:

Root WordCreating word families by adding prefixes and suffixes
appearreappear, appearance, disappear, appeared
breakbreakable, breaking, unbreakable
buildrebuild, builder, unbuild, building
carecaring, careful, careless
comfortdiscomfort, comfortable, uncomfortable, comforted
countcounting, counter, countless, counted
employunemployed, employment, unemployment, employer, employee
faithfaithful, faithfully, unfaithful
fearfearless, fearful, fearing
friendfriendly, friendship, unfriendly
happyhappiness, unhappy, unhappiness, happier, happiest
hopehopeful, hopeless, hoped, hoping
joyjoyful, enjoyment, overjoyed
kindunkind, kindness, unkindness, kinder, kindly
loveloveable, lovely, loved
packunpack, packed, packing, unpacking
playreplay, playful, played, player
readreadable, reading, reader
usemisuse, useful, used, useless, user, usable
worthworthy, unworthy, worthless
Livelives, lived, living, lively

Root words for kids

What are Root words for kids?

A root word or base word for kids  is a standalone word that has no affixes attached to it. It is the most basic form of a word with a meaning of its own. Root words or base words help you discover the meaning of a bigger, multisyllabic word by breaking it down into smaller units. An affix is a string of letters that can be added at the beginning or the end of a root word. Adding an affix to a root word creates a new word or changes the meaning of the base word. 

The base word or the root word serves as an anchor when you add an affix to it. This is because the root word holds the basic meaning of a word. Root words for kids are an important part of learning the English language. Once kids learn to identify the root words, they can create new words or deconstruct a bigger word to learn its meaning. It is also an important lesson that helps children learn how words are formed. And it prepares them to learn about prefixes and suffixes.

What is an affix?

An affix is a string of letters that can be added at the start of a word or at the end of the word. The addition of the affix usually changes the meaning of the word or creates a new word. An affix also ensures that a word fits grammatically into a sentence. There are two kinds of affixes, they are prefixes and suffixes.


A prefix is a string of letters that are added at the beginning of a word. Often, this alters the meaning of the word or makes a new word. For example: Let’s consider the root word “appear.” The word appears to become visible or present oneself. When you add the prefix “dis” to the word, it changes to “disappear.”

The word “disappear” means to cease to be visible or in existence or go missing. So, by adding the prefix “dis” to appear you created a new word, that is the opposite of the word “appear”.


A suffix is a string of letters added at the end of a word to change its meaning or create a new word. Adding a suffix can also change the tense of the word. It can also change it from a verb to a noun, or noun to an adjective or an adverb. A suffix can also alter a word into a comparative or superlative form of an adjective.

For example: Let’s consider the word “work”. 

To work means to apply effort for a purpose or to do a job. Adding the suffix “er” to the root word work changes it to “worker.” This is a completely new word with a different meaning from the root word. The word “worker” means someone who works. Here the root word “work” is a verb that became a noun with the addition of the suffix.

If you add the suffix “able” to the root word “work”, it changes to “workable.” Workable is an adjective, which means able to be worked, fashioned or manipulated.

If you add the suffix “ed” to the root word, work becomes “worked.” Here, adding the suffix changes the tense of the root.

These words, which share a common pattern or groups of letters with similar sounds are called word families.

Learning these root words for kids will help your child expand their word power and build on the meanings of words. Check Osmo for more activities, games and worksheets to aid in your kids learningrhyming games for kids and multiple meaning word games for kids.

Frequently Asked Questions on Root Words For Kids

What are Root words for kids?

Root words for kids are those words that has a single word with no affixes to it. Moreover, it is the base word with its own meaning and definition.

What are some examples of Root words for kids?

Some of the examples of Root words for kids are friend (friendly), faith (faithful), joy (joyful), care (careful), build (rebuild), break (breakable), read (reading), live (lively), play (replay), hope (hopeful), etc.

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