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word family

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Definition:

A group of words that share a common base, to which different prefixes and suffixes are added.

See also:


Examples and Observations:

  • "The true object of all human life is play. Earth is a task garden; heaven is a playground."
    (Gilbert K. Chesterton)


  • You can be childlike without being childish.


  • "Correction does much, but encouragement does more. . . . A correct answer is like an affectionate kiss."
    (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)


  • "I write and rewrite and rewrite and write and like to turn in what I think is finished work."
    (Gay Talese)


  • "Normal social behavior requires that we be able to recognize identities in spite of change. Unless we can do so, there can be no human society as we know it."
    (Kenneth L. Pike)


  • "If a little knowledge is dangerous, where is the man who has so much as to be out of danger?"
    (Thomas Huxley)


  • "Gouden, Nation and Read (1990) counted the number of word families in Webster's Third New International Dictionary (1963) . . . [and] found that the dictionary contained about 54,000 word families. This is a huge number of items (remember that each word family contains several words), and so we as teachers must give up on the idea of ever teaching all of them to our students in a classroom situation. . . .

    "We can . . . maximize vocabulary learning by teaching word families instead of individual word forms. Teachers can make it a habit when introducing a new word to mention the other members of its word family. In this way, learners form the habit of considering a word's derivations as a matter of course."
    (Norbert Schmitt, Vocabulary in Language Teaching. Cambridge Univ. Press, 2000)
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