Dealing with Words You Don’t Know
Dealing with Words You Don’t Know
No list will ever cover all the vocab words that might appear on the SAT. There are just too many words. In fact, we can pretty much guarantee that somewhere on the new SAT, you’ll come across a word you haven’t studied or just can’t remember. No problem. We’ll show you what to do.
Word Roots: The Building Blocks of Words
Lots of test-prep companies advise students to study Greek and Latin roots of English words to help figure out the meaning of an SAT vocabulary word. Some students even take Latin in high school with the sole aim of using it to learn vocabulary roots for the SAT. English words are often made up of bits and pieces derived from Latin or Greek, which we call word roots. For example, let’s say you come across the word antebellum on the SAT and don’t know what it means. The word root ante means “before,” and bellum means “war,” so you might think that antebellum means “before the war.” You’re correct! Here’s a list of the 28 most common word roots that’ll help you puzzle out the meanings of unfamiliar SAT words.
Word Root What It Means SAT Vocab Words
ante before antebellum, antediluvian
anti against antithesis, antipathy, antiseptic
auto self autocratic
bene good, well benefactor, benevolent, benediction
chron time anachronism, asynchronous
circum around circumnavigate, circumference, circumlocution, circumvent, circumscribe
con, com with, together convene, concatenate, conjoin, companionable
contra, counter against contradict, counteract, contravene
cred to believe credo, credible, credence, credulity, incredulous
dict to speak verdict, malediction, dictate, dictum, indict
dis not disperse, dissuade, distemper, disarray, disjointed
equi equal equidistant, equilateral, equilibrium, equinox, equitable, equanimity
ex, e out, away emit, enervate, excise, extirpate, expunge, exonerate, exacerbate
flu, flux flow effluence, effluvium, fluctuate, confluence
hyper above, over hyperbolic
in, im not inviolate, innocuous, intractable, impregnable, impermeable, impervious
inter between intermittent, introvert, interdict, interrogate
mal bad malformation, maladjusted, dismal, malady, malcontent, malfeasance
multi many multitude, multivalent
neo new neologism, neophyte
omni all omnipotent, omnivorous, omniscient
per through persuade, impervious, persistent, persecute
sanct holy sanctify, sanctuary, sanction, sanctimonious, sacrosanct
scrib, script to write inscription, prescribe, proscribe, ascribe, conscript, scribble, scribe
spect to look circumspect, retrospect, prospect, spectacle, aspect
tract to drag, to draw protract, detract, intractable
trans across transduce, intransigent
vert to turn extrovert, introvert
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