2019 Term 2 Grade 8 Blocks (Example)

1. Auto- self Latin

autobiography                  – someone’s life-story written by himself/herself

autograph                           – someone’s own signature

automaton                         – a mechanical device that works on its own

automobile                         – a car; a passenger vehicle

autonomy                           – the right to self-government

An automobile (or just plain auto) is a self-propelling motorcar. 

An automatic device or mechanism is one that can work without human control (or with limited human control).

When we do something automatically, we mean that we do it without conscious thought.

2. Agri- field Latin

agribusiness                       – a business that produce or sell agricultural products

agriculture                          – farming or the science of farming

agriculturalist                     – an expert on agriculture

agrochemical                     – a chemical product used in farming (e.g. a fertiliser or pesticide)

agronomy                           – the branch of agriculture that deals with crop production and soil management

An agritourist is someone who stays on a farm or ranch and who participates in agricultural activities like fishing, horse-riding, hunting, harvest festivals and wine tasting.

3. Anti- against, opposed to Greek

anti-aircraft                        – weapons (missiles) used for defence against hostile aircraft

antibiotics                           – medicines used to treat bacterial infections

antibody                              – a specialised, protective blood protein

antiseptic                            – a disinfectant, a germicide

antithesis                            – the direct opposite, the inverse

antidote                               – medicine taken to counteract poison

Antiseptics are antimicrobial substances that prevent sepsis (infection).  They are substances that “work against” sepsis; they “oppose” or fight infection.

We find the abbreviated form of anti- in words such as antonym and Antarctic.  Antonyms for the word “small” are words with opposite meanings; words like “huge” or “large”.  The Antarctic is on the opposite side of the globe as the Arctic.

4. Alb- dull white Latin

albatross                              – a large, white, oceanic bird

albumen                              – egg white (the protein in egg white)

albino*                                 – an organism with a lack of pigmentation; someone with white hair, a pale skin and pink eyes

album*                                 – a book with blank pages that is used for keeping photographs or stamps

In Ancient Rome, the word “album” referred to white tablet or register on which public notices were recorded.

These days, the term “album”, can be used to refer to a blank souvenir book in which autographs, photographs or signatures are collected.

5. Alt- high Latin

altar                       – an elevated table in a church

altimeter             – an instrument that is used (in aircraft) to measure altitude

altitude                – height above sea (or ground) level

alto                        – a fairly high-pitched, male singing voice

An altar is an elevated or raised table or structure that is used for religious rites.

“… occasionally men are described as altos — in which case, the word describes a fairly high-pitched singing voice — it more often describes a woman whose voice is lower than a soprano.”

An altarpiece is a work of art that decorates the area behind and above an altar.

6. Arch- ruler, principal Greek

archduke                             – a chief duke

archbishop                          – a chief bishop in a province

archangel                            – the chief angel

architect                              – someone who designs buildings and supervises their construction

arch-rival                             – the arch-enemy, the main opponent, a nemesis

The words “monarchy”, “matriarch”, “patriarch” and “anarchy” stem from the word “arch” that meant “ruler” in Latin.

A monarch is a single ruler (a king), a matriarch is a female leader of a family or clan and a patriarch is a male leader of a family or clan.  An anarchist is someone who believes in a form of government without a central (or hierarchical) rule.

7. Aud- hearing, listening Latin

audiobook          – a recording (on CD) of a text – usually a novel

auditorium          – the part of a building (theatre or concert hall) where the audience sits 

audition               – a trial hearing or interview given to a performing artist

audience             – the group of listeners (or spectators) at a play, concert or meeting; a formal interview with an important person

When something is “audible” it can be heard. 

The term “auditory” refers to hearing or the ears, whereas the term “visual” refers to sight or the eyes.

8. Ab- away from Latin

abdicator                             – a denouncer, a denier, a relinquisher 

abductor                              – a kidnapper, a hijacker, a hostage taker

abnormality                        – an irregularity, a deviation

abrasive                               – a substance that is used to shape or polish a surface

absconder                           – an escapee, a fugitive, a quitter

abstainer                             – a teetotaller, a non-drinker, an abstinent

A kidnapper or an abductor is someone who leads a person away.  If something is abnormal it is literally away from normal. An abrasive is a substance that scrapes dirt away from a surface.  An abstainer is someone who stays away from alcohol (or excessive amounts of food).

9. Ad- towards Latin

adapter                                – an attachment, a connection, a coupling, a link

adherent                             – a supporter, a follower, a devotee

adhesive                              – a sealant, a binder, glue, cement

adjustment                        – a modification, an alteration, an adaptation

advisor                                 – a guide, an instructor, a consultant

advocate                             – a defender, a lawyer, a promotor

An adapter is a device that fits to or joins something else.

Glue and cement are adhesives that literally stick two objects together. An adherent is a supporter who figuratively sticks to (or follows) a leader.

10. Avi- bird Latin

aviary                                    – a birdhouse, a cage, a bird sanctuary

aviculture                            – the rearing or keeping of birds

aviation                                – air transport; the production, operation and development of aircraft

aviator                                  – a pilot, a flyer, an aeronaut

Avian flu is a grand term for bird flu.  Avian medicine is the medical treatment of birds.