Difference Between Root and Base Word
Root vs Base Word
A word can be simple or complex. In its simplest form, it can have a definite meaning. When combined with other words, it can form new words that may or may not have similar meanings as the original word which can either be a root word or a base word.
A root word is the primary form of a word which can either be free morphemes or bound morphemes. Free morphemes are words that can stand alone or that can appear with other words while bound morphemes are prefixes and suffixes that appear with other morphemes to form a word.
A root word may be a word that has a meaning or one that does not have a meaning. It is the term that a certain word comes from originally and is a word’s basic linguistic unit. It may come from several different languages like Greek and Latin.
Affixes are usually added to root words in order to create new words. In words that have two or more syllables, there is a root word and two or more prefixes or suffixes. The meaning of a word can be easily determined if one knows the root word. Root words are parts of a base word.
A base word is a word that does not have any other words added either at the beginning or its ending. It can stand on its own and has meaning. It is a word that is easily apparent in every language and is a word in its simplest form.
It can be modified by adding suffixes and prefixes to form new words with related meanings although it can have a meaning on its own. Take the word “cycle” for example. It means “wheel.” And if the prefix “bi” is added, it forms the word “bicycle” which means “two wheels.”
It can be further modified by adding the suffix “ist” which means “doer” in order to form the word “cyclist” which means “one who rides a bicycle.” Its root word is the Greek word “kyklos” which means “disk, wheel, or ring” which in turn evolved into the Latin “cyclus” then the Middle English “cicle.”
Root words and base words are stem words. They form the base of other words which are created after affixes are added. The word “act” is a stem word which is also a base word as it can stand on its own. Adding the prefix “counter” would form the new word “counteract” which has an opposite meaning to the base word. Its root word is the Latin “actus.”
1.A root word is the primary form of a word while a base word is a word that can stand on its own.
2.A root word may or may not have a meaning while a base word has a meaning on its own.
3.New words can be formed using root words and base words by adding suffixes or prefixes, and several affixes can be added to root words for it to have a meaning.
4.A root word is the basic linguistic unit, and it is the original form of a word while a base word is a word in its simplest form.
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