Source: Unicorn, Mwezibou, Flickr

In addition to all the useful affixes and roots you’ve learned in this lesson, some numerical prefixes are also useful in figuring out the meanings of words. Bi- means “two,” so you know that bicycles have two wheels, binoculars have two lenses, and biennials occur every two years. Tri- means “three,” so if tricycles have three wheels, and triceratops have three horns, you can infer that triennial events occur every three years. Quad- means “four,” so quadrangles have four sides, quadrupeds four feet, and quadrennials occur every four years.

The article “Montana Soccer-Mom Moment” that you are about to read describes how road trips in Montana can be spent searching for unicorns, not the single-horned, mythical variety, but any weird or unusual sighting. Once, Laura Munson, the soccer mom, and her daughter spotted a unicycle, or single-wheeled-vehicle, while on a road trip in Montana.

From the clues provided in the paragraph above, you have probably already inferred that uni- is a numerical prefix meaning “one.” Use your knowledge of roots and affixes and those same inferential skills to determine the meaning of each highlighted word in Munson’s article.

First, read the article. Open the graphic organizer that contains the article. You can save, download, and print this file. When you are finished using the graphic organizer, return to the lesson. Then, answer the multiple-choice questions below. If you need to, you may refer to the prefixes, suffixes, and roots charts from this lesson to answer the questions. Graphic Organizer Instructions

1. Skipping and yawping: Based on the context around it, the best meaning of this phrase is—

2. a. running and playing with limitless energy.
Try again.
b. running and playing with a sense of wonder.
Correct!
c. skipping while eating.
Try again.

3. Miraculous: If -ous means “having the quality of,” what does miraculous mean?

4. a. Having the quality of a mirage
Try again.
b. Having the quality of mirror
Try again.
c. Having the quality of miracle
Correct!

5. Hovered: Based on the example “like a red tailed hawk,” the meaning is—

6. a. hanging in the air like a bird.
Correct!
b. falling to earth quickly.
Try again.
c. disappeared.
Try again.

7. Misery: Based on the meaning of the prefix mis-, what can you infer about the word misery?

8. a. It’s something positive.
Try again.
b. It’s something negative.
Correct!
c. It’s something in-between.
Try again.

9. Infinite: If finite means “having an end,” how does the prefix -in change the meaning in infinite?

10. a. It means the opposite of finite.
Try again.
b. It means without end.
Try again.
c. Both a and b.
Correct!

If you take a shortcut through Greek and Latin roots and affixes, every new word you encounter in your reading need not be a unique experience.

Source: GrimlockDLSL, Grimlock, Wikimedia

Are you hungry to learn more words so you’ll be able to comprehend more of what you read? Practice applying your knowledge of Greek and Latin roots and affixes in the vocabulary exercises on the website, freerice.com. For every answer you get right, the World Food Programme will donate 10 grams of rice to help alleviate world hunger. With 60 levels to choose from, there are “infinite” possibilities for learning.