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14.4: Bound Stems with -ic and -al

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12
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Bound Stems with -ic and -al

1. You have seen that the suffixes -ic and -al are sometimes added to bound stems. For instance, the word mechanical can be analyzed into -ic plus -al added to the bound stem mechan. When -ic or -al are added to bound stems, it can be hard sometimes to recognize that the suffixes are there. So here are some nouns and adjectives to analyze for practice. They all contain a bound stem plus either -ic or -al, or both:

Noun or Adjective Bound Stem + Suffix or Suffixes
mystical myst + ic + al
legal leg + al
medical med + ic + al
mortal mort + al
mental ment + al
technical techn + ic + al
liberal liber + al
public publ + ic
physical phys + ic + al
social soci + al
criminal crimin + al
elastic elast + ic

2. Now try some the other way around:

Bound Stem + Suffix or Suffixes Noun or Adjective
myst + ic + al mystical
mechan + ic + al mechanical
chem + ic + al chemical
loc + al local
equ + al equal
re + al real
princip + al principal
republ + ic republic
gigant + ic gigantic
capit + al capital
com + ic + al comical
immort + al immortal

3. Some of the bound stems in these words are in several other words. For instance, the bound stem mort in mortal means “death” and is in the following words. Underline the bound stem mort in each of them:


The bound stem in liberal is liber, “free.” Underline it in each of the following:


The bound stem ment in mental means “mind.” Underline it in each of the following:


The bound stem myst means “secret.” Underline it in each of the following:


The bound stem med in medical means “heal.” Underline it:


Teaching Notes.

Item 3. Amortize “to liquidate or extinguish a debt” comes from a Latin word that meant “to extinguish, to put to death.”

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Date Created:
Feb 23, 2012
Last Modified:
Jul 07, 2015
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