Many of my full time language arts students (those who come to class each week during the academic year to help us test our complete language arts curriculum) use the root/prefix “dict” each week—as they take “dictation” over the passage of material in our book. They label their papers Dict then the unit we are in and the date. They even call it “dict” time—which is so appropriate since the root “dict” literally means “word”—and they are writing down many words when they take dictation!
We will look at the root/prefix “dict” today!
DICT, DIT, DIC—means to tell, to say, or word
Like we always tell our students—focus on something you already know in order to understand the unknown. In my students’ case, they take “dictation” (writing down words) every week—so they can remember that dict has something to do with words. If you are of my generation, you might remember television programs in which secretaries use a Dictaphone to take dictation from their boss.
Consider what you already know to unlock the unknown! If you have kids, repeat this to them over and over again to help them in their learning and to encourage them about their vast store of knowledge.
Take a look at some words containing dic/dict/dit---and see how they can mean what they do—with to tell, to say, or word :
- Dictate—to speak words to someone (for that person to write)
- Verdict—a word/determination that was spoken at the end of a trial
- Edict—words that are authority or law/rule
- Contradict—contra means opposite; dict means word—opposite of the words that someone spoke
- Predict—pre means before; dict means word—speak words before they happen
- Diction—the pattern of someone’s speech
What other dit/dict/dic words do you know? When you see dic/dit/dict in a word—even if you do not know any other part of the word—use what you do know and the words within the sentence to unlock the meaning.