I learned that a good way to grow vocabulary is learning root words and recognize prefixes and suffixes and other parts of a word. So I am looking for a way to decompose a specific word. Is there any site or any reference for doing that? for example I write the word "construction" and it gives me: con + struct + ion.

Also, what English name do we use for this process of decomposing?

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    I understand that you would want to learn roots, and I agree that it is a good way to expand vocabulary. You ask for "a way to decompose a specific word". Are you wondering about some method that you can follow to break a word into parts? I think that if you know the roots, and you know the few basic patterns of how words are formed, then you will recognize the roots within a word when you see the word. I certainly recommend learning the roots. I am not convinced that it is helpful to try to learn some process for decomposing words. Maybe others have different thoughts.
    – brainchild
    Jul 26, 2020 at 12:43
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    For learning roots of English words, I think you would want to study Greek and Latin roots. I actually would be interested if someone can recommend a good resource on this subject. For either a native speaker or learner it is quite valuable.
    – brainchild
    Jul 26, 2020 at 12:46
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    In linguistics, morphology (/mɔːrˈfɒlədʒi/) is the study of words, how they are formed, and their relationship to other words in the same language. It analyzes the structure of words and parts of words, such as stems, root words, prefixes, and suffixes.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jul 26, 2020 at 12:59
  • Generally, we learn a list of Greek and Latin prefixes and suffixes in school. Then, you are given some words to go along with them. You don't decompose first....
    – Lambie
    Jul 26, 2020 at 15:35

1 Answer 1


A good dictionary will already help. For example, Merriam Webster:

History and Etymology for construction

see CONSTRUCT entry 1

from which you can deduct -ion is a suffix;

History and Etymology for construct

Verb and Noun

Latin constructus, past participle of construere, from com- + struere to build — more at STRUCTURE

You're already using the correct word for this, decomposition, derived from to decompose:

1 : to separate into constituent parts or elements or into simpler compounds
// decompose water by electrolysis
// decompose a word into its base and affixes

It's part of a linguistic subfield called morphology.

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