We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. Root words are a great way to learn a language! Root words help you get the feeling for (understand) a language, since you can see where certain words come from and then make meaningful connections with other words. One of the most common root words in English is the root word it.
The root word it, meaning go, is the base of many words that we use every day, such as exit, transit, and ambitious. Since the root word it means to go, all of these words have either something to do with the beginning of something (starting to go), or a sense (feeling, idea) of movement or transition about them (going or moving from one place to another).
This week, for words using the root word it, we’ve put together a list of some of the most common words you’ll hear along with their parts of speech (noun, verb, adjective, etc.), their definitions, and some examples of how to use them in a sentence. Let’s get going!
Words Using the Root Word It
Exit: (v) to leave, go away, or depart somewhere
Exit is made up not only of the root word it, meaning to go, but also the prefix ex, meaning to leave.
- Where can we exit the building?
- The audience exited the theater after the play ended.
- Please enter the museum to the right and exit to the left.
Initiate: (v) to start or begin something
Initiate, like exit, is made up of a couple of parts. Along with it as a root word, initiate also has the prefix in, which means to enter. This makes sense when initiate means to start something, like you’re going into something!
- How do you initiate a conversation? How do you start talking to people?
- The pilot initiated the landing sequence as they began to approach the airport.
- The president initiated the military operation.
Transit: (n) the act of moving people or things from one place to another
Transit is another word that is made up of both the root word and a prefix. In this case, the prefix trans means to go across something. This makes sense, since transit systems (trains, buses, etc.) in cities take you from place to place!
- New York City has a large transit system to get people across the city.
- The city’s transit system was delayed due to the storm.
- The travelers were in transit to their destination but had a three-hour layover at the airport.
Ambitious: (adj) a desire to be powerful, successful, or famous
- The super villain wanted to take over the world. He was very ambitious.
- She was always an ambitious child, so it’s no surprise that she’s a famous actress today.
- The politician was unsuccessful in his campaign because voters thought he was too ambitious.
Circuit: (n) a path or a trip around something
Circuit is made up of two root words: it, meaning to go, and circum, meaning around. Think of how a circle goes around something, and it can make circuit easier to remember!
- She got lost while she was driving. She ended up making a circuit around the town before she found her way.
- The Earth makes one circuit around the Sun in a year.
- The group made a circuit around the town before going to the mayor’s office.
Transition: (n) a movement or development from one state or condition to another
- Are you going to transition jobs? Are you looking for a new job?
- I want to transition to a leadership position in the next few years, so I’m working very hard to make that a possibility.
- The president’s transition team helps him to become familiar with the job.
Initial: (adj) of or relating to the beginning of something
- The initial plan wasn’t good. We had to make a second plan, which was much better.
- The initial phase of the job seemed scary, but once we were used to how the company worked, we were fine.
- Initially, I wanted to go to Croatia for vacation but we decided to go to Slovenia instead.
Did you know that all of these different words use the root word it? Did any surprise you? Can you think of any other words with this root word? Share with us in the comments below!