2 Medical Language Rules
Before we begin analyzing the rules let’s complete a short language review that will assist with pronunciation and spelling. In class, you will practice pronunciation with your Instructor.
a, e, i, o, u, and sometimes y are indicated by lower case.
A, E, I, O, U are indicated by upper case.
Consonants are all of the other letters in the alphabet. b, c, d, f, g, h, j, k, l, m, n, p, q, r, s, t, v, w, x, and z.
Language Rules for Building Medical Terms
- When combining two s you keep the .
- When combining a with a that begins with a consonant you keep the .
Gastr/o/enter/o/logy – The study of the stomach and the intestines
- Following rule 1, when we join combining form gastr/o (meaning stomach) with the combining form enter/o (meaning intestines) we keep the combining form vowel o.
- Following rule 2, when we join the combining form enter/o (meaning intestines) with the suffix -logy (that starts with a suffix and means the study of) we keep the combining form vowel o.
- When combining a with a that begins with a vowel you drop the combining form vowel.
- A goes at the beginning of the word and no is used.
Intra/ven/ous – Pertaining to within the vein
- Following rule 3, notice that when combining the combining form ven/o (meaning vein) with the suffix -ous ( that starts with a vowel and means pertaining to) we drop the combining form vowel o.
- Following rule 4, the prefix intra- (meaning within) is at the beginning of the medical term with no combining form vowel used.
- When defining a medical word, start with the suffix first and then work left to right stating the word parts. You may need to add words. As long as the word does not change the meaning of the word you may use it for the purpose of building a medical vocabulary. Once you start to apply the word in the context of a sentence it will be easier to decide which word(s) to choose.
Intra/ven/ous – Pertaining to within the vein or Pertaining to within a vein.
- Following rule 5, notice that I start with the suffix -ous (that means pertaining to) then we work left to right starting with the prefix Intra- (meaning within) and the combining form ven/o (meaning vein).
- Notice that we have used two different definitions that mean the same thing.
- In these examples we do not have the context of a full sentence. For the purpose of building a medical terminology foundation either definition is accepted.
A word root with a combining form vowel.
The combining form vowel is used to join word parts and to ease pronunciation.
The most common combining form vowel is an "o" but sometimes it is an "i" or an "e".
A word part added to the end of a word that changes the meaning of the word root.
Word part at the beginning of a medical term that changes the meaning of the word root.
additional words that makes the definition complete.