Word Families

A word family is a group of words that share the same base word, also known as a root word. For example, the word “act” is the root word for “actor,” “action,” “react,” and “active.” Understanding word families can help you expand your vocabulary and improve your understanding of how words are formed in the English language.

Examples of Word Families:

Act: actor, action, react, active, activity
Teach: teacher, teaching, teaches, taught, unteachable
Love: lovely, lover, lovable, lovingly, loveless
Appear: appearance, appearing, appears, disappeared, disappearances
Play: player, playful, played, playfully, playing

How to Identify Word Families:

To identify a word family, start with a base word or root word and look for other words that share the same base word. For example, if the base word is “play,” words in the same word family might include “player,” “playful,” “played,” “playfully,” and “playing.” Word families can also include words with prefixes and suffixes that change the meaning of the base word.

Benefits of Understanding Word Families:

Improved vocabulary: Understanding word families can help you recognize patterns in word formation, which can expand your vocabulary and help you learn new words more easily.

Improved spelling: By recognizing the spelling patterns of word families, you can improve your spelling skills and avoid common spelling mistakes.

Improved reading comprehension: Understanding word families can help you decipher the meaning of unfamiliar words when reading, improving your overall reading comprehension.

Improved writing skills: By using words from the same word family in your writing, you can improve the flow and coherence of your writing.


Word families are an important part of the English language and can help you expand your vocabulary, improve your spelling and reading comprehension, and become a better writer overall. By understanding word families, you can recognize patterns in word formation and use this knowledge to learn new words and improve your language skills.


Dolch Words