Dictionary.com

What Percentage of English Words are Derived from Latin?

About 80 percent of the entries in any English dictionary are borrowed, mainly from Latin. Over 60 percent of all English words have Greek or Latin roots. In the vocabulary of the sciences and technology, the figure rises to over 90 percent. About 10 percent of the Latin vocabulary has found its way directly into English without an intermediary (usually French).

For a time the whole Latin lexicon became potentially English and many words were coined on the basis of Latin precedent. Words of Greek origin have generally entered English in one of three ways: 1) indirectly by way of Latin, 2) borrowed directly from Greek writers, or 3) especially in the case of scientific terms, formed in modern times by combining Greek elements in new ways. The direct influence of the classical languages began with the Renaissance and has continued ever since. Even today, Latin and Greek roots are the chief source for English words in science and technology.

5 Comments

  1. DESPINA -  September 28, 2016 - 12:02 pm

    DO THIS IN LATIN AS WELL BECAUSE WORDS JUST DON’T GET TRANSLATED CORRECTLY THESE DAYS. GO TO A NATIVE SPEAKER WHO KNOWS BOTH ENGLISH AND THEIR NATIVE LANGUAGE SO THEY CAN VERIFY TO YOU THE ACTUAL ROOT WORD. AMERICAN TEACHERS WHO ONLY SPEAK ENGLISH AND ONLY LEARNED SOME FOREIGN LANGUAGES CANNOT REALLY HELP YOU. BILINGUAL TEACHERS WHOSE NATIVE LANGUAGE IS FROM GREEK OR LATIN CAN HELP YOU BEST. LEARN GREEK AND LATIN, THEY ARE NOT DEAD LANGUAGES. THEY ARE VERY ALIVE TODAY IN OUR EVERYDAY SPEECH!!!!!!!.

    Reply
  2. Anonymous -  September 28, 2016 - 11:45 am

    Read that again :

    For a time the whole Latin lexicon became potentially English and many words were coined on the basis of Latin precedent. Words of Greek origin have generally entered English in one of three ways: 1) indirectly by way of Latin, 2) borrowed directly from Greek writers, or 3) especially in the case of scientific terms, formed in modern times by combining Greek elements in new ways. The direct influence of the classical languages began with the Renaissance and has continued ever since. Even today, Latin and Greek roots are the chief source for English words in science and technology. Greek makes up most of the english language since Greek is also a high percentage of latin, so its not only the Greek words that come from English but the latin words that came from Greek. Latin seems more popular, but don’t forget it AMERICANS LEARNING ENGLISH LEARN SO MANY WORDS THAT EVEN LATIN IS CONFUSING. I MEAN THEY WOULDN’T USE THIS EXPRESSION FOR NOTHING NOW WOULD THEY ? ”
    ” ITS ALL GREEK TO ME” LOL

    Reply
  3. Kyawt Nandar Linn -  April 30, 2016 - 9:57 am

    I want to be a good english teacher and so I would be very pleased if u could send me about something effective for a teacher and also something interesting concerning English language. I am not a native. English is my second language. Thank u.

    Reply
    • DESPINA -  September 28, 2016 - 11:57 am

      I LOVE TEACHING BUT I WOULD LIKE TO MAKE IT CLEAR TO MANY THAT THE WORD PSYCHI IN GREEK WHICH IS PART OF THE WORD PSYCHOLOGY MEANS SOUL NOT BRAIN.. THE SOUL IS IN DISTRESS AND CAUSES THE MIND TO GO CRAZY. THE DEVIL TAKES OVER YOUR SOUL ( IF YOUR DEAD THERE IS NO BRAIN) IN ANY CASE DON’T JUST MEMORIZE THE WORDS AS TAUGHT BY MANY TEACHERS, LEARN SOME GREEK AND GO TO A GREEK TEACHER TO LEARN THE GREEK WORD IN GREEK SO THEY CAN VERIFY TO YOU THE ACTUAL WORD. SOMA MEANS BODY IN GREEK SO IF YOU LOOK AT THE WORD PSYCHOSOMATIC IT REFERS TO THE DISTRESSED SOUL WHEN WE ARE DISTRESSED IT CAUSES SOME ILLNESSES IN OUR BODIES. PLEASE LEARN THESE WORDS IN GREEK :D THANK YOU GO TO SOMEONE WHO IS A NATIVE SPEAKER OF GREEK, NOT THOSE WHO CAN’T PRONOUNCE GREEK
      THANK YOU

      Reply
    • Despina -  October 24, 2016 - 4:15 am

      Where are you located? Are you in New York ?

      Reply

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked (required):

Related articles

Back to Top