Word Families

As an English learner, building a strong vocabulary is essential to improving your English language skills. One way to achieve this is by learning about word families.

What are Word Families?

Word families are groups of words that share the same root or base word, and often have a similar meaning. Understanding them can help you learn new vocabulary faster and more efficiently.

For example, the word family of “act” includes words like “action,” “actor,” and “react.” These words are related because they all come from the same root word, “act.”

Why are Word Families Important?

Learning word families is important for several reasons.

1 It allows you to learn multiple words at once that are related in meaning. This can help you to expand your vocabulary more quickly and efficiently.

2 Understanding word families can help you to understand the meaning of unfamiliar words. If you know the root word of a word you don’t know, you may be able to figure out its meaning based on its similarity to other words in that family.

3 Knowing word families can also help you to use words more accurately and appropriately in different contexts.

Examples of Word Families

Here are some examples of common word families in English:

Word FamilyExample Words
actaction, actor, react, active
happyhappiness, unhappy, happily, unhappily
nationnational, nationality, international, nationhood
beautybeautiful, beautifully, beautify, beautician
friendfriendly, friendship, unfriendly, friendliness

Learning and practicing word families is an important step in expanding your English vocabulary. By understanding the relationship between words, you can build a stronger foundation for reading, writing, and speaking in English. Keep practicing and reviewing these word families to improve your language skills.

 Vocabulary Practice

Level of difficulty: ⭐

  1. Click on the START button
  2. Choose a number.
  3. Look at the clue on the left side of the crossword. This clue will help you guess the word that fits into the puzzle.
  4. Use the clues to fill in the words that match the number and direction (across or down) of the boxes.
  5. If you’re not sure of a word, try to guess based on the other letters that you’ve filled in. You can also use a dictionary or the internet to help you if you need it.

 Speaking Practice

Level of difficulty: ⭐⭐

  1. Complete the questions with a word from the word family list in the example section.
  2. Click on FLIP to check your answers
  3. Discuss the questions with your partner

✍️ Writing Practice

Complete the following table

choosechoose wisely

Complete the following sentence using the words from the table

  1. The _______ of the building was stunning.
  2. She will _____ at the airport tomorrow morning.
  3. I _____that he is telling the truth.
  4. He is _______ a new house on the outskirts of the city.
  5. It’s important to _____ constructively in order to help someone improve.
  6. I had to ______ between two job offers.
  7. Her ________ knows no bounds.
  8. Regular exercise can help you _______ your overall health.
  9. I _________ spending time with my family and friends.
  10. It’s important to ___________ carefully before making a decision.

Choose 10 words from the table and write your own sentences.

Share your answers in the comments below and I’ll share with you the answer key


Happy Thanksgiving!

Today I’m thankful for YOU!

Today we celebrate Thanksgiving in Canada. Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday of October each year. Most families have a special dinner that consists mainly in turkey and stuffing, mashed potatoes, squash or turnips, cranberries sauce, and pumpkin pie. It’s a time to spend with family and friends.

Typical Canadian Thanksgiving dinner

Vocabulary related to Thanksgiving

Vocabulary related to Thanksgiving

Grammar related to Thanksgiving

Canadian families have different traditions during Thanksgiving dinner. My family has a special tradition before eating dinner. First, we say grace, which is a short prayer to give thanks. Then, each person says something they are thankful for. Thanksgiving is a time to reflect and give thanks for one’s life, health, food, family, friends, work, and freedom. 

How to use the word thankful?

First let’s analyze what part of the speech is the word thankful. It’s similar to the word thank, right? The word thank is a verb, so thankful is and adjective (many adjectives have a ‘ful’ ending). Can you guess what the adverb form is? Yes, the adverb form is thankfully (many adverbs have a ‘ly’ ending). Yay! We already have made a word family.

  • thank (verb)
  • thankful (adjective)
  • thankfully (adverb)

The word thankful represents a feeling that people experience when they are happy because of someone or something. It is commonly used to express gratitude.

Thankful for someone or something


He is thankful for his wife.

I’m so thankful for all the support I’ve received during these hard times.

Thankful to do something


I’m so thankful to be alive.

She is thankful to have a job

Practice time

What are you are thankful for today?

Share your answer in the comments below.

For more details about word families, check this:


How to learn new words easily using word families

If you want to improve your English it is critical that you have a rich vocabulary. Among other skills, the ability to identify word meanings is extremely important if you want to speak fluently.

Here I am going to share five tips that will help you remember new words and their meanings easily.

Tip # 1

Identify the part of speech of the words you learn. Along with the writing or pronunciation patterns, learning the part of speech can help you remember words and create sentences more easily. The part of speech indicates how the word functions in meaning as well as grammatically within the sentence. Nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs are examples of parts of speech.

Tip # 2

Organize your vocabulary by word families. A word family is a group of words that have a common pattern. Words that belong to the same family have the same combination of letters or a particular sound.  They are an excellent tool to learn and remember words.

Tip # 3

Look for other words that belong to the same family. Most online dictionaries display a list with nearby words or other entries for the word. Look for those entries to find out other words that belong to the same family.

(source: McMillan Essential Dictionaries Magazine, Issue 14, December 2003)

Tip # 4

Write down in your notebook all the words that belong to the same word family. Graphic word organizers are the best. You can draw a table in your notebook or download a super cool word organizer that I have created specially for my students.

Example of word families + parts of speech

Part of the speech  families  

Tip # 5

Write your own examples using each of the words that you add to your notebook or word organizer. It is crucial that you understand the meaning and how to use each word that you learn.

It seems like a lot of work. However, in the long run it will pay off; specially if you are planning to take the IELTS, TOEFL, CELPIP or any Cambridge test.


Let’s practice. Complete the sentences below using the correct word from the table above.

  1. “_____________ is in the eye of the beholder” ~Shakespeare (hint: noun)
  2. Although Maria has been looking for a new job _________, she hasn’t ___________ yet.  (hint: adverb, verb)
  3. John is a very ___________ person. He exercises every day. (hint: adjective)
  4. What’s you final _____________? Are you going to buy the detached house in the suburbs or the condo downtown? (hint: noun)
  5. I’m not going to _______________ such disrespectful behavior! (hint: verb)