Medical Terminology: Prefixes and Suffixes in English and Spanish

Doctors and other medical professionals communicate information about their patients using medical terminology, the language of health care. A medical term is composed of 1) a root word, 2) a prefix, a group of letters attached to the beginning of the root word, and/or 3) a suffix, a group of letters attached to the end of the root word. Since virtually all prefixes and suffixes used in English and Spanish medical terminology are derived from Latin and Greek, the two sets of terms are extremely similar in many cases. Some would argue that the complexities of medical terminology are akin to those of a foreign language, but with a bit of knowledge and understanding of prefixes and suffixes, the vocabulary of medicine is greatly simplified.

We recently added a medical terminology section to the Transpanish website that includes prefixes and suffixes in both English and Spanish. Feel free to bookmark the page as a resource!

Some of the prefixes and suffixes you will find in our page:

gynec/o
-scopy
endo-
-gram

Visit our Glossary section for Medical Glossaries.

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