Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Do you know how to find connections between words in English so that you can guess meanings faster in quick conversations?

If you don’t have this skill then you should build it.

Being able to guess meanings of words will help you understand and CONNECT when you are in a group of native speakers.

Hi Lindsay and Michelle,

My Name is Neorvis but you can call me just Neo. I’m from Cuba and I live in New Jersey since 2013. I love your podcast, you both are amazing, thank you for being there for us. I studied France during 4 years in a France Alliance and I also studied Italian for 2 years during my College. To read and write in those languages is easy for me, specially because they’re very close to my native language. Anyway if you guys learn the rules for reading and writing you guys are ok because those rules never change. Lindsay you have to know a little bit about it because you studied Spanish, don’t you?. In English this is crazy :)), I’m gonna give you guys an example:

Look the sound “HAVE” in these two sentences:

I have an Apple Watch.

It is stupid of him to behave like that.

There are  thousands more examples like this and when I ask to my friends about it, they always say, there are not rules, you have to memorize :(.

Could you guys talk about that?


Thank you for your question! It’s a good question.

First of all, you are trying to find connections between words and to get clues into meaning.

We think that’s great

In this case it won’t work.

The word “behave” does not really have the word “have’ in it.

It’s not using the root.

There is no connection except for the spelling.


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Should you look for connections between words?

The idea of finding connections between words is great but do it in a smart way.

Use the 80/20 principle.

80% of your results come from 20% of the things that you could focus on.

Let’s choose the right 20%

  • prefixes : In our new course we show you prefixes in the module where we talk about my trip to the Gay Pride celebration- in San Francisco. I interviewed some teenagers. In the course you watch the native speakers on video and then you make connections with the prefixes:
    • Hetero
    • Bi
    • Trans

Obviously these prefixes go way beyond this topic so they are not just useful for discussing gay issues.


Other common ones prefixes:

  • Over- over think
  • Sub- submarine
  • Mis- mistake, misconception


Common suffixes:

  • Able- printable
  • Less- careless, tactless, reckless,
  • Eos, ious, ous- possessing qualities of (obnoxious), nauseous, facetious,


Here are the most common prefixes and suffixes that you should focus on.


Let’s go back to the question:

Regarding your question, you have to pick and choose your battles.

Choose the areas to focus on that will give you the most ground like the prefixes/suffixes that we have mentioned today.

Again, in our course we do cover this.

Sometimes you just need a step by step system to show you the ones that really matter, otherwise you end up focusing on things that don’t matter.

Don’t waste your time.

Click here to check out the Bridge to Connection Method.

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