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Free Morphemes and Bound Morphemes

Free Morphemes and Bound Morphemes

Morphemes that can stand alone to function as words are called free morphemes. They comprise simple words (i.e. words made up of one free morpheme) and compound words (i.e. words made up of two free morphemes).
Simple words: the, run, on, well
Compound words: keyboard, greenhouse, bloodshed, smartphone

Morphemes that can only be attached to another part of a word (cannot stand alone) are called bound morphemes.
pre-, dis-, in-, un-, -ful, -able, -ment, -ly, -ise
pretest, discontent, intolerable, receive

Complex words are words that are made up of both free morpheme(s) and bound morpheme(s), or two or more bound morphemes.

Roll your mouse over the words below to see how many morphemes are there and whether they are free morphemes or bound morphemes.
againstagainst imperativeimperative realize realize submitsubmit
assignmentassign+ment FacebookFace+book uncommonun+common misinterpretmis+interpret
disqualifieddis+qualify+ed encountereden+counter+ed geographygeo+graph+y irresistibleir+resist+ible

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