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When people say; “It’s Greek to me", they usually mean that they don’t have a clue as to what they are examining. To those trained in science and mathematics however, it is the Greek language’s use which makes things understood.

From the metric system to the names of courses we study, Greek is the link which makes mathematicians and scientists speak and understand the same language. Many of the science and math courses whose names bring fear might not be as frightening with a little understanding of Greek. Courses like Trigonometry and Biology make a lot more sense when they are broken down from their Greek.

Greek affixes (prefixes and suffixes) attached often give a clear understanding of just what is going on in most science and math classes. For example, we use Greek all the time in words associated with numbers. A tricycle is understood to be a three wheeled vehicle, but from the Greek it means literally (tri-) three (cycle) circles. Mono- Greek for one, deka- meaning ten, and penta- meaning five are example of how numbers are used.

Greek suffixes are important too, -ology which means to study, -metry to measure, and -gon for sides, all have their uses. Bio- which means life, and patho- which means suffering or disease suddenly make the words biology and pathology have a very clear and concise meaning. Of course everyone now knows exactly how the pentagon’s name describes its shape. From the list of affixes below see how many words you can develop from the Greek. By the way, just how simple is Trigonometry to understand when its
name says it is the measurement of three sided figures!

mono- one bio- life
di- two patho- disease sadness
tri- three -gon sides
tetra- four -metry measure
penta- five -ology study
hexa- six -hypo beneath/under
hepta- seven -hyper over/above
octo- eight -derm- skin
nono- nine -static standing/still
decka- ten pseudo- false
pod- feet pneumat-(pneumo-)gas/air
osteo- bone hemo- blood