Pronouncing Medical Words

 

Only the second vowel is pronounced for ae and oe.

            Example:   bursae, pleurae, roentgen

 

Before e, i, and y, the sounds of s and j take the place of letters c and g.

            Example:   cerebrum, cycle, cyte,          gingivitis, gel

 

The letters ch are sometimes pronounced like k

            Example:   cholesterol, cholera,             chondrocyte

 

Before other letters, c and g have a hard sound.

            Example:   cardiac, cast, gastric, gonad

 

When pn appears at the beginning of a word, the p is silent and only the n is pronounced.

            Example:   pneumonia

 

When pn appears in the middle of a word, the p and the n are pronounced.

            Example:   orthopnea and hyperpnea.

 

When ps appears at the beginning of a word, the p is silent and only the s is pronounced.

            Example:   psychology and psychosis

 

When forming the final letter or letters of a word, e and es are often pronounced as separate syllables.

            Example:   syncope, systole, nares

 

When i appears at the end of a word (to form a plural) is it pronounced eye.

            Example:   bronchi, fungi, nuclei

 

Singular to Plural Suffixes

 

Single Form

Plural Form

Rule

Single Example

Plural Example

-a

-ae

Retain the a and add e

pleura

pleurae

-ax

-aces

Drop the x and add ces

thorax

thoraces

-en

-ina

Drop the en and add ina

lumen

lumina

-is

-es

Drop the is and add es

diagnosis

diagnoses

-ix

-ices

Drop the ix and add ices

appendix

Appendices

-ex

-ices

Drop the ex and add ices

apex

apices

-ma

-mata

Retain the ma and add ta

carcinoma

carcinomata

-on

-a

Drop on and add a

ganglion

ganglia

-um

-a

Drop um and add a

bacterium

bacteria

-us

-i

Drop us and add i

bronchus

Bronchi

-y

-ies

Drop y and add ies

deformity

deformities

 

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