Sweetener (root word practice)

We looked at the word “captivate” before and practiced using the root of the word to help us learn and remember the meaning of new words. Sweetener is another word that I have used with my English students lately and it is a good example of using the root word technique that we studied. The word sweet is also easier and more common so this a good example to use.

I like to cook, and while I was looking at some new recipes I saw a sweetener called “stevia” that seemed to be popular. I did some research and I found that it has been used in Canada and America recently, but it has been used in Japan for more than 30 years! When I asked my students if they have heard about stevia we talked about sweeteners. “What is a sweetener?” 

We know the meaning of the adjective sweet already, it describes a taste. “Sugar and honey are sweet.”

It can also be used as a noun, usually a plural noun, to mean candy(s). “My dentist said I eat too many sweets!”

Sweeten is a verb that means :to make something sweet. “Many people use sugar to sweeten their coffee. Black coffee is too bitter for most people.”

So now we understand sweeten, how about our new word sweetener? Let’s look at some other verbs that have “er” added at the end and see what they mean.

In baseball, the person who throws (pitches) the ball is called the pitcher. The person who hits (bats) the ball is the batter and the one who catches the ball is…? That’s right! The catcher. And not only for people, the machine that dries our hair is a hair dryer, the machine that mixes (blends) our food and drinks is a blender.

What do you think a sweetener does? It makes things taste SWEET!!!!!

When we use sweetener we are most often talking about one that has fewer calories than sugar. An artificial (not natural) sweetener.

I sweeten my coffee with LOVE!!!

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