I am preparing for my TOEFL test and want to increase my vocabulary. Can anybody please tell me what lexemes and morphemes are, and why they are important?

I have Googled the terms but I need the explanation to be given in a simpler way.

Any help is appreciated. Thank You :)

  • 4
    If you need to know the meaning of a word, the place to look is a dictionary. Just saying. – Marthaª Aug 7 '15 at 17:51
  • As I understand it, all the words go, goes, went, and going are variants of the same "lexeme". But cats consists of two "morphemes", because the pluralising s contains meaning in and of itself. – FumbleFingers Aug 7 '15 at 17:56
  • I believe that David Crystal claimed that 'ship of the desert' was a single lexeme. And that he introduced the term. See this article at Wordwizard. – Edwin Ashworth Aug 8 '15 at 0:08

I would say lexemes are entries in a dictionary and morphemes are elements of word formation and grammatical endings. The theories about morphemes have become inflated in a way that one can write a book about it, but the problems of morphology don't affect normal grammar. Most things in my view are trivial hairsplitting.

  • 1
    I thought a Lexeme was a fancy car, and morpheme was what they gave me when I had my last kidney stone. – Hot Licks Aug 7 '15 at 18:01
  • That was not very useful to the OP, but I must admit it is a funny joke :D – Vlammuh Aug 7 '15 at 18:11
  • @HotLicks: Too bad they didn't give you the lexeme for that kidney stone. – Drew Aug 8 '15 at 2:27

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