What's the last show of a television season?
What's the last, comprehensive test you take at the end of the year?
What do you say when you've completed a task?
What do you see at the end of old-fashioned movies?
What are French and Spanish words for "the end"?
What's a term for limiting something?
What is the word for limiting an idea, say, the number of people you can fit in a phone booth?
What is the word when you set a limit or explanation to something?
What is the noun version of a limit or explanation for something?
How about the adverb version?
What does the root "FIN" mean?
An end or limit!
There are NO 'A's in the words define, definite, or definitely! No A! None, whatsoever! ZERO A!
Look! Now you know how to spell! Latin is your friend! So is etymology in general!
(PS, for word nerds like me: "finite" and "definite" are from different but still-related Latin root words [definire and finire], so the "de" is NOT a negative prefix in this case. )
Here is a long but very useful page, listing common Greek and Latin roots, their meanings, and words they are found in.
Here is an excellent site with specific explanations, examples, vocabulary, and exercises for roots, prefixes, and suffixes.
Here's a really great site using Harry Potter spell charms--the kids will know this stuff!--to teach roots. I've done this only with the root "lev" (eLEVate, LEVer, alLEViate, LEVity, etc) and it worked pretty well with 6th graders and dictionaries.
If you are a teacher or parent, please figure out a way to incorporate root learning into your child's/class's education. If you can link words together like this, I bet you five bucks you'll see the light go on about their heads! Fantastic! With a couple repetitions and reinforcements, students would 'get it', and would forevermore know how to spell words that seem tricky but really aren't. What a win-win situation!