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Sometimes when I see a word I wonder of which parts it is built up. I might be thinking of whether the word contains an affix or whether that syllable is simply a part of the root itself. Is there some tool I can use to find out?

Kelkfoje kiam mi vidas vorton mi scivolas kiujn morfemojn ĝi enhavas. Ekzemple mi povas pensi pri ĉu vorto enhavas afikson aŭ ĉu tiu silabo simple estas parto de la radiko mem. Ĉu estas ia ajna ilo por eltrovi?

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You can use La Simpla Vortaro which has the same content as Reta Vortaro, with additionnal tools like Vortfarada Serĉo which lists the possible decompositions of a word.

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I agree there is some confusion at times with words that have various familiar looking parts. Here's one that confused me- Eksklavo. If you break it down by roots, it would see me to be ex-nail, which would be completely ridiculous. It's actually a reference to exclaves (as the opposite to enclaves), which are parts of nation states separated from the main part. (Interesting discussion on this on kernpunkto).

To answer your question, I don't believe there is always a set formula. I play around with the word in my head or use a dictionary or just google typing the word and Angla. (Like "exclavo Angla"). Eventually, with looking at a variety of words, it will start to make more sense.

Hopefully, this helps. Bonan Sxancon!

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This is one of those things that comes with experience. Based on some of the other answers, I also suspect that this might be one of the advantages of a paper dictionary or online dictionary (like vortaro.net) that allows you to browse through partial words alphabetically.

If you have a machine break the word down for you, you'll run into the situation where you'll have too many possibilities to dig through. The goal should be to develop your sense for this - and sometimes pondering it the best you can will help you learn and remember for next time.

It's true, that sometimes you'll go the wrong way. Early on someone wrote to me about a mankanta address. I had no idea what a hand-song address was. Turns out it's mank-anta - missing. I figured that one out by asking the person I was writing to.

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    La Simpla Vortaro not only shows different possible ways to break down the word, but also suggests which one is the most probable. For mankanta it gives both man-kant-a and mank-ant-a, and marks the latter as "plej verŝajna": simplavortaro.org/ser%C4%89o?s=mankanta
    – miĥaŭ
    Commented Nov 19, 2016 at 0:09
  • I just spent a few minutes playing with it. It's an interesting tool. It's hard for me to imagine that this could be useful to any individual for more than a brief amount of time. I can also imagine that it would slow down reading and become a crutch that would delay the development of proper comprehension skills. It could also be that my imagination here is way off. (Always a possibility.) I did notice that it often broke words up in strange ways and occasionally was glitchy about which combinations it found. Certainly worth a look, I agree. Commented Nov 19, 2016 at 0:33
  • @TomasoAlexander as the author of La Simpla Vortaro, I'd love to hear about any examples where it could do better. Commented Nov 19, 2016 at 20:56

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