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Compound verbs in English consisting of Latin prefix and Latin verb

Some compound verbs in English consist of a Latin prefix and a Latin verb.

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Boundary

The boundary between the prefix and verb is mostly unclear to English speakers unfamiliar with linguistics and Latin. For example, for a long time, "descend" (de- + scend) was thought to be made of des- and cend, hence it was also spelled dis- and dys-.

Spelling

Due to assimilation[?], the roots of some of the English verbs listed here are difficult to recognize. For example, ad- + ludo ("play") results in allude rather than *adlude. On the other hand, once a learner knows the rule they are less likely to make spelling mistakes: That the word aggressive is spelt with gg is due to the fact that it derives from ad + gredior, with -dg-, as it is more difficult to pronounce, having been turned into the easier -gg- (so that *agressive must be considered wrong).

Latin verbs:

  • ago, egi, actus "do", "move"
  • cedo, cessi, cessurus "go"
  • cludo (claudo), clusi, clusus "close"
  • duco, duxi, ductus "pull", "lead"
  • facio, feci, factus "make", "do"
  • fero, ferre, tuli, latus "carry"
  • gradior (gredior) gressus "go", "pace"
  • iacio, ieci, iectus "throw"
  • ludo, lusi, lusus "play"
  • mergo, mersi, mersus "dip (in)", "sink"
  • mitto, misi, missus "send"
  • pono, posui, positus "put"
  • premo, pressi, pressus "press"
  • rumpo, rupi, ruptus "break"
  • scribo, scripsi, scriptum "write"
  • volvo, volvi, volutus "roll"

Latin prefixes:

  • a(b)- "from"
  • ad- "towards", "in the direction of"
  • con- "together", "with"
  • de- "away from"
  • e(x)- "out of"
  • in- "in", "into"
  • inter- "between"
  • iuxta- "near", "close to"
  • ob- "towards"
  • prae- "before"
  • pro- "onward", "forward", "in favour of"
  • re- "again"
  • se- "away from"
  • sub- "beneath", "under"
  • trans- "beyond"

Some examples

  fero mitto pono premo scribo volvo
a(b)- --- --- --- --- --- ---
ad- --- admit
admission[?]
--- --- ascribe ---
con- confer
conference[?]
commit
commission
compose
composition
compress
compression
conscribe
conscription
convoluted
de- defer
deference
--- depose
deposition
depress
depression
describe
description
devolve
devolution
e(x)- --- emit
emission
expose
exposition[?]
express
expression
--- evolve
evolution
in- infer
inference[?]
--- impose impress
impression[?]
inscribe
inscription[?]
involve
involvement
inter- interfere
interference
intermittent --- --- --- ---
iuxta- --- --- juxtapose
juxtaposition
--- --- ---
ob- offer omit
omission[?]
oppose
opposition[?]
oppress
oppression
--- ---
prae- prefer
preference
--- --- --- prescribe
prescription
---
pro- --- --- propose
proposal[?]
--- proscription[?] ---
re- refer
relate
remit
remission[?]
repose repress
repression
--- revolve
revolver, revolution
se- --- --- --- --- --- ---
sub- suffer submit
submission
suppose
supposition
suppress
suppression
subscribe
subscription[?]
---
trans- transfer
translate
transmit
transmission
transpose --- transcribe
transcription
---

See also:



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