Fourteen Important Words that Make All the Difference

(here are 14 important words with elements from Latin and Greek sources)

"These words make all the difference because they are supposed to contain the twenty most useful prefixes and the fourteen most important roots which are to be found in over 14,000 words in a collegiate dictionary size or close to an estimated 100,000 words in an unabridged dictionary size."

—This is according to James I. Brown, Professor of Rhetoric, University of Minnesota;
in his Programmed Vocabulary book, printed by Meredith Publishing Company; New York; 1971.
Etymology: ad- and specere, plus other forms that include spec and spic.

Here are two links to sources of information regarding ad- and spec-, spic- units that present hundreds of related ad- and spec- word entries.

Etymology: de- and tenere are the various forms of tenere or ten, tain, and tin.

This detain link will provide more information.

Etymology: epi- and legein. Other forms include log, logy, logo, logue, and ology.

Here is an additional epilogue link that can enhance your knowledge regarding the elements of this word entry.

Etymology: in-, dis-, and ponere; the two most common three-letter combinations from ponere are pon and pos; with the lesser used pound and post which should not be confused with the post that means "after" and "behind".

As seen in this indisposed page link.

Etymoloogy: in- and stare, including sta, stat, sti, and sist.

This insist entry will clarify more meanings for this verb.

Etymology: from inter- and mittere and other forms mitt, mit, miss, mis, and mise.

This intermittent entry will give you more information.

Etymology: mis-, trans-, and scribere with variant forms that include scrib, scrip, scrip, and the less common scriv.

The word mistranscribe is located on this trans-, tran- page.

Etymology: mono- and graphein with other common forms that include graph and gram.

This monograph link will provide two family groups for your edification.

Etymology: non-, ex-, and tendere with variant forms that include: tend, tent, and tens may be seen on this nonextended page.
Etymology: ob- and ferre; including fer and lat.

This offer (noun) and offer (verb) are available as word entries with definitions and examples of usage.

Etymology: over-, sub-, and facere; additional variant forms include fac, fact, fic, feat, feas, featur, and fair.

See the definition of oversufficient here.

Etymology: from pre- and capere. Although cep, cip, ceiv, ceipt, and ceit are possible variant forms of capere, the most common form to note is cap-.

See this precept link for more details.

Etymology: re-, pro-, and ducere; although duit, duke, duct, duch, and duce are all possible derivatives of ducere, the most common form is duc-.

Examine this reproduction link for more information.

Etymology: un-, com-, and plicare with other forms which include plic, plicat, plicit, pli, ply, plex, ple, pleat, play, ploy, and plicity.

This uncomplicated entry will provide more information.

Another List that Contains “The 14 Prefixes that Make All the Difference”

According to Richard E. Hodges of the University of Puget Sound in a booklet titled: Improving Spelling and Vocabulary in the Secondary School, published by the ERIC Clearinghouse on Reading and Communicatiion Skills and the National Council of Teachers of English, 1982; page 30: “If you were to examine the 20,000 most used English words, you would find that about 5,000 of them contain prefixes and that 82 percent (about 4,100) of those words use one of only fourteen different prefixes out of all the available prefixes in the language.”

He goes on to list the following:

  • ab- (away from)

  • be- (on all sides, overly)

  • de- (reversal, undoing, downward)

  • dis-, dif- (not, reversal)

  • ex- (out of, former)

  • pre- (before)

  • re- (again, restore)

  • un- (do the opposite of)

  • ad- (to, toward)

  • com-, con-, co- (with, together)

  • en-, em- (in, into, to cover or contain)

  • in- (into, not)

  • pro- (in favor of, before)

  • sub- (under, beneath)

The Latin and Greek elements presented above may also be accessed with additional information by using the Search Box just below this line so you can type in one search entry at a time.