Tiffany lam
can you judge some synonyms which have a alike looking what meaning only by the affix and etyma? such as presume and assume, preserve and reserve and concerve. in chinese sometimes i can judge some synonyms which have a alike looking just by their differences. such as 保卫 and 保护, 推测 and 推断. it just likes a game called "spot their differences." for examples, the differences between these two pairs mentioned above are 卫 and 护, 测 and 断.so i can sense the meaning of a word from a different character which is contained even i never saw them before. how about english? i can't grip them exactly when i use it(they are synonyms). i'm very curious. how can you do that if it can.
Nov 16, 2017 3:32 AM
Answers · 3
I don't usually use etymology for choosing synonyms, although it can be a fun game in English, (probably less useful than in Chinese, since the roots of English words are often from Latin and Greek, and may have had a long journey on their way to Modern English). Here are some interesting ones off the top of my head: word — etymological meaning repose — put (oneself) back (as in “lie back”) suppose — put below depose — put down impose — put in dispose — to put apart compose — put together convene — to come together converge — to bend / turn together convert — same root as “converge,” but I believe the verb is in the frequentative aspect, which can imply a more “intense” or complete action. congregate — to flock together contain — to hold together detain — hold down retain — hold back sustain — hold up etc.
November 16, 2017
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Tiffany lam
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English, German, Japanese
Learning Language
English, German, Japanese