Today we will focus on the prefix con-, which can mean “with” or “thoroughly.” Prefixes are morphemes which begin words, attaching to a word’s main part, or stem.
One highly used meaning of the prefix con- is “with.” For instance, when you connect two objects, you link them “with” each other. When people convene at a particular place, they come there “with” others. In the same vein, when people congregate, they flock “with” each other. A consensus is a mutual feeling of agreement that people have “with” each other. And concord? Concord is agreement or harmony, or etymologically when one person’s “heart” is “with” another.
If you know Spanish, you’ll remember that the preposition con means “with,” such as in the expressions: con mucho gusto (“with” much pleasure), or chile con carne (chili pepper “with” meat). This Spanish word came from the Latin root word con- as well.
Prefixes, such as con-, can also act as intensives, which emphasize the meaning of the stem of the word to which they are attached. Intensive prefixes can functionally be translated as “thoroughly” to indicate that emphasis. For instance, when you conclude that something is true, you have “thoroughly” closed any debate on the issue of its truthfulness. When you convince someone of the truth of what you say, you “thoroughly” win him over. A consequence is a result which “thoroughly” follows you after you’ve done something. When you concede a point in a debate, you “thoroughly” yield to it. And concise wording? It has “thoroughly” cut away any unnecessary words, keeping what is said short and to the point. ’Nuff said!
Hence we’ve come to the conclusion, or “thorough” closing of our rootcast for the day. Just remember that con- can mean “with” or “thoroughly,” and you’ll “thoroughly” master all those words “with” the prefix con- in them!
- connect: link ‘with’ another
- convene: come together ‘with’ others
- congregate: flock ‘with’ others
- consensus: feeling ‘with’ others
- concord: heart ‘with’ another
- conclude: ‘thoroughly’ close
- convince: ‘thoroughly’ win over
- consequence: effect which ‘thoroughly’ follows
- concede: ‘thoroughly’ yield
- concise: ‘thoroughly’ cut