Deduce Derivatives with De-!


Quick Summary

Prefixes are key morphemes in English vocabulary that begin words. The English prefix de-, which means “off” or “from,” appears in hundreds of English vocabulary words, such as dejected, deduce, and deficient. You can remember that the prefix de- means “from” or “off” via the word descend, or to climb down “from” or “off” a height, such as a mountain.

Deduce Derivatives with De-!

Today we will focus on the prefix de-, which interchangeably means “off” or “from.” Let’s check out the following derivatives that depend upon the Latin preposition de-.

When we study English vocabulary, we find that most English words are derived or come “from” Greek or Latin; these vocabulary words are called derivatives. These Latin and Greek roots help you decide, or cut “off” false meanings of the derivatives to arrive at a decision as to what the word means.

We all depend, or hang “from” the ability of cars to take us from place to place. When you take your foot “off” the gas, your car begins to decelerate, or move down “from” its current speed to a slower velocity. This deceleration may be caused by a traffic jam, making you feel dejected or thrown “off” your customary good mood. There are, however, different degrees of such temporary depression; you could find that when deciduous trees’ leaves begin falling “off” in the autumn, your spirits sink. Or you could be demoted in your job, moved down “from” the position you currently enjoy; perhaps the boss thinks you are deficient in your job performance, doing things “off” of or “from” how they should be done. Worse yet, imagine if you were in Wonderland and the Queen of Hearts gave the order of “Off with his head!” Best to avoid such decapitation at all costs!

Enough doom and gloom about the prefix de- which means “off” or “from.” Some people cannot drink caffeine but still love coffee and tea. Luckily both come in decaffeinated varieties, where the caffeine has been taken “from” the beans or leaves. Say you didn’t know if the coffee you were drinking was decaf or not. You could drink a little, and then deduce, or draw a conclusion “from” your symptoms as to whether or not it contains caffeine. Shaky? Energized?

“Off” with this podcast! Enough of de- to fill up your day—I don’t want to detract or drag you “from” other activities for any longer!

  1. derive: to come “from”
  2. derivative: a word that has come “from” another language
  3. depend: hang “from”
  4. decide: to cut “off” false possibilities or poor options
  5. decision: a cutting “off” of all possibilities but one
  6. decelerate: to move down “from” the current speed to a slower one
  7. dejected: thrown “off” in spirits
  8. depression: pressed “off” or “from” a good mood
  9. deciduous: of leaves falling “from” a tree in autumn
  10. demote: to be moved down “from” a current job status
  11. deficient: of doing tasks “off” from how they should be done
  12. decapitate: to take “off” a head
  13. decaffeinated: state of caffeine having been taken “from” coffee beans or tea leaves
  14. deduce: to arrive at a conclusion by leading evidence “from” a given situation
  15. deduction: a leading “from” evidence to a conclusion
  16. detract: to drag “from”

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