Quick Summary

The Latin root sequ and its variant secut mean “follow.” These roots are the word origins of a fair number of regularly used English vocabulary words, including sequence, consequence, prosecute and persecute. The roots sequ and secut are easily recalled through the words sequel, which is a book or movie which “follows” a first, and consecutive, of or pertaining to that which “follows” on the heels of another thing.

"Follow" the Yellow Root "Sequ"

The root sequ and its variant secut mean “follow.” Now we shall “follow” English derivatives in a logical sequence to help you remember these roots of consequence.

If a really good book comes out, readers often clamor for a sequel to it, in the hopes of enjoying it as well; thus, the sequel is the book that “follows” the first book in a series. Reading the sequel after reading the first book in the series is reading the books in sequence, that is, with book two “following” book one. In the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the sequential order of reading, or which book “follows” which, is: The Fellowship of the Ring “followed” by The Two Towers “followed” by The Return of the King. If a reader were to begin with the last book in the trilogy, the consequence, or that which “follows” from an act, might be confusion. If, however, that same reader were to switch to the first book after realizing their mistake, the fallout would be inconsequential, that is, there would be no negative results “following” because no substantial amount of the plot would have been given away.

If Bob is being obsequious to Lobelia, he is unquestionably “following” her wishes so that she will be pleased with him. Each and every of Bob’s subsequent obsequious actions, or actions that “follow” previous ones, are thought by Bob to add to Lobelia’s favorable opinion of him. For obsequious Bob, a nice segue to the “following” of Lobelia’s orders would be a “follow”-up smile from her, because that would show that his obsequiousness is working nicely … or at least appears to be.

A variant spelling of the root sequ is secut, primarily present in three English words (and their variant parts of speech). When events are consecutive, such as snow for five days in a row, each day “follows” with more snow. If one person persecutes another, he “follows” through on hounding that person and subsequently seriously bothers them. That agonizing and irritating persecutor might eventually be prosecuted by a court of law, or “followed” up by the legal system represented by a prosecutor and penalized accordingly.

If you’ve been “following” along closely, you won’t need a sequel to this podcast to determine what the roots sequ and secut mean!

  1. sequel: one book which “follows” a first, extending the storyline
  2. sequence: the “following” of one thing after another
  3. sequential: of one thing “following” another
  4. consequence: an effect that “follows” a cause, usually undesirable
  5. inconsequential: a negligible effect “following” a cause
  6. obsequious: of a servile “following” of another’s commands
  7. subsequent: of a “following”
  8. segue: to “follow” from another act
  9. consecutive: of one thing “following” another
  10. persecute: to “follow” another in order to bother or harm them
  11. prosecute: to “follow” forth on an illegal action
  12. persecutor: one who “follows” another to bother or harm them
  13. prosecutor: one who “follows” forth on penalizing someone for an illegal action


  • obsequious

    If someone is being obsequious, they are trying so hard to please someone that they lack sincerity in their actions towards that person.

  • sequester

    If you sequester someone, you keep them separate from other people.

  • segue

    If a song, idea, or activity segues into another song, idea, or activity, it changes smoothly into it or is followed immediately by it without any stops or breaks.

  • inconsequential

    Inconsequential matters are unimportant or are of little to no significance.

  • subsequent

    One thing that is subsequent to another is later than—or after it—in time.

  • sequence

    A sequence of actions is the order in which those actions take place.

  • consequence

    a phenomenon that follows and is caused by some previous phenomenon

  • consequent

    following or accompanying as a consequence

  • consequential

    having important issues or results

  • obsequies

    See Obsequy.

  • obsequy

    The last duty or service to a person, rendered after his death; hence, a rite or ceremony pertaining to burial; -- now used only in the plural.

  • prequel

    a movie or book whose plot or events precede that of another

  • sequel

    something that follows something else

  • sequential

    in regular succession without gaps

  • sequestrate

    keep away from others

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