6.Compound Words.—When you come to a word which you cannot translate, and in regard towhich English and French derivatives do not help you, break up the word, if a compound, into itssimple elements of Prefix, Stem, Suffix. Then from the meaning of its root or stem and from the forceof the prefix and suffix, and by the help of the context, try to arrive at an English word to suit thesense.In order to be able to do this you should have some knowledge of—(1) A few simple rules for the vowel changes of verbs in composition. Thus:abefore two consonants (except ng) often changes to e.E.g.sacr-o, con-secr-o; damn-o, con-demn-o.abefore one consonant and before ngoften changes to i.E.g.fac-io, ef-fic-io; căd-o, ac-cid-o; tang-o, con-ting-o.But grăd-ior, ag-grĕd-ior.abefore land another consonant changes to u.E.g.salt-are, in-sult-are.ĕchanges to ĭ(but not ebefore two consonants) and aeto i.E.g.ten-ere, ob-tin-ere; quaer-ere, in-quir-ere.auchanges to u.E.g.claud-ere, in-clud-ere.(2) Prefixes:—To help you to detach the prefix more readily, notice these simple euphonic changes,all of which result in making the pronunciation smoother and easier. Thus:—(i.) The last consonant of a Latin prefix is often made the same as, or similar to, the firstconsonant of the stem.E.g.ad-fero = affero; ob-pono = op-pono; com(=cum)-tendo = con-tendo.(ii.) The final consonant of a prefix is often dropped before two consonants.E.g.ad-scendo = a-scendo.Notice also that the prepositional prefixes to verbs express different ideas in different combinations.Thus, sometimes the prefix has a somewhat literal prepositionalforce.
E.g.per-currere = to run through.But sometimes an intensiveforce.E.g.per-terrere = to thoroughlyfrighten.In all such cases you must be partly guided by the context.(For List of Important Prefixes, see Appendix II.pp. 277—281.)(3) Suffixes(other than grammatical inflexions).A knowledge of the most important suffixes will often help you to the correct meaning of a Latinword, the root of which is familiar to you.Thus from the √ag = drive, move, we have—by addition of-tor(= agent or doerof an action), actor= a doer, agent.„„„-men(= acts or results of acts), agmen= a course, line of march, &c.„„„-ilis(= belonging to, able to), agilis= easily moved, agile.„„„-ito(= forcible or repeated action), agito= put in action, agitate.(For List of Important Suffixes, see Appendix III.pp. 282—286.)(4) Cognates, that is, words related in meaningthrough a common root. You will find it very usefulto make for yourself lists of cognate words.Thus from the √gna, gno= know, we have—gna-rus= knowing.i-gnarus(= in+ gnarus) = ignorant.nos-co(= gno-sco) = to get a knowledge of.i-gno-sco= not to know, pardon.no-bilis(= gno-bilis) = that can be known, famous, noble.no-men(= gno-men) = a name.