Learning Spanish & Etymology Pattern-Matching for Nerds

Derretir and Trite

Derretir (Spanish for “to melt”) comes from the Latin terere, “to rub, wear down.” That which is melted is worn down, after all.

Some interesting words we get from the same root in English include:

  • Trite. What is something trite if not, something that is worn down by overusage, figuratively?
  • Contrite is when you use so few words, that your sentences are worn away!
  • Attrition occurs when your employees are worn away, bit by bit
  • Detriment is basically the worn out remains!
  • Tribulations are really when you are worn down by your troubles!

We can see the r-t root in all these variations.

what is the etymological way to learn spanish?

Nerds love to pattern-match, to find commonalities among everything. Our approach to learning languages revolves (the same -volve- that is in “volver”, to “return”) around connecting the Spanish words to the related English words via their common etymologies – to find the linguistic patterns, because these patterns become easy triggers to remember what words mean. Want to know more? Email us and ask:

patterns to help us learn spanish:

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For Nerds Learning Spanish via Etymologies