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A quick and easy look at the real meaning of "einfach" and how to use it as "easy" and "just". Special guests: a few other fach-words.
einfach, mehrfach, vielfach, vervielfachen, vereinfachen
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The original idea of this root was:
It’s quite visible in offspring like the German fangen (to catch) or the Latin based “pact” which originally was a “fixed agreement”.
But there are quite a few surprises in this family.
Here’s an overview over most of the English family members:
- pact (fixed agreement)
- pax, peace, pacify, appease, … (fixed treaty)
- pay (originally “make peaceful”)
- peasant, pagan (fixed plot of land)
- page (piece of paper “fixed” to others)
- compact (“fixed together”)
- pole, palisade, impale (“fixed piece of wood”)
- travel (from a French word for “work”, which in turn is from a Latin word for torture that meant “three-pole”)