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The meaning of "einfach"

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

Word Family

Root: *pag-

The original idea of this root was:

fixating, fastening

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”)
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