'ver' is the most common prefix in German and there seems to be no logic to it. In this article, we'll discover its one core meaning and what we can do with it.
The core idea of this root was:
going beyond, going forth
And a lot of its children revolve in some way around the idea of travelling or exploring – like for instance the German fahren and führen or the English further.
It’s the origin of Latin prefixes like per-, pro-, pro- and also of the Germanic branch around for(e) and German vor, which are all about either “going forth” or a more abstract notion of going beyond a boundary.
The root is also the origin of German fahren and führen and the English fare, which all come from a sense of travelling, going into the unknown.
You can get a really good understanding of how the core idea can lead to various meanings by looking at German ver-.
The family is very big, but here’s an incomplete list of English members:
- pre- (mixed)
- pro- (mixed)
- per- (mixed)
- para- (beyond)
- to fare, far (venturing)
- for (from person A to person B)
- forward, forth, further (going ahead)