Many words in the English language have Latin or Greek words at their beginning (prefixes), in the middle (infixes) or end (suffixes).
Many English learners have used this fact to discover the meaning of other various words with the same letter as the words they know.
You only need to know that the prefix ex- is borrowed from a Latin word “ex” which means “out” and then relate the word “out” to every word that begins with “ex-”.
By now, you have started imagining words that begin with ex- such as “exit”, explain, exhaust, and exhale and many more.
Most people learn this prefix ex- by the common English word “exit” that adapted so well the prefix ex- because when you exit a place, you go “out” of it.
It does not mean that the rest of the words with prefix ex- need quite a stretch of the mind to find the element of “out” in them.
Take an example of the word “explain”. When you remake it as “out plain” you easily notice the sense of putting things out plainly or on a plain surface which is close to the word’s actual meaning of ‘describing an idea or situation with relevant facts’.
The same applies to the word “expound”. When you replace “ex” with “out” you get “out pound”.
Remember “pound” does not only mean a currency or a measurement but also a verb which means “crushing”.
So when you expound (out crash) something, you present a theory or an idea in detail.
Compare several other words such as “exhausted” which means tired (without energy) or used up (without resources or reserves).
The process of breathing in is referred to as inhaling as breathing out is “exhaling”. When one does not find themselves on a list they say they are “excluded” while men and women whose relationship broke refer to their former partners as “ex-husband” and “ex-wife”.
The samples that one uses to explain something are called “examples”.
Sometimes one word might be having more than one Latin or Greek word. For instance the English word “exhibit” comes from Latin words “ex” (out) and “habere” (hold) which makes the actual meaning as “to publicly display something”.
The writer is a professional English Language instructor