quad—, quadr—, quadri— denote four of something, or a square.
quant— denotes a number of something or a measurement.
quart— denotes a fourth of something.
quartet (or quartette)
The mineral quartz has a trigonal crystal form. The name is of Slavic origin.
quasi— means “as if” in Latin, but in English it now implies something that looks OK but is not quite right; “somewhat” or “almost.”
quasi-stellar object (a quasar)
quin— denotes the number five.
quincentenary (500th anniversary)
—que in Latin words means “and”, but English words with this ending are usually (but not always) derived from French. The original Latin ending may have been —icus or
grotesque [from Italian]
plaque [from Dutch]
- Can you identify additional words to add to the lists of prefixes and suffixes?
- Use the words in sentences to clarify their meanings.
Special reading assignment
- Quail belong to the same family as partridges and pheasants.
- Quail eggs were sent to the Mir space station in 1990, where they were incubated and successfully hatched.
Q was once a little quail,
— Edward Lear, The Complete Nonsense and Other Verse
Note: This blog post is an excerpt from a book, “English Manual: Letter by Letter,” to be published in the summer of 2015.