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Ocupar / Preocupar

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Looking at the parts of Spanish words does not always work to help decipher their meanings as in the case of the word prejuicio.

Take the words ocupar and preocupar, for instance. Ocupar is to be busy or occupied with something, a task perhaps. But preocupar does not mean to be pre- busy or occupied before you are occupied. It means to worry, to be concerned about something that has or has not happened.

Sometimes just adding a prefix, such as a-, pre- or en-, to a word gives it an entirely different, not just altered, meaning that could be surprising.

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    […] it can be a synonym of preocupar or, to worry. Jesus told His disciples to “take no thought for the morrow.” That idea […]

    Afán on December 14th, 2007


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