Quick Summary

Prefixes are key morphemes in English vocabulary that begin words. A large number of English vocabulary words contain the prefix se-, which means “apart.” Examples using this prefix include separate, secret and select. An easy way to remember that the prefix se- means “apart” is through the word secure, for when you feel secure you are “apart” from worrying or undue care about something potentially troubling.

Be No Longer Separated from "Se-"

Prefixes are key morphemes in English vocabulary that begin words. Even though the prefix se- means “apart,” this podcast will no longer keep you “apart” from understanding words with se- in them!

Have you ever had a secret, or piece of sensitive information that you wanted kept “apart” from the ears of people so as to hide it? Most people are dying to tell their secrets, so they carefully select or single out or “apart” one of their friends to whom to tell the secret with the caution that the selected friend keep it hidden. Sometimes it’s very hard to separate or keep “apart” one friend from the rest to whom to reveal the secret. That select friend may end up revealing the secret anyway, which might prompt you to sever that friendship, hence cutting it “apart” from being whole.

Sometimes those things kept “apart” aren’t so good. For instance, when Britain during Brexit seceded or went “apart” from the European Union, there was a lot of financial difficulty. Keeping people segregated or “apart” from one another causes many hard feelings and is often unjust. A sedition or going “apart” from an existing government in a rebellion can in the long term be a good thing, but can also cause great hardship in the short term.

Then again, going “apart” can have its advantages. If you have a big test to study for, it is probably best to seclude or shut yourself “apart” from others so as to be able to concentrate. This would allow you to work in a sedulous fashion, “apart” from not getting your work completed and hence “apart” from slacking off!

Are you now feeling more secure about the prefix se-? Hopefully you are indeed “apart” from care or worry concerning words that have se- in them!

  1. secret: piece of information kept “apart” from what you’re comfortable revealing
  2. select: single “apart” from a number of things
  3. separate: keep “apart” from other things
  4. sever: cut “apart”
  5. secede: go “apart”
  6. segregate: to keep certain groups of people “apart” from one another
  7. sedition: a going “apart” from an existing government
  8. seclude: shut “apart”
  9. sedulous: of being “apart” from slacking off
  10. secure: “apart” from care or worry


  • sever

    When something is severed, it is cut off, split, or separated from a whole.

  • sedition

    Sedition is the act of encouraging people to disobey and oppose the government currently in power.

  • secrete

    When the body secretes a substance, such as saliva or mucus, it generates, releases, or produces it from bodily tissues.

  • seclusion

    Seclusion is the act of someone's being closed off from society as a whole by moving into isolation or solitude.

  • security

    Your personal security is how safe you are from attack or is being free from worry about losing something.

  • separate

    If two or more things are separate, they are not joined and so are apart from each other.

  • select

    When you select something, you choose it or pick it out from a group of several other things.

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