English root word -tain

Many English words have Latin origins, the word -tain in this post is no exception. The root -tain comes from Latin verb "tenere", means "to hold", to keep a thing, possesses things, keep a situation, etc. Its a nice word, you need to hold on at many situations in your life, and you wish many other things to hold on, to be consistent and persistent which all comes from tenere. It also means not to lose, there are things you never want to lose, wealth, faith, will, job, etc. If you hold on, be consistent and persistent, you won't lose. So its very helpful to learn this word.

The basic form actually is -ten, -ten has some variations because of spellings and historic reasons. The variations include -tin, -tent, -tain.

retain: re(back)+ tain, continue to keep

When you changes a part of something, the not affected parts are retained. They keeps to be unchanged, that is, to hold, to not to change.

  • 1. The browser display the element inline, but allow it to retain its block characteristics.
  • 2. He loses his job, but he retains the pension.

abstain: abs(from) + tain, to keep from

Hold or keep oneself from various things, usually considered bad for people, for example, the alcohol, wine, desire, evil, sin, drugs, etc.

  • 1. They must abstain from wine and other fermented drink and must not drink vinegar made from wine or other fermented drink