COuld someone explain the difference and the function of the "a", to me?

also, arouse, and arise.....
Hello Nathanise,

the answer is not that difficult for wait/await:

"wait" simple means "being in a condition of waiting" and it's intransitive, while "await" is a kind of "forced waiting" and usually transitive.

I.e. when you say "I wait", it means you're waiting for somebody (maybe for a meeting),

if you say "you await...", then you're not precisely waiting for somebody, but for something you're going to get from that person. This object needs to be added in the sentence as well:


I wait for my wife (= We wanted to meet here, but she hasn't appeared yet)

I await my wife's call (= She wanted to call me ( => I'm waiting for a call, not for my wife in person), but she hasn't rung yet).

I can't help you out with rise/arise here, though, but I'm not a native speaker, maybe I could provide a hint for somebody else?! Emotion: wink

All the best


I like this kind of question. To know the sense of prefixes is useful for us ESL students to understand the sense of the words.

The prefix "a-" in "arise" is a Germanic prefix and gives a sense of "up" or "away" that stress the sense of the main part of the word. So "arise" is "rise up". The "a-" in "awake" and "abide" also carries this sense.

The prefix "a-" in "await" has a different story. Both of "await" and "wait" originally come from the same Old French word "waitier" (=wait or watch). The "a-" in "await" came from Latin "ad" and "ad-V" meant <become into the state of V> or <be in the state of V>. So "await" is <be in the state of "wait">. The prefix "a-" of this sense is used in "amuse", "amount", "agree", "attend", "avenge", "acknowledge", etc..

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Could someone explain the difference and the function of the "a", to me?

It seems to me that the 'a-' form focuses on the completion of the activity.

You can say 'the water is rising' but it sounds odd to say 'the water is arising'.

After I knelt in front of the Queen so that she could knight me for helping people with their English grammar, she wanted me back on my feet, so she said 'Arise, Sir Clive'.

Best wishes, Clive
 paco2004's reply was promoted to an answer.
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rise usually means " get higher', come/go up ex. housing prices keep rising.

arise means " begin', 'appear' ' come to one's notice' it is used mostly with abstract nouns as subjets. ex. a discussion arose about the best way to pay.

arouse is often used with an abstract word as an object. ex. when he kept saying he was working late at the office, it began to arouse her suscipious.

arouse can also be used in a sexual sense. guys are aroused by the pictures of naked girls.