Do native speakers split words by root word or morpheme?

Outre

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For English learner, it's hard work building a vocabulary. Sometimes I learn words by memorizing roots or morphemes such as the following.

de(thoroughly)-note
con(together)-note
con-voluted (roll together)
pre(beforehand)-dict(say)

But sometimes this method doesn't work. For example, splitting "never-the-less," "dis-may" makes no sense.

Will native speakers split words (like above) while reading or speaking? Or just considering them as a single word (rote memorizing) is enough?
 

emsr2d2

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Do you break down the building blocks of words in your native language while you're reading? We really don't do that, unless it's a word we're completely unfamiliar with and we don't have a dictionary to hand. I have never considered the breakdown of "nevertheless" - I simply know what it means. The same goes for "dismay".
I think you need to find whatever system works for you. You seem to be having success with your system as long as you're dealing with a word to which your system can be applied. For words on which it doesn't work, it's up to you whether you simply learn the word and the definition, the word and its translation to your language, or the word within a sentence that has some meaning for you.
 

Outre

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Thanks for your reply. And what about phrasal verb/idiom?

Some phrasal verbs/idioms have no connection with the original words. Take "give it a whirl" for example. I can't find its connection with "whirl(roll)."

How to handle phrases like that?
 

emsr2d2

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Thanks for your reply. [STRIKE]And[/STRIKE] What about phrasal verbs/idioms?

Some phrasal verbs/idioms have no connection with the original words. Take "give it a whirl", for example. I can't find its connection with "whirl(roll)."

How [STRIKE]to[/STRIKE] can I handle phrases like that?

That's almost the definition of an idiom or phrasal verb - the meaning is not clear by simply knowing the literal meaning of each word. The only way to find out what they mean is to look them up. If you search for the etymology of them too, you might find out where they came from and why they're worded the way they are.
 
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