When one thing is germane to another thing, it's closely related to it or closely connected to it.
Part of speech:
(Adjectives are describing words, like “large” or “late.”
They can be used in two ways:
1. Right before a noun, as in “a germane point.”
2. After a linking verb, as in "The point was germane.”)
How to use it:
Usually you say that something is germane to another thing: "Please keep your questions germane to this presentation." "The journal is full of studies immediately germane to my work; I need access to it."
And of course, you can turn that around and dismiss things that aren't germane to the issue at hand: "Her comments about past mistakes are hardly germane to the current solution we're trying to establish."
But you don't have to use that particular phrase. You can simply talk about a germane idea or topic, a germane point, a germane approach, the most germane part or section of something and so on, as long as it's clear whatit's germane to.
Why is this word worth knowing when you already know "relevant," "related," and "appropriate"? "Germane" is formal and sophisticated, and because of its root germanus, meaning "one's own brother," it lets you make a subtle comparison to the idea of siblings: to a closeness or similarity that's not just related but blood-related.
Why was her article frustrating to read? She argued minor points for paragraph after paragraph, then failed to explain how they were germane to her main one.
The major issues in books like To Kill a Mockingbird and The Catcher in the Rye remain germane to teenagers even as the generations pass by, so they endure as assigned readings.
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You’ll know you understand what "germane" means when you can explain it without saying "related" or "pertinent."
Think of a song, a book, or a movie that really touches you, and fill in the blanks: "With its (particular quality, aspect, or focus,)(your song, book, or movie) is/was especially germane to me."
Example: "With its practical advice for communicating honestly without being awkward or apologetic, Crucial Conversations was especially germane to me."
Spend at least 20 seconds occupying your mind with the game and quote below. Then try the review questions. Don’t go straight to the review now—let your working memory empty out first.
Playing With Words:
This month, we're sampling questions from Orijinz, an awesome series of games about the origins of words, phrases, and quotes. Click here if you want to check them out. Try a question here each day this month, and see the right answer the next day. Have fun!
"Guess the word!
Origin: From the Latin amare, 'to love.' They play for the love of the game.
Definition: Non-professional athlete."
"The word is: Amateur.”
"Guess the phrase!
Origin: Originally this phrase, first put to paper by Shakespeare, meant a sudden violent attack from a bird of prey. Today it means to do something quickly and all at once."
A Point Well Made:
William Saroyan: “If I want to do anything, I want to speak a more universal language.”
1. The opposite of GERMANE is
2. When _____, young kids struggle to select the germane _____.
A. solving a one-step problem like "10 + 14" .. place value
B. telling a story about what happened to them .. details
C. reading street signs and maps .. directions
Answers are below.
To be a sponsor and send your own message to readers of this list, please contact Liesl at Liesl@HiloTutor.com.
Make Your Point is crafted with love and brought to you each day for free by Mrs. Liesl Johnson, M.Ed., a word lover, learning enthusiast, and private tutor of reading and writing in the verdant little town of Hilo, Hawaii. For writing tips, online learning, essay guidance, and more, please visit www.HiloTutor.com.
Disclaimer: Word meanings presented here are expressed in plain language and are limited to common, useful applications only. Readers interested in authoritative and multiple definitions of words are encouraged to check a dictionary. Likewise, word meanings, usage, and pronunciations are limited to American English; these elements may vary across world Englishes.
Why does "germane" look like "German" and "Germany"? Sorry, they're unrelated, so there's no good reason besides coincidence. But why does "germane" look like "germ" and "germinate"? Hey, now we have a good reason! They all come from Latin words related to offshoots or family members, and of course, "germane" means "closely related."