PREFIXES

In Spanish the prefix can make a change to the root word.  Note how "poner" changes depending on the prefix.

poner

=

to put, place

deponer = depose
disponer = dispose
exponer = expose, show
imponer = impose
interponer = interpose
posponer = postpone
proponer = propose
reponer = replace
sobreponer = superimpose
superponer = superimpose

This is not a complete list of prefixes, but are some of the more common ones.

Prefix

Meaning

an, a

privation or negation

normal = normal anormal = abnormal
alfabeto = alfabet analfabeto = illiterate
Note: The word "literate" is alfabetizado
ante

before

ayer = yesterday anteayer = the day before yesterday
mano = hand antemano = beforehand, in advance
brazo = arm antebrazo = forearm
noche = night antenoche = the night before last

bis,biz, bi

twice or double
abuelo = grandfather bisabuelo = great-grandfather

con

with, together, jointly

dominio = to control condominio = joint ownership
laborar = to work colaborar = to collaborate
discípulo = disciple, student condiscípulo = fellow student
des, de privation, negation or separation
hacer = to make deshacer = to take apart
generar = to generate degenerar = to degenerate
mérito = merit demérito = demerit
esperar = to wait, to hope desesperar = to lose hope
aparecer = to appear desaparecer = to disappear

dis

be without
culpar = to blame disculpar = to excuse
en

place in which, acquisition of a quality

jaula = cage (for animals) enjaular = to cage
gorda = fat engordar = to fatten
Note:  In order to make these verbs an "r" had to be added to the ending.

hiper

superiority or excess

crítico = critical hipercrítico = hypercritical
tensión = tension hipertensión = hypertension
sensible = sensible hipersensible = hypersensible

i

negation

lógical = logical ilógical = illogical
legal = legal ilegal = illegal
re

repetition, intensity, or to step backwards

hacer = to do rehacer = to do over, to mend
poner = to put, to place reponer = to replace, to restore

sobre

superiority or excess

hombre = man sobrehombre = superman
pasar = to passs, to give sobrepasar = to surpass
sub, so underneath
terráneo = terrain, ground subterráneo = underground
marino = marine, sea submarino = submarine
cavar = to dig subcavar = to dig under, undermine
super superiority or excess
poner = to put, to place superponer = to superimpose
abundancia = abundance, plenty superabundancia = superabundance

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