Home Language Learning 40 Spanish Prefixes That Can Enhance Your Phrase Data Quick

40 Spanish Prefixes That Can Enhance Your Phrase Data Quick

40 Spanish Prefixes That Can Enhance Your Phrase Data Quick


Language fluency takes time, follow, and persistence. Actually, it takes upwards of 10,000 phrases to really feel snug talking in a brand new language. That’s an intimidating quantity in the event you’re nonetheless mastering primary vocabulary

In case you’re in search of a shortcut, you’ve come to the precise place. From figuring out cognate phrases to listening to Spanish music, we’ve coated quite a lot of methods to develop your vocabulary quick. To spice up your phrase data even faster, we suggest strengthening your understanding of Spanish prefixes. 

Prefixes won’t sound all that enjoyable, however we promise this grammar factor is extra accessible than you suppose. Plus, you’ll discover that many prefixes have the identical that means in each Spanish and English! Mastering the 40 widespread Spanish prefixes within the checklist beneath will amplify your phrase energy and elevate your confidence.

The Rosetta Stone app will help you to establish and grasp these 40 prefixes by offering most publicity in an interesting context. Since you’re studying by way of our Dynamic Immersion method, quite than rote memorization of Spanish grammar guidelines, you’ll construct a deeper, extra enduring understanding of the language—and also you’ll retain data higher alongside the way in which! 

Why Spanish prefixes are so essential 

A prefix, or prefijo in Spanish, is a sort of affix, part of a phrase that may modify its that means.  

Even the phrase “prefix” has a prefix!  “Pre-,” which implies “earlier than,” “sooner than,” and “previous to,” tells us that it goes on the entrance of the basis phrase.  There are additionally suffixes, which go on the finish.  Sarcastically, the phrase “suffix” begins with a prefix, as it’s believed that “suf-” got here from “sub-” which might imply “behind.” 

Studying an extended checklist of prefixes won’t be excessive in your to-do checklist till you do the mathematics.  Combining Spanish root phrases with quite a lot of Spanish prefixes can multiply your linguistic repertoire rapidly! This checklist of 40 Spanish prefixes will even enhance the variety of Spanish root phrases which you can decode! Let’s check out this instance:

desacuerdo = des– (not, the inverse) + acuerdo (settlement)

With this in thoughts, now you can apply each the prefix and the basis phrase to new phrases and phrases, like:

desayunar = to have breakfast;  des = not,  ayunar = to quick 

estar de acuerdo = to lend a hand 

It’s not solely about amount, but additionally concerning the high quality of your lexicon. Breaking down complicated-looking phrases into smaller elements will help you: 

  • comprehend extra refined texts,
  • comply with patterns to guess at meanings of unfamiliar phrases,
  • perceive the depth or formality of the tone, and
  • grasp extra complicated phrases at a deeper degree.  

Prefixes will help you:

  • select a extra exact phrase, 
  • talk with acceptable nuance to convey the meant that means of a message,
  • conjugate hundreds of verbs you already know with out studying extra Spanish grammar guidelines, and 
  • keep away from awkward combos of phrases. 

How do English and Spanish prefixes examine? 

We’ll say congrats prematurely since you in all probability already know lots of the prefixes on this checklist! English and Spanish are from completely different language households however nonetheless have notable similarities because of shared Latin roots.  

Many phrases between the 2 languages are cognates, which implies they appear related and have the identical that means. You’ll discover those self same similarities amongst prefixes. 

For instance, the prefix “pro-” in English, which might imply “ahead,” offers rise to phrases comparable to “promote,” which implies “to maneuver ahead,” and “propel” which implies “to push ahead.”  

Examine this with the Spanish prefix professional-, and also you’ll acknowledge the phrases promover  (to advertise), propulsar (to propel), and proclamar (to proclaim, or ship a chunk of knowledge ahead).  

Don’t professionalcrastinate, or “shift the timeline ahead,” if you wish to professionalgress, or “step ahead” in your language studying. Begin growing your vocabulary by referencing this checklist of prefijos (prefixes), and noticing all of the methods they’ll professionalpel your Spanish! 

>>Why achieve this many languages share Latin roots?  Right here’s a little bit historical past on Romance languages.

Should-know Spanish prefixes

1. Pre-

That means: earlier than, in entrance of

Pre– can consult with one thing that is available in entrance of one thing else. It will also be used to precise a previous exercise or state in a sequence. 

  • preescolar = going down earlier than school-age
  • predeterminar = to find out prematurely  
  • prehistórico = occurring earlier than historic data
  • prejuzgar = to evaluate one thing earlier than understanding the information

2. Pos- ; Submit-

That means: after, behind

Pos– and Submit– may be the opuesto (reverse) of pre- and consult with one thing that occurs after the basis phrase. 

  • posponer = to place one thing off till after
  • posproducción = modifying stage after the filming 
  • posguerra = the interval after the warfare
  • postoperatorio = after an operation 
  • pos Edad Media = after the Center Ages

3. entre-

That means: between, mid

Entre– can consult with an intermediate or medium quantity.  It’s usually used to precise a place between or in the midst of different components. 

  • entrepiso = a mezzanine or touchdown between flooring
  • entrecruzar = to intertwine or cross over
  • entreabrir = to open part-way, halfway 
  • entreacto = intermission, between the 2 acts of a play

4. en-

That means: in, inside, to turn into like

En– can imply merely, “inside,” “in,” or “on.” It may possibly additionally consult with a metamorphosis or change, or indicate that one thing is getting into right into a state of being. 

  • enlatado, enlatada = in a can or jar 
  • enamorado, enamorada = in love
  • enmarcar = to place in a body 
  • enfocar = to give attention to, to turn into targeted 
  • entristecer = to turn into unhappy, make unhappy

5. ante-

That means: earlier than, in entrance of, earlier to

Just like pre-, ante– can consult with a earlier time or preexisting situation. It may possibly additionally consult with a bodily location in entrance of one other factor. 

  • anterior = earlier, in entrance
  • antebrazo = forearm, the entrance a part of the arm
  • anteayer = the day earlier than yesterday
  • antepasados = ancestors, individuals who got here earlier than 
  • antemano = beforehand, as in “gracias de antemano” (thanks prematurely)

6. ex-

That means: out of, or former

We’re all conversant in the phrase “ex” by itself, to consult with an exnovio (former boyfriend.)  Along with one thing that was however is not, ex– can imply one thing that got here out of/from one thing else, was introduced out. 

  • expresidenta = former president 
  • exponer =to exhibit, expose, or put it out 
  • excavar = to excavate, to dig out 
  • exculpar = to launch from guilt
  • expulsar = to throw out or expel

7. inter-

That means: in the midst of, between, amongst

Inter– is much like its utilization in English, for between or amongst completely different items. It shouldn’t be confused with intra– which is inside a single piece. 

  • intermembership = video games performed between completely different groups or golf equipment 
  • interraíl = a ticket that can be utilized between completely different practice strains
  • Interacción = communication between two completely different events
  • intercambio = an change between two events or of two issues
  • intersección = a degree the place two issues cross

8. intra-

That means: inside

Intra– is much like its utilization in English, for inside a gaggle or place. Take care to not confuse it with inter– which might consult with a relationship or interplay between two completely different teams or issues.

  • intraabdominal = throughout the stomach
  • intramuros = inside metropolis partitions, inside one group 
  • Intravenoso = inside a vein

9. sobre-

That means: over, extra, instantly

Sobre– can consult with a superior place. It may possibly additionally imply extra or exaggeration. 

  • sobreabundancia =  an overabundance
  • sobreestimar = to overestimate
  • sobremesa = actually, tablecloth or protecting; figuratively, a dialog that takes place “over” the dinner desk after the meal
  • sobreprotector = overprotective, excessively protecting
  • sobresalto = a sudden bounce or fright, a shock 

10. sub-

That means: beneath, inferior, not sufficient

Typically the opuesto, (reverse) of sobre-, sub– can present inferiority, as within the English phrase subpar. It may possibly point out a decrease bodily place.

  • submarino = beneath the ocean, a submarine goes beneath water
  • subrayar = to underline
  • subtítulo = subtitles, phrases beneath the video
  • subempleo = underemployment, employed in a job inferior to at least one’s abilities 
  • subestimar = underestimate, estimate not sufficient 

11. re-

That means: once more, repeated, backward, negated, or intense

English audio system are most conversant in the widespread utilization of re– meaning “once more,” however it may possibly carry a that means of backward or negation.  It is usually generally used as an intensifier, like “tremendous” or “actually” or “depraved,” in sure areas, such because the Southern Cone of South America and in some elements of Spain. 

It’s typically heard in informal speech mixed with different syllables, comparable to requete– so as to add emphasis, comparable to requetebién (rather well) or requete feliz (tremendous pleased). 

  • reiniciar = to restart
  • retrasar = to delay (transfer backward) 
  • recortar = to trim again, reduce
  • revertir =to revert, return to a earlier state
  • rechazar = to reject, a detrimental utilization much like repudiar (repudiate) or reprobar (condemn). 

12. ben- ,  bene-, or bien- 

That means: good

English audio system will acknowledge this related prefix in phrases comparable to helpful, benevolent, and benign, and newbie Spanish learners will know the adjective bueno, as in ¡buenos días!  An inventory of extra ben– and bien– phrases might be an actual profit to your Spanish! 

  • bendecir = to bless, or to say good issues about 
  • beneficios = advantages
  • bienestar = effectively being
  • bienvenida = welcome
  • bienvivir = to dwell effectively

13. mal- 

That means: unhealthy

Mal- is the opuesto (reverse) of ben– , bene-, and bien.  It negates or ascribes a detrimental connotation to a Spanish root phrase.

  • malhumorado = in a foul temper
  • malacostumbrada = spoiled or pampered, with unhealthy habits, badly adjusted
  • malestar = unease or discomfort
  • malentendido = misunderstanding
  • maleducado = impolite, rude, raised poorly 

14. des- 

That means: negation or the inverse

Just like the English prefix dis-, this may convey the alternative or lack of the basis phrase. It may possibly usually be translated with “not.” 

  • desorganizado = disorganized, not organized
  • descartar = dismiss, reject, discard
  • desafecto = detached, opposed, hostile
  • desacuerdo = disagreement
  • desahogar = to vent, get one thing off your chest, to “not drown or choke” 

15. dis- 

That means: negation or the inverse; not

Just like the English prefix dis-, and the Spanish des-, this may convey the alternative or lack of the basis phrase. It may possibly usually be translated with “not.” 

  • disculpar = to forgive, to not lay blame
  • disgusto = annoyance or upset – discover the basis phrase gustar, to be pleasing to, this implies “to not be pleasing to.” 
  • discontinuar = to not proceed, to cease 
  • disfunción = not functioning

16. im-, in- 

That means: reverse/not, lack of, or inside

With many cognates in English, this can be a useful prefix that may add opposites to your vocabulary. It’d convey the identical that means as “un-”or “non-” in English. 

  • imposible = not attainable 
  • impaciencia = lack of persistence
  • improbabilidad = lack of likelihood
  • inofensivo = not harmful or offensive
  • independiente = not dependent

17. pro- 

That means: in favor of, transfer ahead, forward, substitute

As in English, the acquainted prefix professional– can imply agreeing or supporting, but additionally can signify a transfer ahead in time or house, or a substitution. 

  • prometer = to vow – put ahead an intention
  • prólogo = the phrases that go in entrance of the narrative and transfer it ahead
  • pronóstico = prediction, forecast, letting the state of affairs forward of time 
  • pronombre = pronoun, used instead of a noun 
  • prótesis = prosthesis, substitute for a lacking physique half 

18. contra- 

That means: in opposition to, in opposition to, counter

Contra– reminds us of the acquainted English prefix “con-” which might point out opposition, in a bodily or intangible sense. Not all phrases carry a detrimental that means, nevertheless, since contrabajo is the double bass, the musical instrument.  

  • contraviento = in opposition to the wind
  • contradecir = to contradict, to say the alternative
  • contracultura = in opposition to the prevailing tradition
  • contratiempo = in opposition to time, a setback or impediment

19. anti- 

That means: in opposition to, in opposition to

As in English, the acquainted prefix anti– can imply in opposition to, in related methods as contra– . You should utilize it to precise resistance and opposition by combining it with different Spanish root phrases that you simply already know!

  • antibiótico = antibiotic, in opposition to micro organism
  • anticuerpo = antibody, counteracts a international physique
  • antipático = not good to be round, unfriendly, disagreeable; a tough phrase to outline in English, however the reverse of simpático
  • antítesis = antithesis, a distinction or opposition of an thought

20. super- 

That means: above, excellence, extra

The that means of tremendous– could be a literal extra or bodily place above one thing else. In colloquial language, it will also be an intensifier just like the Spanish re-. 

  • superpoderes = superpowers, capacity above the abnormal
  • superponer = to superimpose, to place over, to overlap
  • supermercado = giant or superior market or retailer
  • supersónico = goes above the pace of sound
  • superbién = tremendous nice, actually superior (colloquial) 

21. hiper- 

That means: extra

Just like tremendous-, hiper- can imply extreme. It may possibly convey a way of depth, and it’s usually used with medical phrases. 

  • hiperinflación = extreme and speedy inflation 
  • hipertensión = hypertension
  • hipersensible = overly delicate 
  • hiperactivo = too energetic

22. hipo- 

That means: reverse of hiper– , an absence of, lower than commonplace, beneath

Typically seen in medical phrases, hipo– signifies a deficiency, or lack of one thing relative to a typical or commonplace. It may possibly additionally consult with an underperformance. 

  • hipoalergénico = much less allergenic than typical
  • hipodérmico = beneath the pores and skin
  • hipoglucemia = decrease ranges of sugar within the blood
  • hipotermia = decrease than regular physique temperature
  • hipoproducción = decrease than anticipated manufacturing 

23. homo- 

That means: equal or identical

The prefix homo– is much less widespread in Spanish than in English, however it’s usually current in cognates that consult with one thing that’s the identical or equal. It’s derived from the Greek phrase “homos” that means “identical” or “related.” 

  • homofonía = equal sounds, singing collectively 
  • homónimo = namesake, somebody with the identical identify, or phrases pronounced the identical approach
  • homogeneización = course of of creating a substance or group uniform and related 

24. uni- 

That means: entire, one

Just like English, we see uni– in “unify” and “unite,” with a purpose to make one thing into a complete. It may possibly additionally consult with a single unit. 

  • unicelular = single-celled
  • unicornio = one horn
  • unicejo = two eyebrows with out division showing as one
  • uniforme = having one type
  • common = belongs to all

25. mono- 

That means: single, singular

Mono– signifies having solely considered one of one thing, to differentiate from uni-, which signifies elements turning into one. As an educational prefix, it may possibly allow you to perceive ideas in literature, language, economics, sociology, and extra! 

  • monografía = written by one writer
  • monólogo = one individual talking alone to an viewers 
  • monopolio = monopoly, enterprise wherein just one firm operates with out competitors
  • monopatín = skateboard in peninsular spanish, scooter in different areas  
  • monoteísmo = perception in just one god

26. bi- or bis- 

That means: two, twice

Just like English, bi-, bis-, and even biz– can consult with a gaggle of two, or one thing that happens twice in a time interval.  It may possibly allow you to comprehend phrases that carry the that means of each, or double.  

  • bilingüe = bilingual, speaks two languages
  • bianual = an occasion that occurs twice per yr
  • bípedo = biped, animal that walks on two legs
  • bisabuelo = great-grandfather a father of a grandparent 
  • bizcocho = In some areas, this can be a sort of biscuit or cookie that’s baked twice (associated to the Italian biscotti, and French biscuit), although it may possibly additionally consult with a sponge cake. 

27. tri-

That means: three, 3 times

Just like bi-, tri- pertains to a gaggle of three. Bonus! You may also discover related prefixes associated to numbers, comparable to tetra– (4),  penta– (5), hexa (6), hepta– (7), octa– (8), nona– (9) and deca– (10).  Discover different much less widespread patterns, and also you’ll unearth a mess of phrases! 

  • trisílaba = three-syllable phrase
  • tricyclo = tricycle, driving toy with three wheels
  • triángulo = triangle, form with three angles

28. semi- 

That means: medium, partly, half

Just like English, semi– is commonly used to indicate part of a complete, or an intermediate stage. Being conversant in this phrase will help you comprehend a way of incompleteness.  

  • semicírculo = a half-circle
  • semiabierto = partly open
  • semifinal = the occasion that takes place earlier than the ultimate
  • semitransparente = partly see-through
  • semiseco = between moist and dry, partly dry

29. poli- 

That means: many, a number of

Similar to uni-, bi-, tri-, and mono– give a numerical that means, poli– signifies that there are a number of, many, or quite a lot of elements, although the precise quantity could also be unspecified.  It’s much like mono- in that it’s utilized in varied tutorial fields. 

  • políglota = somebody who speaks a number of languages
  • politeísta = believing in a number of gods
  • polígono = geometric determine with 3 or extra sides (however an unspecified quantity)
  • polivalente = multi-skilled or multi-talented, versatile

30. equi- 

That means: equal

Just like English, equi– brings to thoughts equality, or a state of similarity. Understanding this prefix will help you perceive ideas of justice. 

  • equivalente =  the identical, equal to 
  • equilibrar = to stability, make equal
  • equidistante = being an equal distance from a standard level

31. cent- centi-

That means: 100, one hundredth

Spanish and English alike borrowed from the Latin root phrase “cent.” Spanish learners will even discover its similarity to cien, the phrase for 100. 

  • centímetro =  a one hundredth of a meter
  • céntimo, centavo, centésimo = a “cent,” one hundredth of a unit of forex, relying on the unit 
  • centenario – one that is 100 years of age

32. auto– 

That means: self

The acquainted prefix auto– may be interchanged with the English self- typically.  You’ll enhance your vocabulary for independence!   

  • autoestima =  shallowness
  • autónomo = self-sufficient, impartial, self-governing
  • automático = routinely, occurs by itself 
  • autodidacta = self-taught
  • autorretrato = self-portrait

33. a- 

That means: to trigger, with out, or negation 

The prefix a- greatest not be ignored, as it may possibly point out the alternative of a well-recognized Spanish root phrase, or the motion to trigger that to happen. It may possibly additionally point out the sense of path. 

  • atraer = to draw, to trigger to come back nearer
  • acomodar = to accommodate, to trigger to turn into snug
  • acallar = to silence, to trigger to turn into quiet
  • apolíticio = not having a political affiliation 
  • atemporal = timeless

34. retro- 

That means: backward, prior to now

Used as a descriptor of one thing that got here from the previous in informal English, retro– can consult with a backward movement in time or house.  Spanish audio system additionally use the prefix as a standalone phrase to consult with one thing prior to now that’s trending once more. 

  • retrovisor = a mirror for trying backward, rear-view mirror
  • retrospectiva = retrospect, hindsight
  • retroceder = to go backward
  • retroactivo = retroactive, making use of to one thing that occurred prior to now
  • retroalimentación = suggestions, actually feeding backward 

35. para- 

That means: for, with, collectively, on the margins of

Para– can signify one thing that’s much like, or a complement to one thing, like a company. On the identical time, it signifies it doesn’t precisely qualify as a part of that group.  It offers you the sense of “virtually, however not fairly.” 

  • paramilitar = group much like the army
  • paranormal = unexplained phenomenon, not fairly regular
  • paramédico = emergency assistant to medical professionals

36. trans- 

That means: by way of, to the opposite facet

As a prefix, trans– signifies movement by way of or to an reverse facet. It may possibly additionally convey the thought of going past. You’ll be capable to comprehend complicated and complex vocabulary comparable to the next examples.

  • transportar = to maneuver one thing to a different place 
  • transmitir = to hold by way of, to broadcast 
  • transcender = to transcend, rising
  • translúcido = translucent, which permits gentle to move by way of

37. pseudo- , seudo-

That means: false, faux

Pseudo- can imply faux, insincere, not real, or faux. Use it to keep away from deception and to explain an absence of authenticity. 

  • pseudocientífico = pseudoscientific, not based mostly on reliable science
  • seudónimo = a faux identify, pen-name, or stage identify to guard the identification of the creator
  • seudópodo = a brief foot-like protrusion that helps an organism transfer, seen in amoebas, a false foot

38. tele- 

That means: at a distance

The invention of the tv gave rise to many different associated phrases and applied sciences utilizing tele-.  It’s a very useful prefix when discussing expertise. 

  • teleportar = to maneuver one thing at a distance
  • teleconferencia = a gathering held by way of distant communication
  • telesilla = chairlift in snowboarding, a chair that takes you up a distance
  • telescopio = telescope, system for seeing at a distance
  • telenovela = cleaning soap opera, dramatic story sequence on tv 

39. Co-, con- , com-

That means: with, united with, in firm of

Once we see co-, or related prefixes, we will consider the English phrase “collectively,” with a purpose to decode a extra complicated phrase. This prefix helps you focus on teamwork and joint duties. 

  • coautor, coautora =  an writer that labored along with one other 
  • confluir = to movement collectively, converge, meet 
  • compartir = to share  
  • contener = to comprise, to carry collectively
  • convivir = to dwell collectively, to get together with 

40. extra- 

That means: outdoors of, apart from, extraordinarily, or further

It’s actually extraordinary what number of new phrases you may purchase by understanding so many prefixes! Use extra- to precise concepts that are distinctive and exceed expectations. 

  • extraordinario = outdoors of the abnormal, past regular
  • extraterrestre = extra-terrestrial, from outdoors of the earth
  • extraescolar = actions outdoors of college curricula
  • extraviar, extraviarse = misplace, stray outdoors of 

Develop your Spanish vocabulary with Rosetta Stone

Now that the facility of prefixes, you may higher perceive and categorical your self appropriately in Spanish! You little question acknowledged lots of the must-know Spanish prefixes, and have elevated your vocabulary simply by glancing by way of the checklist!  

If you wish to save your self the ache of memorization, attempt increasing your Spanish vocabulary with Rosetta Stone. 

Rosetta Stone helps college students faucet into their innate capacity to study language. Visible and conceptual clues allow you to interpret the that means of recent prefixes, phrases, phrases, and sentences, and TruAccent will allow you to nail the pronunciation. Taking note of prefixes in Rosetta Stone’s Tales, that are completely leveled for every learner, also can offer you an enormous confidence enhance!

Written by Jamie Edwards

Jamie is a learner and instructor of Spanish and French. When she’s not studying new phrases, you’ll discover her on the soccer sidelines, ski slopes, and observe and discipline bleachers having fun with the 4 seasons of Western New York.



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