Hello! Today we are going to talk about something related to Spanish morphology, prefixes. Have you even heard about them? I’m sure that the answer is affirmative. We will work with easy prefixes and you will be able to understand them without problems.
A prefix is a constituent of the word with is situated at the beginning of the word before the root/lexeme (lexema) of the word. It’s not necessary that all words have prefixes, but compound words (palabras compuestas), derivated words (palabras derivadas) or parasintetic words (palabras parasintéticas) can have prefixes.
HOW CAN WE IDENTIFY PREFIXES?
First of all, we need to isolate the lexeme of the word. After that, we have to see if there is “something” in front of this root. If the answer is positive, probably we have found a prefix.
Let’s see some examples!
As you know, abierto means opened. So probably this new word, reabierto, has derived from abierto. Before abierto, we find a new particle, re-. As this particle is before the lexeme (abiert-) and it creates a new meaning (something was opened and now it has reopened), we can infer that re– is the prefix.
The word is almost the same in Spanish and in English (impossible). What’s the original word? Exactly! Posible. And what particle do we find before the lexeme (pos-, in this case)? Im-. Then im- is the prefix.
Now, I’ll give you some words and I’m sure you will be able to find out the answers. Good luck!
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Letras en Español – Ms. Riesco-Almeida
ASALE (online): Diccionario de la Lengua Española. Diccionario de la lengua española | Edición del Tricentenario | RAE – ASALE
Cambridge Universiry (online): Prefixes. Prefixes – English Grammar Today – Cambridge Dictionary