Russian Prefixes

In the Russian language every prefix has its own meaning. There're 49 of them altogether! I will try to cover most of them in these coming series. In this lessons let's take a look at the most difficult and most frequently confused ones - ПРИ-  and  ПРЕ-

First let's take a look at the meanings of ПРИ :

1. Denotes approaching something:

ПРИшел, ПРИехал, ПРИбежал, ПРИкатился.

Прибыл поезд, приплыл теплоход (train has arrived ; steam boat has arrived)

Космонавт прилетел из космоса (An astrounaut has arrived from the space)

In words придет,прилетит,приплывет you use ПРИ- of course (not ПРЕ).

2. Denotes attaching/adding something to something:

ПРИбил (гвоздь), ПРИшил (пуговицу), ПРИделал (ручка) - has hammered a nail,  has sawn a button, has attached a handle

3. Denotes a location around someplace:

ПРИморье (у моря) by the sea , ПРИгород (вблизи города) next to the city, ПРИшкольный (рядом со школой) near the school

4. Denotes an uncompleted action:

Немного поднял - ПРИподнял (half lifted)

Слегка дотронулся - ПРИкоснулся (hardly touched)

Ненадолго сел - ПРИсел (sat down for a short time)

Не совсем заглушил - ПРИглушил (turned down a little)

 

In some cases however it's hard to tell the meaning of these prefixes for sure.  For example,  ПРИзнавать(to acknowledge ), ПРИгодный (suitable).


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