Russian Prefixes - ПРЕ

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 ПРЕ.


It can have several meanings :

  1. Means "very".

ПРЕдобрый - очень добрый (very kind)

ПРЕхороший - очень хороший (very good)

ПРЕмилый  - очень милый (very nice)

ПРЕзеленый - очень зеленый (very green) etc.

// There're only 2 exceptions to this rule : ПРИскорбный (очень скорбный, печальный - very sad) and  ПРИчудливый  (очень чудной, затейливый -  very weird)

Examples :  Ты такой добрый, предобрый! - You're kind , so kind!

2. Another meaning is somewhat more complicated. It has to do with something that you have to overcome, re-do, outpower, give from one person to another (similar in meaning to the ПЕРЕ) :

ПРЕвращать (imperf.); ПРЕвратить (perf.) means переделать (turn something into something sometimes using magic)

ПРЕвозмогать (imperf.); ПРЕвозмочь (perf.) - пересилить (to outpower; to subdue, a literary word - seldom used )

ПРЕподносить (imperf.); ПРЕподнести (perf.) - передать (to deliver, to pass something,  an elevated literary word) etc.

However you will come across words with prefixes ПРЕ which meanings are harder to explain. For example,  ПРЕзрение (contempt), ПРЕследовать (to chase, to be after someone). These words I recommend you remember.


Examples: Он превратил эту маленькую фирму в лидера рынка! - He's turned that little company into a market leader!

Вчера мне преподнесли отличные новости. Yesterday I was delivered great news.

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