User:Dan Polansky/Prefix

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Prefixes and prepositions:

  • Should "ad-" be considered a prefix in Latin, given "ad" is a standalone preposition?
    • EncycloPetey: rather not.
    • A consequence of denying the status of prefix to "ad-": terms combined from "ad" get classified as compounds.
  • In Czech, many things considered to be prefixes have a corresponding preposition: před-, nad-, pod-, v-, od-, etc.
    • Should "vlézt" be considered a compound in Czech? My take: no.
  • In German, equally, many things considered to be prefixes have a corresponding preposition: auf-, an-, zu-, mit-, vor-, etc.
    • Should "aufmachen" be considered a compound in German? My take: no.



English prefixes corresponding to prepositions (are they really prefixes or are they rather pseudo-prefixes?):

  • under and under-; understand, undergo, underpay
  • over and over-; overdo, overcautious, overwork
  • out and out-; outsmart, outrun, outcast
  • in and in-; intake, inbreed, inbound
  • off and off-: offsite, offshoot, offshore
  • on and on-: onset, ongoing, onboard, onfield, online, onlooking, onrushing, onscreen


English prefixes (or pseudo-ones) corresponding to adverbs:

  • down and down-; downplay, downsize, downregulate
  • up and up-; uphold, upstart, uptake, update
  • back and back-; backpropagate, backtrack, backhand, backlash
  • forth and forth-; forthcoming, forthright, forthwith



Czech prefixes corresponding to prepositions:

  • na and na-
  • pod and pod-
  • nad and nad-
  • do and do-
  • v and v-
  • při and při-
  • mezi and mezi-
  • bez and bez-
  • za and za-

Czech prefixes not corresponding to prepositions:

  • roz-
  • vy-


  • The sameness of form alone seems not to guarantee semantic correspondence
    • "u" (at, near to) and "u-" (complete the action with an irreversible result, "utopit", "utrhnout").
    • Citations missing



German prefixes corresponding to prepositions:


German prefixes corresponding to adverbs (correctness unclear; see the notes below):

Are these really prefixes? But also, are these really standalone adverbs rather than things always ocurring as part of a separable verb?

Whether these are prefixes or not, they combine with verbs to create separable verbs, such as "heranziehen" used as "Ich ziehe heran".

Secure prefixes[edit]

Prefixes that seem secure from being accused of non-prefixhood:

  • be- ("bestellen")
  • dar- ("darstellen")
  • ent- ("entsprechen")
  • er- ("erzeugen")
  • un- ("unglaublich")
  • wider- ("widerspiegeln")
  • zer- ("zerlegen")


Other prefixes or pseudo-prefixes:


Modern Greek candidate prefixes corresponding to prepositions:


Prefixes vs prepositions in Latin:

  • dis- in "discerno" is a prefix; discern in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911
  • "ad" in "adverbium", however, is considered a standalone preposition, both by EncycloPetey and Century 1911, as Century 1911 writes "ad" + "verbium" instead of "ad-" + "verbium"; adverb in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911