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See also: präst and praṣt



From an earlier *prasti, from *prat-ti, from Proto-Baltic *prat-, from Proto-Indo-European *pret-, *prot- (to understand); the first-person form is derived from a variant with an extra n, *prantuo, from *prantu, from protu. Up until the 17th century, prast basically meant “to understand,” “to perceive,” i.e, it was synonymous with saprast; the present-day meaning occurred alongside the older meaning and became dominant only by the end of the 19th century. Cognates include Lithuanian pràsti (to get used to, to understand, to perceive), Old Prussian issprestun (to understand) (compare Latvian izprast), Gothic 𐍆𐍂𐌰𐌸𐌾𐌰𐌽 (fraþjan, to think, to recognize, to understand), 𐍆𐍂𐌰𐌸𐌹 (fraþi, mind, intelligence), Latin interpres (intermediary, mediator, interpreter), Tocharian A pratim, etc.[1]


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prast (transitive or intransitive, 1st conjugation, present protu, proti, prot, past pratu)

  1. (often with an infinitive) to know how to, to be able to do (a certain activity, task, etc.)
    prast šūt, zīmēt, lasītto know how to sew, draw, read
    Oto labi prata visus zvejas darbusOto knew well all the work of fishing
  2. to know, to speak, to be fluent in (a language)
    Puškins prata vairākas valodasPushkin knew several languages
    viņš labi prata angļu valodu un bez kādām grūtībām varēja lasīt katru grāmatu vai laikrakstuhe knew English well and could read all books and magazines without any difficulty
  3. (intransitively) to know, to be able
    “dzīvojam, kā kurais prot,” vecais jūrnieks norūca“we live as each (of us) can”, the old sailor growled
    tu esi man laba bijusi, es gribu tev laba būt, kā jau nu es, muļķe, protuyou have been good to me, I want to be good to you, as (much) as I, poor fool, am able



Derived terms[edit]

prefixed verbs:
other derived terms:

Related terms[edit]


  1. ^ Karulis, Konstantīns (1992) “prast”, in Latviešu Etimoloģijas Vārdnīca (in Latvian), Rīga: AVOTS, →ISBN