How to increase your vocabulary in Spanish-prefixes In this blog you will learn a small tweak that will allow you to increase your vocabulary in Spanish, and the best part is that you could apply it to the vocabulary you already know, you will not need to learn any new words.

Most of the time students think that in order to have broaden their Spanish vocabulary they need to memorize an endless list of words, ok I am  not going to say that that is unnecessary, mainly at the beginning of your learning journey.  But in this blog I am going to give you a trick that would increase your vocabulary straight away, cool, isn’t it?


The thing I am going to talk to today is prefixes, in Spanish “prefijos”, I don’t know if you have heard about them before, so let’s start saying what prefixes are. A prefixe prefijo is a word, letter or syllable that when putting in front of a word, let’s call it root word, change the meaning of the root word. Prefixes are a valuable aid to building a larger vocabulary in Spanish.


Have a look to this example.


We will work with “poner” as the root word, that means to put or to place.


What would you say if I tell you that using prefixes we can get another 11 words?


Probably you think I am crazy, but I will show you, starting with “poner” and using prefixes we can have:


Deponer                              to depose

Disponer                             to dispose

Entreponer                         to interpose

Exponer                               to expose/ to show

Imponer                              to impose

Interponer                          to interpose

Posponer                            to postpone

Proponer                             to propose

Reponer                              to replace

Sobreponer                        to superimpose

Superponer                        to superimpose


Then in this blog I will give you some prefixes and their meaning so you can start modifying the words you already know increasing your vocabulary.

How to increase your vocabulary in Spanish-prefixes


There are a few prefixes so if I would have put all of them here the list would have been enormous that is why I have create a downloadable pdf that you can get for free at the end of the blog with extra prefixes and examples. Get it here


Before we start keep in mind that not all the words accept each prefixes, so you will need to be careful the ones you use.

Common Spanish prefixes


Ad-/a- –> in the direction of, towards

Ejemplo : adyacente adjacent

Acercar to bring near, to approach


An-/a- –> privation, lack of or negation

Ejemplo: anormal abnormal

Analfabeto illiterate


Ante- –> before

Ejemplo: anteayer the day before yesterday

Antebrazo forearm

Antecesor ancestor


Anti- –> opposition to

Ejemplo: anticongelante antifreeze

anticonstitucional unconstitutional


bis-/biz-/bi- –> twice or double

Ejemplo: bisabuelo great grandfather


Contra- –>  opposition to

Ejemplo: contradecir to contradict

Contracorriente against the flow


Des-/de– –> privation, negation or separation

Ejemplo: deshacer to undo

Degenerar to degenerate

Desaparecer to disappear


Entre- –> between

Ejemplo: Entremezclar to intermingle

Entremeter to intrude


Ex-/es-/e– –> outside, direction towards, privation, end of duty or responsibility

Ejemplo: ex-presidente ex-president

Exporter to export


Pro- –>  before or instead of

Ejemplo: pronombre pronoun

Pronósticar to forecast/to predict

Progenitor parent


Super– –> superiority or excess

Ejemplo: superponer to impose

Superhéroe superhero

Supererogatorio supererogatory

Supervisor to supervise


I know… there are a few,  and they are not even all of them, but as I said before I did not want to make this post super long, because most of us we don’t read extra long post, we scan them and if it is too big we say…nah! I will read it later, I don’t have time to read it now…and I wanted you to read it because I think is a valuable post. And if you have read it so far, it is you are interested so if you want to get the list with all these prefixes (and some more) with examples click here to download.


Now I would love to hear from you:


-Do you know any Spanish word(s) that use prefixes ( I am sure you do, but you had never thought about it)? Leave a comment and let me know.


That is all from my side today, I hope you enjoyed this blog and you see an increase in your vocabulary when you start using prefixes. Also I would like to challenge you: pay attention and you will  find out how common prefixes are.


Have a good day! And I read to you soon!
















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