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LANGUAGE AND CULTURE

How well do you know your Spanish prefixes?

Prefixes (part of words that are added before other words to give it a new meaning) are an excellent trick to learn new words and expand your vocabulary.

How well do you know your Spanish prefixes?
Entrecejo: the space between the eyebrows. Photo: camrocker/Depositphotos

Some prefixes are the same in English and in Spanish as for example hiper- , extra- , post- or intern-. 

The list below contains examples with lesser-known prefixes so you can really get working on your Spanish.

Des- 

Meaning :deprivation, denial of

Examples: 

  • Intoxicar/desintoxicar

              Intoxicate/detoxify

  • Hacer/deshacer

              Do/undo

  • Aparecer/desaparecer

              Appear/disappear

 

Sobre- 

Meaning : above

Examples: 

  • Sueldo/Sobresueldo

              Salary/bonus

  • Vivir/sobrevivir

              Live/ survive

  • Natural/sobrenatural

              Natural/ supernatural

 

Contra- 

Meaning : opposite, contrary 

Examples: 

  • Peso/Contrapeso

              Weight/ counterweight

  • Decir/contradecir

              Tell/ contradict

  • Tiempo/contratiempo

              Time/ setback

 

Ante- 

Meaning : previous 

Examples: 

  • Ayer/Anteayer

              Yesterday/ before yesterday

  • Poner/anteponer

              Put/ put above

  • Sala/antesala

              Room/ prelude or anteroom

 

Entre- 

Meaning : between 

Examples: 

  • Piso/entrepiso

              flat/ mezzanine

  • Abrir/entreabrir

              Open/ half-open

  • Ver/entrever

              See/ glimpse

 

Infra- 

Meaning : lower position, below

Examples: 

  • Humano/infrahumano

              Human/ subhuman

  • Mundo/inframundo

              World/ underworld

  • Valorado/infravalorado

              valued/ undervalued

 

Check out our word of the day posts

This article has been contributed by LAE Madrid, the leading Spanish academy in Madrid. Accredited by the Insitituto Cervantes, it offers Spanish courses for all levels and also has Spanish classes for kids and families.

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LANGUAGE AND CULTURE

The essential Catalan phrases you need in Catalonia

Even if you speak Spanish, if you're living in Catalonia, it's a good idea to learn some Catalan too. Here are some basic phrases you need to get by.

The essential Catalan phrases you need in Catalonia
Image: Photos_Marta/ Pixabay

While everyone in the bigger Catalan cities such as Barcelona or Tarragona will speak Spanish, it’s a good idea to learn some Catalan too.

Not only is this sure to win you some brownie points with the locals, but it will enrich your experience of living in the region and allow you to make new friends. This is particularly true when travelling to the smaller towns and villages in rural Catalonia too.

Greetings

Greetings are a great way to start out practicing your Catalan. Your neighbours will be delighted and appreciate greetings in their local language. Because the phrases are short, they’re easy to remember and don’t invite long answers that you won’t be able to understand.

Bon dia – Good day

This phrase is used all the time in Catalonia, even more so than ‘Hola’. You would use it for greeting someone anytime up until the afternoon, after which you would say 'Bona tarda'. 

Encantat! Molt de gust! – Pleased to meet you.

Com estás? – How are you?

Bona nit – Good night

Greetings in Catalan. Image: Andrea Piacquadio/Pexels

 

Being polite

Another very easy way to slip in some Catalan here and there is to use it in small polite phrases. Even if you don’t know the Catalan for the whole phrase, you could easily add please or thank you on the end.

Si us plau – Please

Moltes gràcies – Thank you very much

De res – You’re welcome

Saying thank you in Catalan. Image: Ka Young Seo / Pixabay 

Eating out

When you’re a bit more confident with your Catalan, eating out is the perfect time to put it all into practice. You don’t have to keep the conversation going a long time and there are particular useful phrases that you can memorise.  

Teniu una taula per dos? – Do you have a table for two?

La carta, si us plau – The menu please

El comte, si us plau – The bill please

No puc menjar… – I can’t eat…
This one may be useful if there’s something that you’re allergic to or can’t eat, such as gluten or dairy for example.

Eating out. Image: Ji-yeon Yun / Pixabay 

Shopping

Like eating out, shopping is another perfect chance to put your Catalan out in the real world.

Quant costa això? – How much does that cost?

Tens un altre color? – Do you have a different colour?

Tens una talla més gran/petita? – Do you have a bigger/smaller size?

Pots ajudar-me? – Can you help me?

 

READ MORE: Ten colourful Catalan phrases you should learn right now

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