Word formation



Suffixes   •   Prefixes   •   Compound words

Every language has mechanisms to derive words from other words. In Interslavic, this is done mostly by using affixes. This pages give an overview of the most common prefixes and suffixes. For each learner of the language it is of critical importance to learn them well. They are instrumental in understanding written and spoken texts, and besides, they can be used for building words that are not in the dictionary.

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Suffixes (Sufiksy)

Below follows a list of suffixes. Please note that if the stem ends in a particular consonant, it is changed before the suffixes -ji, -ka, -ko, -nik, -ny, -ok, -sky and -stvo, as follows:

On the other hand, the soft consonant nj hardens before -nik and -ny.

Suffixes starting with -o- change to -e- when following a soft consonant:

Noun to noun

Adjective to noun

Verb to noun

Adjective to adjective

Noun to adjective

Verb to adjective

Adverb to adjective

Noun to verb

Adjective to verb

Verb to verb

Adjective to adverb

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Prefixes (Prědrastky)

One or more of the followings prefixes can be used to modify the meaning of word. They can be attached to all kinds of words, but mostly to verbs.

do-(complementary with od-)
  • to do something or go somewhere till the end/goal/barrier/result: dojdti „to arrive, to come (to the goal)”, doletěti „to arrive by flying”, dozvati „to call sbd. to make him come”
  • to do additionally: dopisati „to add by writing, to complete writing by adding sth.”, dopolniti „to fill by adding a bit”
iz-(complementary with v-, interchangeable with vy-)
  • out, off, ex-: izgnati „to exile”, izbrati „to pick out, to select, to choose”, izdati „to give out”
  • see further under vy-
na- (often used as a perfective marker)
  • up, on, over: navrgnuti „to throw on(to) sth.”, naložiti „to lie on/over sth.”, najdti „to find” (lit. „to come on sth.”), napisati „to write down”
  • to do or achieve a lot, in a certain amount: nagovoriti „to speak a lot”, nabrati „to take a certain amount of sth.”
  • (with the reflexive pronoun se) enough, full: naspati se „to sleep fully, to have a good sleep”, najesti se „to eat to the point of having a full stomach”
nad-(complementary with pod-)
  • Over (moving); over, better (figuratively): nadsiliti „to overbear”, nadigrati „to defeat, to outplay”, nadpisati nad „write over sth.”, nadlomiti „break from above”, nadkryti „to cover over”
nedo- (complementary to do-)
  • to do incompletely, not entirely: nedopisati „to write without finishing”, nedopolniti „to fill but not entirely”
o-/ob- (derives verbs from nouns and adjectives)
  • to give or get the characteristics expressed by a noun or an adjective: okrugliti „to make round”, okameniti „to turn into stone”
  • to make the object undergo treatment with something (lit. or fig.) expressed by a noun: okružiti „to get around, to encircle”, okameniti „to stone”
ob- (derives verbs from nouns and adjectives)
  • around: obidti „to go around”, „to avoid”, obmotati „to coil around”
obez- (derives verbs from nouns; complementary to ob-)
  • to devoid of something expressed by a noun (dis-): obezsiliti „to disempower”, obezhrabriti „to discourage”
  • away, off (moving): odidti „to go away”, oddati „to give away”, odvinuti „to screw off”, odgovoriti „to answer” (lit. to talk back/away)
  • to complete or fulfill an action (in order to be rid of it): odrabotati „to work off”
  • to start to, to get ready to, to do right away: početi „to start”, pojdti „to start to go, to go off”
  • for a short while, a little bit, from time to time, here and there: pospati „to sleep a little”, posmatrjati „to watch here and there”
  • denotes an action performed by many or affecting all/many: poskryvati se „hide” (many people), pobiti „to kill all/many”
  • completion, result: pojesti „to eat everything”, pokryti „to cover the whole thing”
  • under, sub-, from below: podmetnuti „to put under sth.”, podbiti „to knock from below”
  • secretly, surreptitiously: podkazati „to tell in secret”, podgledati „to watch secretly”, podsměhnuti se „to jeer, to jest” (laugh secretly)
  • across, over (motion): prějdti „go on the other side”, prěvesti „bring over, to transfer” > „to translate”
  • transformation from something old into something new: prěbudovati „to rebuild”, prěorganizovati „to reorganise”
  • through, from one side to the other: prěsěkti „to cut through, to transsect”, prěpisati „to rewrite, to copy”
  • too much, over-: prěsoliti „to use too much salt”, prěvariti „cook too long”
prěd- (complementary to za)
  • before, in advance: prědviděti „to foresee”, prědstaviti „to imagine, to introduce”, prědplatiti „to pay in advance”
  • close, next to: prijdti „to approach, to come closer”
  • on, onto, tied: privinuti „to screw on”, primetnuti „to put closer, put next to sth.”
  • in addition: privinuti „to screw on in addition”, pripisati „write in addition”, prigovoriti „to object” (lit. say in addition)
  • just a little bit: priodkryti „to open a bit”, prikryti „to close, but not entirely”
  • through(out): probiti „to break out, to penetrate”, protěkti „to flow through”, progrějati „to heat through”
  • to miss, past to: projehati mimo „to miss sth.”, promašiti, promahnuti „to to miss the mark”
  • through the whole time: prorabotati ves denj „to work through the whole day”
  • to lose all: protratiti penezy „to lose all the money”, proigrati igru „to lose the game”
raz- (complementary to s(o))
  • apart, dis-, down: razidti „to go apart”, razkydnuti „to break down, to disunite”
  • de-, undo: razminovati „to de-mine”
  • be in middle of sth., carry the action through: razcvětati „to be in flower”, razgovarjati „to converse, to be in middle of speaking”
  • together, with: svezati „to bind together, interconnect”, sozvati „to call together”, sobrati „to collect, to gather”
  • down from: sojdti „to go, come down”, snesti „to bring down”
  • entirely, done, down: srězati „to cut down”, sdělati „to make done” sbriti „to shave entirely”, svariti „to cook entirely”, sbudovati „to build entirely”
  • next to, parallel, co-: surabotati „to work together, next to each other”
  • to move face to face; suhoditi „to come together, to meet up”
u- (often used as a perfective marker)
  • away: uletěti „to fly away (so that somebody misses his flight”, uběgti „to run away”
  • totally (often negatively): ubiti „to kill” (lit. beat completely), uginuti „to die off”, usohnuti „to dry up”
  • (based on an adjective) to make more: ulěpšiti „to improve, to make better”, umenšiti „to diminish, to reduce, to make less”
  • in, into (with verbs of motion): vojdti „to go in, to enter”, vnesti „to bring in”, vlupiti „to indent”
  • (with the reflexive pronoun se) to do sth. accurately, observantly, curiously: včitati se „to start to read curiously”, vslušati se „to start to hear curiously”
  • up, aloft, upstairs: vozletěti „to fly up”, vozidti „to go uphill”
  • to start sudden to do sth. intensively: vozvyti „to start to cry suddenly”, vozbuditi „to stimulate, to stir up”
  • back, again, re-: vozvratiti se „come back”, vozživiti „to reanimate”>
vy- (instead of vy- Southslavs use iz- in all cases)
  • out, afield, onto (woth verbs of motion): vyjdti (iz) „to go out (of)”, vynesti (iz) „to care out”
  • do sth. completely, entirely: vyvariti „to boil comletely”, vysušiti „to dry completely, dry out”
  • well, long, around: vyležati se „to lie around”
  • behind, under: zajdti „to go behind”, zametnuti „to put behind, forget; zaryti „to plant, thrust under sth.”
  • make closed, shut, tightly: zatvoriti „to shut”, zavinuti „to screw tightly, twist”, zašiti „to sew up (tightly)”, zapakovati „to pack (make shut)”
  • start doing sth.: zapěvati „to start singing”, zaplakati „to start crying”
  • stard doing intensive (with se): zagledati se, zasmotriti se „to look ahead, look constantly, look deeply”

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Compound words (Složene slova)

Two roots can be freely compounded to create a new idea. Usually, this is done by means of a connecting -o- (-e- after a soft consonant):

When the first member is a borrowing from English, they may be divided by a hyphen (defis):