Word Family – Slovene Verbs

An interesting way to expand your vocabulary in any language is to learn by word family – besedna družina: a group of “new” words that are formed by adding a prefix and/or a suffix to a root word. I found that concept especially interesting when it comes to Slovene verbs.

One would think that Slovene verbs deriving from the same root verb would have some subtile “related” meaning but it is not always the case, even if they are connected at some point.


Same family verbs are mostly formed by adding a prefix to the root verb. And many of them are also prepositions.

Here’s a list of the most common ones: do- (till), iz- (from), na- (on), o- (about), ob- (at), od- (from), po- (around, after), pod- (under), pre- (too), pred- (before) pri- (next to),  raz- (from), s- (with), v- (in), za- (for)…

I tried to look for some kind of patterns prefix-meanings, unfortunately I couldn’t find any. Also, keep in mind that not all prefixes can be apply to root verbs.

Here’s a few examples to give you an idea:

Pisati (to write)

  • do + pisati = dopisati (to add in writing)
  • iz + pisati = izpisati (to copy out),
  • na + pisati = napisati (to write down)
  • o + pisati = opisati (to describe)
  • od + pisati = odpisati (to answer in writing)
  • po + pisati = popisati (to make an inventory)
  • pod + pisati = podpisati (to sign)
  • pre + pisati = prepisati (to copy)
  • pred + pisati = predpisati (to prescribe)
  • pri + pisati = pripisati (to make note)
  • raz + pisati = razpisati (to tender out)
  • v + pisati = vpisati (to enroll, to record)
  • za + pisati = zapisati (to write down)

Brati (to read)

  • iz + brati = izbrati (to choose)
  • na + brati = nabrati (to gather)
  • o + brati = obrati (to pick)
  • po + brati = pobrati (to pick up)
  • pre + brati = prebrati (to read through)
  • raz + brati = razbrati (to infer)

Govoriti (to talk)

  • do + govoriti = dogovoriti se (to agree on)
  • iz + govoriti = izgovoriti (to pronounce)
  • na + govoriti = nagovoriti (to address)
  • od + govoriti = odgovoriti (to answer)
  • po + govoriti = pogovoriti se (to talk)
  • pre + govoriti = pregovoriti (to persuade, to talk into)

Nesti (to carry)

  • na + nesti = nanesti (to apply)
  • ob + nesti = obnesti se (to be effective)
  • od + nesti = odnesti (to carry out)
  • pre + nesti = prenesti (to transmit)
  • pri + nesti = prinesti (to bring)
  • v + nesti = vnesti (to enter, to insert)
  • za + nesti = zanesti (to carry away)

Pustiti (to leave, to let)

  • do + pustiti = dopustiti (to allow)
  • iz + pustiti = izpustiti (to release, to let go)
  • o + pustiti = opustiti (to abandon)
  • od + pustiti = odpustiti (to forgive)
  • po + pustiti = popustiti (to slacken)
  • pre + pustiti = prepustiti (to leave, to let go)
  • raz + pustiti = razpustiti (to dissolve)
  • s + pustiti = spustiti (to let loose, to let go)
  • za + pustiti = zapustiti (to leave, to abandon)

As you’ve probably figured out, there are many many more. I’m sure that there’s are someroot verbs that interest you in particular, let me know and I will happily find the same family verbs.

And if you see some kind of patterns, please share it with me because it does make me wonder!

Shouts to Paul Steed, one of my readers, who has kindly created some quiz cards with these lists, free to use and share: Quizlet – Word families 01.

Discover more Slovene “lessons” that might interest you: Slovene Numbers & NumeralsSlovene Nouns & PronounsSlovene VerbsSlovene AdjectivesSlovene SyntaxSlovenian Idioms, Slovene Adverbs.

Let’s learn,

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