How to use the prefix pre

In Spanish we have the prefixes, some words that are added at the beginning of a word with the aim of changing its meaning. They are linguistic elements that do not have semantic independence and that must be linked to a word in order to give it a concrete meaning.

The pre prefix is one of the most used in the Spanish language and its meaning determines a situation prior to a specific event, for example, one of the most popular is prehistory, that is, the history that exists before our history.

In we tell you how to use the prefix pre so that you know how to use it correctly and write it without misspellings.

Pre prefix meaning

When we put the prefix pre in a Spanish word, it is because we want to designate a temporary mark, a differentiation of time that modifies the meaning of the word to which it has been attached.

In this way, we have that the prefix pre is used when you want to designate different situations:

  • Preface: the prefix pre is used when you want to indicate that a fact has occurred in advance, for example: "This is a precooked product".
  • Priority: the pre prefix is also used to designate priority in some events, in this way we can form phrases like "In this sauce the oil predominates" or "Every sunset is preceded by a sunrise".
  • Encarecimiento: when you want to highlight an idea, the use of the pre prefix is also the indicated one to express it; for example "This boy is a bully".

How to type the prefix pre

According to the new standard set by the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE), the use of prefixes in Spanish must always be linked to the word they accompany. So, the use that you could previously see in the prefixes that were accompanied by a hyphen or separated from the word they accompanied, with this new orthographic rule is no longer correct.

Therefore, to know how to use the pre prefix in a spelling way, you must take into account this new rule: prefixes are always written together with the word. Here are some examples of phrases with the prefix pre :

  • I hired a prepaid card at the bank
  • I do not like precooked food
  • At work I have made a labor pre-contract

Exception of the norm

However, in most of the rules there are exceptions and in the case of Spanish prefixes there are also. The prefixes must be written separately to the word they accompany when it is pluriverbal, that is, when the word is made up of more than one word.

In the case of the prefix pre we find that there may be word formations that want to designate events prior to a historical context that requires the use of the prefix separately from the word; for example:

  • Pre World War II
  • Pre French Revolution

When dealing with words formed by two nouns, the prefix must be separated, therefore the formation of phrases like / * presecond world war / would be completely incorrect.