Saturday, August 25, 2012

Russian morphology: negative prefix не-

  Russian prefix не- comes from нет and works just as English prefixes un-, non-, in- etc. When you see a word starting with не-, there is a very big chance it means something negative. If you know what this word would mean without не-, you can guess the meaning of it with the prefix.

Some examples:

небольшой - small
невысокий - short, low
неженатый - single, unmarried
неважный - unimportant
непонятный - incomprehensible
некрасивый - ugly
некоторый - some, unspecified
невероятный - incredible, impossible
нежирный - low-fat

некто - somebody
нечто - something

немного - a little, some, bit
недавно - recently, not long ago
недалеко - nearby
неправильно - wrong

Numeral adjective:
несколько - a few, several

невзлюбить - take a dislike to
недолюбливать - have little liking

невинность - innocence, guiltlessness
неточность - inaccuracy
независимость - independence

Remember that there are words starting with не- where it's not a prefix, but a part of the word's root, such as:

нежный - tender
неделя - week
нефть - oil, petrol
немой - mute
неон - neon (and not “un-he” ^^).


  1. Hi Ekaterina
    Thank you for sharing a big hint.
    Have a good weekend.


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