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Friday, October 11, 2019

PO- Prefix with Verbs - Serbian 701

One of the common and very productive ways of expanding a verb meaning is the process of "prefixation" in Serbian. While in English this additional meaning is conveyed through use of different tenses or prepositions in phrasal verbs, at a sentence level, in Serbian it is achieved through only one word, at the lexicology level.

Today we are talking about PO- prefix and its meanings.

Meaning of Po- Prefix in Serbian

There are five main meanings of PO- prefix when added to a verb. These are as follows:
  1. making a perfective verb out of an imperfective one: jesti - pojesti
  2. adding up "distributive meaning", often combined with the word "sve": krasti - pokrasti (there will be a special post dedicated to this)
  3. beginning of the action: leteti -  poleteti
  4. spatial meaning (additional meaning "over") : bacati -  pobacati
  5. action which lasts for a long time: živeti - poživeti

Exercise with Po- Prefix in Serbian

Let me add five lists of verbs for which you have to decide which group they belong to:

Can you think of any other examples?

Here are some of my ideas:

  1. pokisnuti
  2. poleteti
  3. pozlatiti
  4. pokrenuti 
  5. polupati
  6. posvađati 
  7. porazbijati
  8. pokrasti



Examples with Po- Prefix in Serbian Literature

Here comes the famous story Sve će to narod pozlatiti by Laza Lazarević, written back in 1881. 




- What is the meaning of the noun ZLATO and verb POzlatiTI?
- What meaning(s) does this prefix add?
- What is the gist of the story?

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