Posted by: janecronin | October 3, 2015

Vivir o no vivir

I’m a big fan of prefixed verbs.  Well that’s a sad statement to start with!  What I really mean is that I find them interesting and I recommend students to pay attention to them too.  For instance, things like “hacer” to do; “deshacer” to undo, or “decir” to say “predecir” to predict.  There are absolutely loads of these which means that once you’ve got hold of some basic verbs and a few prefixes (re, des, pro, su, sobre …) you can expand your vocabulary tremendously.  So, here’s one I’ve noticed recently – “vivir” can become “bienvivir” and “convivir” and I also heard someone the other day exclaim: “¡Qué sinvivir!”.  The dictionary tells me this means “What anguish!” but I think the idea of being without (“sin”) life or living very much more expressive.  Am I the only sad person around here or have you come across similar word combinations?


  1. Not exactly your question, Jane, but a closely linked idea – I’ve always wondered why a screwdriver is ‘el destornillador’ but (apparently) ‘el tornillador’ doesn’t exist. What does that say about the Spanish psyche, if anything – that they didn’t envisage leaving anything, just unscrewing it?!!

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