Question from George Jagels, asked on 17 Sep, 2019

Translation of “прескверный”

In a book about Russian grammar I came across a sentence containing the word “прескверный” which corresponded to “foul” in the English translation of the sentence. I couldn’t find this word in either of two Russian-English dictionaries and I got a hunch and looked up “скверный” and found the translation “foul”. This got me to thinking – Do Russians sometimes attach prefixes to words to create new words not found in the dictionary? Does “прескверный” correspond to “очень скверный” ?
1 answer
Answered by Yulia on 17 Sep, 2019

Hi George,

Yes, we use prefixes to create new word meanings. For example, the prefix пере, used with verbs, can mean "too much" or "to cross". As you can see, the same prefix can have different meanings.

In the case of the prefix пре, used with adjectives, it means "very". It is quite bookish though. Yes, прескверный is очень скверный (very bad).

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