11.9 Compound Verbs

You have already seen verbs such as mantener and detener, which have as their root tener, and suponer, which has as its root poner. Many such verbs exist and they almost always have the same irregularities as those seen in the “root” verbs. Once you know the meaning of these verbs, which at times may be logically deduced, they present no general comprehension problems, provided you recognize the irregularities of the root verb.

Although some of these are not truly compound verbs, the groupings below are meant to facilitate recognition of as many verbs as possible:

English -tain = Spanish –tener

abstenerse (de) to abstain (from)
contener to contain
detener to detain, to arrest
entretener to entertain
mantener to maintain, to keep, to support financially
retener to retain
sostener to sustain, to support

English -pose = Spanish –poner

componer to compose
deponer to depose
descomponer to decompose, to break down
imponer to impose
oponer to oppose (oponerse a- to be opposed to)
proponer to propose
yuxtaponer to juxtapose

Other verbs ending in –poner but which have a different ending in English include posponer (“to postpone”) and reponer (“to reply”).

English -tract = Spanish –traer

atraer to attract
contraer to contract
distraer to distract
extraer to extract
sustraer to subtract, to take away, to remove

English -duce, -duct = Spanish –ducir

conducir to conduct, to drive
deducir to deduce
inducir to induce
introducir to introduce
producir to produce
reducir to reduce
seducir to seduce

One verb you have already seen but which has a different ending in English is traducir, “to translate.”

English -dict, at times = Spanish –decir

bendecir to bless
contradecir to contradict
maldecir to curse, to slander, to speak ill of
predecir to predict, to forecast

English -vene, at times = Spanish –venir

convenir to be suitable/ appropriate, suit; to convene, to agree
intervenir to intervene
prevenir to prevent, to warn, to forestall
provenir to come from, to originate

English -scribe = Spanish –scribir

describir to describe
inscribir to inscribe, to enroll
prescribir to prescribe
proscribir to proscribe, to prohibit
suscribir to subscribe

Compounds of ver

prever to forsee
rever to revise, to look over, to review

Compounds of hacer

deshacer to undo
contrahacer to imitate, to copy, to counterfeit
satisfacer to satisfy

Compounds of volver

devolver to return (something)
envolver to wrap, to pack

Compound of pedir

despedir(se) to dismiss, to fire (to take leave of, to say good-bye to)
impedir to stop, to impede, to prevent

Compound of salir

sobresalir to stand out, to excel, to jut out

Vocabulario básico

Verbos:

amanecer- to dawn, to wake up (in a place)
anochecer- to get dark, to spend the night (in a place)
asombrar- to astound
desempeñar- to carry out, to play (un papel = a role)
desmayarse- to faint
mentir (ie)- to lie
nacer- to be born
patinar- to skate
presenciar- to witness

Sustantivos:

el asombro- astonishment
el/la brujo/-a- witch
el fantasma- ghost
el hielo- ice
la mente- mind
el porvenir- future

Adjetivos:

despectivo- pejorative
escaso- scarce, limited, scant
feo- ugly
sobresaliente- outstanding
travieso- mischievous

Expresión:

de una vez- once and for all

Last revised on June 23, 2021.