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Verbs Ending in '-ducir'

Meanings Aren't Easily Predictable


Although prefixes can be added to a word stem in order to create other words, it isn't always possible to predict what those words might mean. That's particularly true in Spanish in the case of words formed by adding a prefix to the stem -ducir.

Such words abound: Common ones include conducir, reducir and deducir.

Modern Spanish has no verb ducir standing by itself. Such verbs are derived from a Latin verb, ducere, which meant "to lead."

You may notice from the examples below that the -ducir verbs are cognates of English verbs ending in either "-duce" or "-duct." The meanings in the two languages coincide in some cases, not in others.

Verbs ending in -ducir are conjugated irregularly. The first-person indicative present of traducir, for example, is conjugated as traduzco, the present subjunctive forms also begin with traduzc-, and the preterite forms are conjugated as traduje, tradujiste, tradujo, etc. See this page for a complete conjugation list.

Here are the most common verbs ending in -ducir, along with a usage example of each:

  • aducir (to adduce, to allege, to cite as an example): Adujeron que el uso de la hoja de coca creaba una toxicomanía semejante a la de usar cocaína. (They cited as an example that the use of coca leaves creates an addiction similar to that of using cocaine.)
  • conducir (to drive, to manage, to lead, to conduct): La forma como nos conducimos afecta el mundo que nos rodea. (The way in which we conduct ourselves affects the world around us.)
  • deducir (to guess, to deduce, to deduct): Estudiaron todo el planeta y dedujeron que La Palma es de los pocos sitios del mundo donde puede producirse un cataclismo semejante. (They studied the whole planet and deduced that La Palma is among the few places in the world where a similar disaster could occur.)
  • inducir (to lead, to induce, to infer): A mí me indujeron el parto en la semana 41 de la embarazada. (They induced labor for me in the 41st week of my pregnancy.)
  • introducir (to insert, to bring in, introduce): Si no se introducen cambios, el proceso no cumplirá las expectativas. (If changes aren't introduced, the process will not accomplish the expectations.)
  • producir (to produce, to yield, to cause): Se produjeron más de 940.000 accidentes en China en 2001. (There were more than 940,000 accidents in China in 2001.)
  • reconducir (to redirect): Por cierto, te reconduzco a la meta inicial. (Certainly, I'm redirecting you to the original subject.)
  • reducir (to reduce, to suppress): La solución es simple: reduzcamos la tasa de crecimiento. (The solution is simple: Let's reduce the rate of growth.)
  • reproducir (to reproduce, to repeat, to imitate): En esta sección reproducimos noticias y artículos breves que han aparecido en la prensa española. (In this section we reproduce news and brief articles that have appeared in the Spanish press.)
  • seducir (to attract, to seduce, to tempt, to persuade): El artista puertorriqueño sedujo a los 12.000 admiradores, principalmente mujeres, con la sensualidad de su música y sus bailes. (The Puerto Rican artist drew 12,000 fans, mostly women, with the sensuality of his music and dances.) Note: Although this word can have sexual overtones, it does so less often than does its English cognate.
  • traducir (to translate, to clarify): ¿Quienes son los que tradujeron la Biblia? (Who are those who translated the Bible?)
A few other words with the -ducir ending can be found in rare or highly technical use, such as retraducir (to translate back to an original language) or subducir (to subduct).

In addition, there are a few words that are etymologicically related with -ducir, but aren't used in a verb form. For example, abducción is the equivalent of the English "abduction," but the verb form abducir is very rarely used except in poor translations from English.

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