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Meet the 'Venir' Family

Prefixes Expand Meaning of Common Verb


Talca, Chile

Provengo de la ciudad de Talca en Chile. (I come from the city of Talca in Chile.)

Photo by RL GNZLZ; licensed via Creative Commons.

Usually meaning "to come," venir is one of the most common verbs in Spanish. Like many other verbs, venir can be combined with prefixes to expand its meaning.

As you can see from the examples below, many of the words formed by combining venir with a prefix are related to English words that end in "-vene." That's because they come from the Latin verb venire, which is also the source of venir.

Here is a list of the most common verbs formed using the venir root along with examples of their use:

  • avenir (to reconcile, to come to an agreement). Nos avenimos a firmar la Carta de la Paz, un documento que debemos fortalecer. (We came together to sign the Peace Letter, a document we ought to strengthen.)
  • contravenir (to violate, to infringe, to contravene). Este tipo de medidas contravendrían el principio de libre circulación. (This kind of step violated the principle of free circulation.)
  • convenir (to be suitable, to agree on). Las representantes convinieron en que debían esperar hasta recibir mas información. (The representatives agreed that they ought to wait until they receive more information.)
  • devenir (to become, to happen). Cuando la mente deviene quiescente, el soplo deviene controlado. (When the mind quiets down, breathing becomes controlled.)
  • intervenir (to intervene, to take part in). El Banco Central intervino cuando el tipo de cambio tocó $2,98. (The Central Bank intervened when the exchange rate reached $2.98.) Los varones intervienen menos que las mujeres en el cuidado de los hijos. (The men participate less in the care of children than the women do.)
  • prevenir (to prevent, to warn, to anticipate). El gobierno no previno tragedia de Nueva Orleans. (The government did not anticipate the New Orleans tragedy.)
  • provenir (to come from). Provengo de la ciudad de Talca en Chile. (I come from the city of Talca in Chile.)
  • sobrevenir (to happen suddenly, to follow). En la madrugada sobrevino el terremoto. (The earthquake came suddenly in the dawn.)
Note that the verbs derived from venir are conjugated in the same irregular way as venir.
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