In this lesson you will learn words that begin with Des in Portuguese:
1. The meaning of the prefix des in Portuguese
2. Commonly used words that start with des
The prefix des in Portuguese means a negation, a contrary action, or separation.
- Fazer = to do
- Desfazer = to undo
Às vezes, precisamos desfazer um acordo.
You will hear the first syllable Des pronounced in two ways in Brazil:
Both are correct. This is just a matter of different accents in different parts of Brazil. If you want to choose one of the pronunciations, you can observe your friends and coworkers in Brazil to see how they pronounce words beginning with Des.
- Bloquear = to block
- Desbloquear = to unblock
Podemos bloquear e desbloquear contatos no Facebook.
= We can block and unblock contacts on Facebook.
- Montar = to set up, to assemble
- Desmontar = to disassemble
Preciso desmontar essa estante.
= I need to disassemble this bookshelf.
When the negation meaning is not clear
Sometimes the negation meaning is not very clear at first. You’d have to deconstruct the word and got back to its Latin or Greek root to understand it. Therefore it is often times easier to learn the word and not worry about its negation meaning.
Two good examples are: desenvolver and desenhar.
Desenvolver = to develop, to advance
Meaning to develop or develop oneself (desenvolver-se), this verb may at first present a roadblock to deconstruction but it soon reveals itself with a little digging. If you take it apart, removing the des, you get envolver, meaning to enclose or to close off. The opposite, or negation, of being closed off is to open up, to expand. Desenvolver, therefore, is to develop.
Patrícia está sempre aprendendo algo novo para desenvolver suas habilidades profissionais.
Patrícia is always learning something new to develop her professional skills.
Países desenvolvidos = developed countries
Países em desenvolvimento = developing countries
Países subdesenvolvidos = underdeveloped countries
Meaning to draw or to design, this verb cannot be taken apart. That’s because the des isn’t a prefix, as the verb comes from the Latin designare (to mark in a distinctive way).
Larinha passa horas desenhando.
Larinha spends hours drawing.
More on Des
There are several other words in the Portuguese language that start with des. We offer additional examples below and encourage you to explore these useful words.
- Desabrigar = to uncover, to unshelter
- Desamor = disaffection, estrangement
- Desarmonia = disharmony, discord
- Descobrir = to discover, to find out, to uncover
- Desconfiar = to mistrust, to distrust
- Desembolsar = to disburse, to expend
- Desenterrar = to dig up; to unearth
- Desidratado/a = dehydrated
- Desleal = disloyal, unfaithful
- Desmascarar = to unmask
- Desproporção = disproportion, inequality
Aside from des, there are other negating prefixes such as in, im, i, de, and dis. Just like with des, not all of these when placed at the beginning of a word will negate it (ie, distância) since some words came to Portuguese already formed.