A- Prefix

A- French prefix
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Le préfixe a– et sa variante

The French prefix a– is added to adjectives and nouns to create their antonyms; it’s sometimes called the "alpha privative" (a privatif). The most common English equivalents are a– and non-.

Par exemple…

français English   ajouté à added to
amoral amoral   moral moral
apesanteur weightlessness   pesanteur weightiness
areligieux areligious
non-religious
  religieux religious
asymétrie asymmetry   symétrie symmetry
atoxique non-toxic   toxique toxic

Variation: an-

While a- is the most common spelling, it can only be added to words that begin with a consonant. When the a privatif precedes a vowel or h, a- changes to an-

français English   ajouté à added to
anaérobie anaerobic   aérobie aerobic
analphabète illiterate   alphabète literate
anharmonique anharmonic   harmonique harmonic

 Related lessons

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French prefix a
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