German Grammar Explained /

Negative prefixes

In German, we can make variations of adjectives by adding prefixes and suffixes that result in a word derived from another word.
In some cases, these prefixes serve to negate an adjective and come up with a word that is the opposite of what it would be without the negating prefix (Negationsvorsilben).
You should know the following negative prefixes:
a-, des-, dis-, miss-, un-, il-, in-, ir-, non-
​Let's look at some example:
typisch typical
atypisch untypical
interessiert interesting
desinteressiert unintersting
harmonisch harmonic
disharmonisch dissonant
verständlich understandable
missverständlich misleading
verständlich understandable
unverständlich incomprehensible
legal legal
illegal illegal
akzeptabel acceptable
inakzeptabel unacceptable
real real
irreal unreal
verbal verbal
nonverbal nonverbal
If you know a word, you can usually construct its opposite using a prefix or a suffix. A good way to build your vocabulary is to come up with a list of words like the one above and then find out what their opposites are ;)