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Russian prefixes (за-,на-,по-,про-,при-,из-)?

As I read Russian texts, I often find words I ought to know, but with a prefix (like за-,на-,по-,про-,при- or из-). It seems to me that the unprefixed form is not used that often. My questions are now:
- What do these prefixes mean?
- Is there a general translation for them or do I have to learn all forms for each word?
- Do you know the equivalents in English or German?
- Are there more prefixes I should be aware of? (and what do they mean?)

Some examples:
I know the word "писать" but more often i find words like:
написать, записать, прописать, приписать, исписать

or the word "учить":
научить, проучить, приучить, изучить

and "смотреть" is mostly used as:
посмотреть, просмотреть

Additional Details:

Additional Details:

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Edit/Update:

Now i researched a little bit more and finally found something:
http://www.yearlyglot.com/finally-understand-those-russian-prefixes/
http://www.slavica.com/features/browning_intro.pdf

Thank you nonetheless for your answers :)

For learning: Russian
Base language: English
Category: Language

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    В русском языке очень много различных приставок. Некоторые из них изменяются, некоторые не изменяются. Проще всего разобраться с приставками в глаголах, обозначающих движение, так как приставки имеют схожий смысл. Например, глаголы движения: бежать, лететь, ходить, ползать. С приставкой у- (away): убежать, улететь, уходить, уползать (из дома). С приставкой вы- (out): выбежать, вылететь, выходить, выползать (из дома). С приставкой в- (in) вбежать влететь, входить, вползать ( в дом). С глаголами, которые не обозначают движение, все гораздо сложнее. Не всегда можно найти явный схожий смысл, например в словах : урезать, украсить, удивить.

    Perhaps this is the most difficult thing in the Russian language. All of these words can have different meanings, and sometimes a few different values. Be able to explain it probably only an experienced teacher. Russian just know it and do not think about why it is so special)

    Trying to get to know all the grammar rules about those prefixes is waste of time... In my opinion...
    They are very similar to the phrasal verbs in English. So, the better way is just learning them in phrases. Memorise the whole phrase with the verb, and little by little you'll how and where to use them.

    Trying to get to know all the grammar rules about those prefixes is waste of time... In my opinion...
    They are very similar to the phrasal verbs in English. So, the better way is just learning them in phrases. Memorise the whole phrase with the verb, and little by little you'll how and where to use them.

    Yes. Prefixes are very difficult. I found the explanations on this site very helpful:
    http://learnrussian.rt.com/grammar-tables/
    Look for the sections on 'verbs of motion' #30-40

    As far as it being a waste of time to learn, it depends on what type of learner you are. Some people are better at memorizing phrases and combinations. Some people are better at learning and using systems.

    Hallo.
    Sehr viel und sofort ist es schwer. Die Hauptsache ist ein Wurzelwort um die Bedeutung des Wortes zu verstehen. Besser Wörter und Sätze zu lernen.
    Korrigieren Sie bitte mich

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