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On the one hand, prepositions in Spanish are easy to understand, because they usually function in almost the same

way as they do in English. On the other hand, prepositions can be one of the most challenging aspects of using Spanish, because it is not always easy to remember which preposition to use. A simple and very common preposition such as the Spanish en can be translated not only as "in," the most common translation, but also as "to," "by" and "about," among others. A preposition is a type of word that is used to form a phrase; the phrase in turn functions as an adjective or adverb. In both English and Spanish, a preposition is followed by an object, which is usually a noun. The object also can be a pronoun or verb that functions as a noun. (Sometimes in English a preposition can appear at the end of a sentence, but that isn't done in Spanish.) If all this doesn't make clear to you what a preposition is, that's fine just look at the list below and it should be clearer what types of words we're talking about. Let's look at a couple sample sentences to see how the preposition relates its object to other parts of a sentence.
y

English: I (subject) am going (verb) to (preposition) the store (prepositional object). Spanish: Yo (subject) voy (verb) a (preposition) la tienda (prepositional object).

In the above sentence the phrase "to the store" or a la tienda form a phrase that functions as an adverb that complements the verb. Here is an example of a prepositional phrase that functions as an adjective:
y

English: I (subject) see (verb) the shoe (direct object) under (preposition) the table (prepositional object). Spanish: Yo (subject) veo (verb) el zapato (direct object) bajo (preposition) la mesa(prepositional object).

In this case, "under the table" is a phrase that works as an adjective to describe the shoe.

Like English, Spanish has perhaps a few dozen prepositions. The following list shows the most common ones along with some of the most common meanings and some short sample sentences. Keep in mind that the translations below aren't exhaustive. Some of the more difficult prepositions and those with a wide range of meanings are discussed in separate lessons. a to, at, by means of Vamos a la ciudad. We are going to the city. Vengo a las tres. I am coming at 3. Viajamos a pie. We are traveling by foot. antes de before Leo antes de dormirme. I read before going to sleep. bajo under El perro est bajo la mesa. The dog is under the table. cerca de near El perro est cerca de la mesa. The dog is near the table. con with Voy con l. I am going with him. contra against Estoy contra la huelga. I am against the strike. de of, from, indicating possession El sombrero es hecho de papel. The hat is made of paper. Soy de Nueva York. I'm from New York.Prefiero el carro de Juan. I prefer John's car (I prefer the car of John). delante de in front of Mi carro est delante de la casa. My car is in front of the house. dentro de inside El perro est dentro de la jaula. The dog is inside the cage. desde since, from No com desde ayer. I haven't eaten since yesterday. Tir el bisbol desde el carro. He threw the baseball from the car. despus de after Comemos despus de la clase. We are eating after class. detrs de behind El perro est destrs de la mesa. The dog is behind the table. durante during Dormimos durante la clase. We slept during the class. en in, on Ella est en Nueva York. She is in New York. El perro est en la mesa. The dog is on the table.

encima de on top of El gato est encima de la casa. The cat is on top of the house. enfrente de in front of El perro est enfrente de la mesa. The dog is in front of the table. entre between, among El perro est entre le mesa y el sof. The dog is between the table and the sofa. fuera de outside of El perro est fuera de la casa. The dog is outside of the house. hacia toward Caminamos hacia la escuela. We are walking toward the school. hasta until Duermo hasta las seis. I'm sleeping until 6. para for, in order to El regalo es para usted. The gift is for you. Trabajo para ser rico. I work in order to be rich. por for, by Damos gracias por la comida. We give thanks for the meal. Fue escrito por Juan. It was written by Juan. segn according to Segn mi madre va a nevar. According to my mother it is going to snow. sin without Voy sin l. I am going without him. sobre over, about Se cay sobre la silla. He fell over the chair. Es un programa sobre el presidente. It's a program about the president. tras after, behind Caminaban uno tras otro. The walked one after (behind) the other. Spring la primavera Summer el verano Winter el invierno Autumn el aton~o

In Spanish, the four seasons of the year are as follows:


y y y y

el invierno winter la primavera spring el verano summer el otoo autumn or fall

The definite article (el or la) is usually used with the names of the seasons. In many cases, it is used where it isn't in English:
y

La primavera es la poca del ao en que se manifiestan ms evidentemente los procesos del nacimiento y el crecimiento. Spring is the time of the year in which the processes of birth and growth are most evident. El otoo me parece abrumadoramente triste.Autumn seems overwhelmingly sad to me. No me gustan los inviernos. I don't like winters. El verano se acerca. Summer is getting near. No tengo algo para hacer durante el invierno. I don't have anything to do during winter.

y y y

The definite article can be omitted (but doesn't have to be) after forms of the verb ser and the prepositions en and de:
y

En verano debemos cuidar el pelo con productos diseados para esta estacin. In summer we should take care of our hair with products designed for this season. Los colores de primavera son muy llamativos y bonitos. Spring colors are very bright and pretty. Ya era otoo en Pars. It was already autumn in Paris.

In some parts of the Spanish-speaking world, particularly in the tropics, two seasons are recognized:

y y

la estacin lluviosa rainy season or wet season la estacin seca dry season

Preposition a con de en hacia

Translation to, at, from, by, on, for, upon with, to of, about, on, with, because of, by, at in, on, at towards, to, at about or around

1. Carlos iba a Lima. 2. l subi al tren. 3. Lleg a la ciudad. 4. Su hotel estaba a la derecha de la estacin del tren.

1. Carlos was going to Lima. 2. He got on the train. 3. He arrived in the city. 4. His hotel was to the right of the train station.

5. A la una almorz. 6. Al terminar de comer, recorri la ciudad a pie. 7. Compr un recuerdo a una seora en el mercado. 8. Mand un postal a su novia. 9. Fue a dormir.

5. At one oclock he had lunch. 6. Upon finishing eating, he went round the city on foot. 7. He bought a souvenir from a lady in the market. 8. He sent a postcard to his girlfriend. 9. He went to sleep.

Por ejemplo:

Por ejemplo:

Examples of de

The preposition de is also widely used in Spanish for a variety of purposes. In general, it means of or from, although it can be used to indicate possession, origin, type, composition, and more. Lets look at some uses. Possession los padres de Sara - Sarahs parents el negocio de Seor Goodwin - Mr. Goodwins business Origin l es de argentina. - He is from Argentina. El queso es de Gales. - The cheese is from Wales. Subject un libro de espaol - a Spanish book una compaa de computadoras - a computer company Ella sabe todo de las matemticas. - She knows everything about math. Position Phrases encima de - on top of al lado de - beside From Here to There de aqu a Miami - from here to Miami de una cosa a otra - from one thing to another Parts un pedazo de manzana - a piece of apple un poco de crema - a little cream Time de da - by day de sbado a domingo - from Saturday to Sunday Cause morir de risas - to die of laughter gritar de frustracin - to shout from frustration Composition Est hecho de lana. - Its made of wool.

una camisa de seda - a silk shirt carne de res - beef

Looking at en En is another useful, all-purpose word that can be used to express in, on, by. Time en el verano - in the summer en un minuto - in a minute en la maana - in the morning Place Estamos en casa. - We are at home. Entramos en la casa. - We enter the house. Hablamos en el bus. - We talk on the bus. Caminamos en el bosque. - We walk in the forest. Method of Travel Voy en tren. - I go by train. Viajo en avin. - I travel by plane. Cruzo el ocano en barco. - I cross the ocean by boat. Mode Hablas en espaol. - You speak in Spanish. Ests en serio. - You are serious. Subject Eres bueno en las lenguas. - You are good at languages. Eres experto en los negocios. - You are expert in business.

Understanding hacia First of all, dont make the mistake of confusing haca with hacia! Hacia is one of those words that will change its meaning completely depending on whether it has an accent mark or not.

y y

hacia is a preposition that means towards or to haca is the third person singular form of the verb hacer in the imperfect.

The preposition hacia is used:


y

to express the direction of movement (in which it means towards or to)

to express the roughness of a time estimate (where it can mean around or about) Te llamo hacia las tres. - Ill call you about three. or in the following phrases: hacia abajo hacia adelante hacia arriba hacia atrs down, downwards forwards up, upwards back, backwards

Por ejemplo: 1. Tenemos que caminar hacia el parque para llegar a la casa de Juan. - We have to walk towards the park to go to Johns house. 2. Vi a mi hermana caminando rpidamente hacia m. - I saw my sister walking rapidly towards me. 3. El atleta corra hacia atrs para agarrar la pelota. - The athlete ran backwards to catch the ball.

4. Qu dices si te encuentro hacia las ocho? - What do you say if I meet you around eight oclock?

More with con Most of the time, con will mean with. As a result, youll find it quite easy to use. Por ejemplo:

But con has several other uses as well. You can also use con to express surprise at a known statement or simply to emphasize the importance of something or someone. Por ejemplo: 1. Con todo lo que trabaj, todava no poda ahorrar suficiente dinero para comprarme un auto. - With all the work I did, I still couldnt save enough money to buy myself a car. 2. Con todo lo que he hecho por ti, igual no me quieres! - With all that Ive done for you, you still dont love me! 3. Con tantas cosas que compr para el picnic, est lloviendo! - With everything I bought for the picnic, its raining! The following usages of con are a bit more specialized. Youll recognize them from their context.

Dont forget that when con is followed by either m or ti, the words merge together to form a contraction. con + m = conmigo con + ti = contigo

Por ejemplo: