The 15 Most Commonly Used Spanish Prepositions

The 15 Most Commonly Used Spanish Prepositions

Do you agree that Spanish isn't one of the hardest languages to learn?

That doesn't mean, however, that you can learn the language fluently in a day.

Like any other language, Spanish also has some tricky parts which require a lot of time learning, repeating, and practicing.

So, when you get to the point of learning and understanding Spanish prepositions, maybe you should remember this post because we will provide you with all the information about Spanish prepositions of place in the following lines.

Sure, you can always ask for help from your Spanish tutor, but it's good to know that there is one more place where you can get information about this part of the language, don't you agree?

And now, let's dive in.

The 15 Most Commonly Used Spanish Prepositions Of Place

What are prepositions?

According to Merriam Webster, prepositions are words that usually combine with nouns and form a phrase that expresses modification or predication.

In sentences, prepositions go before nouns and pronouns.

As you can see, if you want to say something more than 'it's raining' or 'my name is...' you have to know when and how to use them and even better, which ones to use in particular situations.

‘De’ And ‘Del’ 

‘De’ and ‘Del’ are the most common and frequently used Spanish pronouns.

Preposition 'De' usually means 'of' or 'from.' 

It mainly refers to someone who owns something.

  • El cabello de Sarah es castaño.- Sarah’s hair is brown (literally The hair of Sarah is brown.
  • Ella es de España.- She is from Spain.

The preposition ‘del’ is formed by combining ‘de’+’el’ which is the definite article. It is used for something that is ‘of,’ ‘from,’ or sometimes ‘about.’

These prepositions can be used alone or together with other prepositions.

The Preposition ‘A’

Even though it is a one-letter preposition, it is pretty commonly used, and, depending on the context, it can mean ‘to,’ ‘by,’ or ‘at.’

Here are some examples to show you how to use this proposition:

  • Ella fue a la tienda.- She went to the store.
  • A las ocho.- At eight o’clock.

In cases when the preposition comes before nouns that are masculine, it turns into ‘al,’ like in the following example:

  • Ella fue al banco.- She went to the bank.

A la derecha de/ A la izquierda de

The preposition ‘a la derecha de’ means ‘to the right of,’ while ‘a la izquierda de’ means ‘to the left of.’

The easy part of these prepositions is that they are used in the same cases as the English ones. The only thing you have to do is to memorize which one is which.

Examples:

  • El perro está a la derecha del gato.- The dog is to the right of the cat.
  • El gato está a la izquierda del perro.- The cat is to the left of the dog.

Antes de

This preposition in English can be translated as ‘before.’ 

Unlike other prepositions, this one has one meaning and it is completely equivalent to the English one.

Here’s an example:

  • El banco abre antes de la tienda.- The bank opens before the store.

Cerca de

Like the previous preposition, this one has a perfect English equivalent, which is ‘near to.’

Therefore you won’t have too much headache understanding when to use it.

But just in case, we will give you an example:

  • Mi auto está cerca del banco.- My car is near to the bank.

Debajo de

The preposition ‘debajo de’ in English is used as ‘under.’

To make it even more clear, take a peek at the following example:

  • El juguete está debajo de la silla.- The toy is under the chair

Delante de

If you want to say that something is ‘in front of’ someone or something in Spanish, you can simply use the preposition ‘delante de.’

Here’s an example:

  • El juguete está delante de la silla.- The toy is in front of the chair.

Dentro de

Depending on the context in English, the preposition ‘dentro de’ can mean ‘inside,’ ‘in,’ or ‘within.’ Even in English these prepositions are synonyms but in Spanish, masculine nouns for all of them there is one, ‘dentro de.’

  • El perro está dentro de la casa.- The dog is inside the house.

Detras de

You certainly know that when you use Spanish prepositions of time to express ‘after,’ you use ‘despues de.’ 

For prepositions of place, the situation is similar at some point. If you want to express that something or someone is ‘behind,’ you can use the preposition ‘detras de.’

  • Yo estoy detrás del chico alto.- I’m behind that tall guy.

The Preposition ‘En’

Like in English, the Spanish preposition in the meaning ‘in,’ also consists of two letters, ‘en.’

Moreover, from English, it differs only in one, the first letter, which is even easier to remember the preposition.

  • Hay tres personas en el auto.- There are three people in the car.

En Frente de 

Besides the preposition ‘delante de’ when you want to say ‘in front of’, you can use ‘en frente de’. These two prepositions are synonyms.

  • El juguete está en frente de la silla.- The toy is in front of the chair.

Fuera (de)

If you use only the word ‘fuera’ as a preposition of place, it means ‘outside.’ 

In case you want to use it to mean ‘outside of’ you can use ‘fuera de.’

  • Quiero viajar fuera de Europa.- I want to travel outside of Europe.

Lejos de

The word ‘lejos’ means ‘far,  far away.’ When you need to use it as the preposition of place, you can use it as ‘lejos de’ in the meaning of ‘far from.’

  • Estoy lejos de casa.- I’m far from home.

Por

The word ‘por’ can have two different meanings, depending on the type of word you need. ‘Por’ can mean ‘for’ ( por ejemplo- for example), it means ‘by’ when we walk about prepositions of place. 

  • Esperaré por la tienda.-I’ll wait by the store.

Sobre

Now, we are sure that this preposition is one of those you remember the first time you hear it because not only is it easy to pronounce and move forward to other words to master your Spanish pronunciation, but the usage is pretty clear. The English equivalent of the preposition ‘sobre’ is ‘on.’

  • Los libros están sobre la mesa.- The books are on the table.

Final Thoughts

Now that you have the 15 most commonly used Spanish prepositions of place, you can take your time and start practicing them. If you think they are too much for you and you simply can’t concentrate to understand them finally, we recommend some games to improve your Spanish skills. This way, you will get all those tricky parts of the language so easily that you won’t even notice because you’ll have fun all the time.

If you are more of a person who prefers communicating with real people and learning the language, you can practice prepositions with Spanish tutors, of course. And not only prepositions of place, but also many other things you need to get to the fluency level quickly.

The whole point is not to give up and to understand that every advanced Spanish student was there where you are now and that he managed to pass that step and move forward.

 

One day, you will laugh at yourself when you remember how you struggled with that easy thing called ‘Spanish prepositions of place.’

What are the most common prepositions of place in Spanish?

De, Del, A, A la derecha de/ A la izquierda de, Antes de, Cerca De

What are prepositions?

According to Merriam Webster, prepositions are words that usually combine with nouns and form a phrase that expresses modification or predication. In sentences, prepositions go before nouns and pronouns. As you can see, if you want to say something more than 'it's raining' or 'my name is...' you have to know when and how to use them and even better, which ones to use in particular situations.

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