Take the 2-minute tour ×
Spanish Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the Spanish language. It's 100% free, no registration required.

When are desde and de used? Desde and de both mean "from", but in what context are they used?

  1. Estoy corriendo desde la puerta al cuarto de mi nieto Paulo.

  2. De Barcelona le escribe una carta a su novia Juana.

share|improve this question

3 Answers 3

up vote 0 down vote accepted

'Desde' implies the start of an extent of time or space, and there is always an implied 'hasta' (to). So you can run from 10:00 to 10:15 ("Correr desde las 10 hasta las 10:15") or, as in your example, "hasta el cuarto de mi nieto Paulo".

On the other hand, 'De' does not imply a start but an origin. So your second example would not be correct, it would be again 'desde' since there is a space extent from Barcelona to the place where Juana is: "Le escribe una carta a su novia Juana desde Barcelona".

share|improve this answer

You can use 'desde' or 'de' when you're speaking about some point in space.

Estoy corriendo desde la puerta al cuarto de mi nieto Paulo.
Estoy corriendo de la puerta al cuarto de mi nieto Paulo.

or

De Barcelone le escribe una carta a su novia Juana.
Desde Barcelone le escribe una carta a su novia Juana.

But remember that only you an use them that way when you're speaking about some point in space.

share|improve this answer
1  
'Desde' can also be used when you're speaking about some point in time. For example: Juego a baloncesto desde el año 2010 to say I play basketball since 2013 –  mornaner Dec 12 '13 at 12:47
    
@mornaner of course, but then you can not use 'de' in there, just because 'desde' does not refer to a point in place, maybe I didn't explained too well to keep that clearly, that was refering space not time. Thank you for the comment. –  Amedio Dec 12 '13 at 12:58

A key difference between 'de' and 'desde' is:

'de' can be used as 'of' where 'desde' can't: El ultimo dia de el mes' (The Last day of the month)

But many times 'de' is used as short for 'desde' :'Vinieron De el Norte' (They came From the North)

'Desde' cannot be used instead of 'de' when denoting possession or belonging: 'La libertad de expresion' (The freedom of speech) But not 'La libertad desde expresion' 'El color de el cielo' (the color of the sky) But Not 'El color desde el cielo'

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.