I've seen the phrase «a caballo de» being translated as «to be ahead of the game». I'm reading a book, and the sentence doesn't seem to relate to this meaning.

The sentence is the following:

La nada es un "ens per accidens" del ente finito, se encuentra como a caballo de él

What is the meaning in this context?

The book is «Metafisica» by EUNSA publisher, and the author are Tomas Alvira, Luis Clavell and Tomas Melendo.

  • What country is that, I didnt know that phrase, I'm from Cuba Commented Dec 15, 2014 at 18:17
  • 1
    I hope this is helpful for people trying to answer this question: "Ens per accidens" means "an entity by accident" (a thing whose unity is purely contingent). I had to look it up, and I wanted to share the meaning for others who don't know the expression, in case it helps people to understand this question better and give more meaningful answers.
    – Diego
    Commented Dec 15, 2014 at 18:48
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    @EmilioGort: It's a book... might be hard to identify a specific country. But with the title of the book and it's author, we might be close?
    – Flimzy
    Commented Dec 15, 2014 at 19:27

2 Answers 2


I have always heard that expression as

A caballo entre A y B

With the almost obvious meaning of being between A and B.

The expression

Ahead of the game

Would be better translated with other idioms like:

  • Ir en cabeza (or Ir por delante de)
  • Sacar un cuerpo (o varios) de ventaja
  • Llevar la delantera
  • etc.

than "A caballo de". That doesn't convey in Spanish "to be ahead of" by any means.

Since your reference is not using "A caballo entre A and B" but "A caballo de" my guess is that is trying to convey a really literal meaning of being "on top of" something. the reference has such a metaphysical meaning that is actually difficult for me figure out if it makes sense for the Nothing "to be on top of" the Finite Being.

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    Note: in Spanish the expression "Llevar a alguien a caballito" means that you are carrying someone on your back (they ride you piggyback).
    – Diego
    Commented Dec 15, 2014 at 18:39
  • I finished reading the chapter, and the meaning is more or less what you wanted to say by 'on top of', I think. Without going into too much details, it meant a dependence of the being of Nothing with the finite being. Nothing is a being, even if only 'per accidens', due precisely to the existence of finite beings, otherwise Nothing would not be anything... Commented Dec 20, 2014 at 22:52
  • @Anoldmaninthesea., I take my metaphorical hat off to you. I can only imagine reading such complex texts in a foreign language... Bravo.
    – Diego
    Commented Dec 20, 2014 at 23:07
  • It may help if your native language is a latin one. =) Commented Dec 20, 2014 at 23:17
  • I have seen it with a meaning close to "on top of". More like an implication that one thing depends on the other in some way, but not the opposite. In this case it would mean that the Nothing depends and only "moves" (metaphorically, maybe meaning it "happens") by the Infinite Being existence.
    – fede s.
    Commented Aug 3, 2015 at 20:28

"La nada es un "ens per accidens" del ente finito, se encuentra como a caballo de él"

Dicho de otra forma "la nada está a caballo del infinito", está cabalgando el infinito It's riding the infinite.


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