Clarification on the differences among A la mañana / De la mañana / En la mañana / Por la mañana.

This is more of a memo of what I learned but I also appreciate any suggestions/feedback.

  • 'A la mañana' is about the timing (of an event)

    'A la mañana siguiente, se fueron todos las personas. (On the next morning, all the people left)

  • 'De la mañana' addresses a specific time.

    Se comienza a las 11 de la mañana. (It starts at 11 in the morning)

  • 'En la mañana' and 'Por la mañana' are more or less the same but 'en' may be more specific.

    Limpian las habitaciones por la mañana en los hoteles. (They clean rooms in hotels in the morning)


  • 1
    As a "memo" is great, but is unclear to me what are you really asking. I can't see what is giving you trouble or how to better explain the differences on the use of different prepositions beyond giving more examples.
    – Diego
    Commented Mar 4, 2015 at 13:59
  • Clarification on the differences among A la mañana / De la mañana / En la mañana / Por la mañana
    – mon
    Commented Mar 5, 2015 at 2:56
  • 3
    Not being racist the truth is that countries like mexico guatemala honduras where mostly of them are 100% indians obligated long time ago to speak spanish they speak very bad spanish. But if you look at countries like Bolivia and Peru where there is a lot of indians too you will notice that they speak a really good spanish because their independence day was for 200 years ago. If you mean maxican spanish is very ugly. Specially translated on TV.
    – Kamikaza
    Commented Mar 6, 2015 at 0:34
  • Put the clarification as an answer, you could even accept it. Don't mix the question and the answer, they have to be clear and separate.
    – JoulSauron
    Commented Mar 6, 2015 at 11:29
  • 4
    @RodrigoSantiaborg like in any country or with any language, there are people who speak the standard variant of a language exceptionally well and others who do not. It is not bound by geography, race or even socioeconomic status. There are plenty of attrocious speakers of Standard Spanish in Spain (even in Valladolid!) just as there are incredibly eloquent speakers of Standard Spanish in Honduras or Equatorial Guinea. Commented Mar 10, 2015 at 3:34

4 Answers 4


Since I disagree somewhat with the other answer, I'll provide my own. You are pretty much correct in your view of them.

en/por la mañana

This is the probably the most common one you'll hear. Despite there being a small semantical difference in meaning (por meaning more like “at some point during”), regional usage seems to dictate usage far more than anything else.

de la mañana

Use this when referring to specific times like a las seis de la mañana.

You can also use it if you actually mean of/from the morning in English: “Es una criatura de la mañana / de la noche”. In many of those cases, you can replace with matinal/nocturna or similar for other periods of the day.

You can also omit the article (de mañana) to change the meaning to something close to "during the morning" or "come morning".

a la mañana

a la mañana will be a good bit less commonly used, though it has certainly been used in expressions like A la mañana al monte, a la tarde a la fonte for centuries. In this case, it might be best to think of a la mañana as a substitute for al amanecer (and a la noche as anochecer, etc). This usage survives today and seems to be picking up force, though what from, I'm not sure. It is not exclusive to any country, in fact, uses of it can be found on both sides of the Atlantic and both sides of the equator and sometimes can also have the meaning of by/come morning.

a la mañana, of course, can also be used in a more traditional sense if it ends up an indirect object such as in the title or if talking about things as if they were physical entities in the towards sense of a, for example:

Excerpt from “Faut-il s'abétir?” (Vicente Gaos, 1919-1980)

—¿Hacia dónde vamos?
—Vamos a la noche...
—¿De dónde venimos?
—También de la noche...


En/por la mañana

Almost everyone says en/por la mañana because it means in the morning. There are other expressions such as

  • En la noche

  • En la tarde

  • Por la tarde

  • Por la noche

De la mañana

de la mañana is used for time for example

Son las siete de la mañana

It can also mean

  • during the morning

  • of the morning

A la mañana

a la mañana is not commonly used that much but I guess it could be used as

  • a morning

  • in the morning


I'm surprised nobody mentions there are four correct forms with the same meaning and used with varying frequency all around the Spanish-speaking world.

  • "Mañana de mañana"

This is the one most Uruguayans prefer, including myself.

  • "Mañana a la mañana"

You cross the big river and the usage changes. Argentineans favor "a la" over all other forms.

  • "Mañana por la mañana"

I have traveled through all Latin America and Spain and "por la" is what I have heard the most.

  • "Mañana en la mañana"

Perhaps the second most frequently used.

There's no difference in meaning --just different regional variations. I always say and write "de"; never "a la", "por la", "en la", but I understand and accept all of them.


First of all "a la mañana" does not exist if you heard it then it is wrong. " A la mañana siguiente" same thing it is wrong. Here is a good example:

Mañana ( tomorrow )

La mañana siguiente ( next morning )

De la mañana ( in the morning ) a las 11 de la mañana ( 11 AM )

Por la mañana is correct ( en la mañana is not ) means ( in the morning )

  • "A la mañana" is not wrong, it's just not used as extensively as explained in the sixth entry in this page: lema.rae.es/dpd/srv/search?id=ctMgM8Bp2D6ELPuNfg
    – aguslr
    Commented Mar 5, 2015 at 17:39
  • books.google.com/ngrams/… Commented Mar 5, 2015 at 23:27
  • Starting in the 1920s, there is a large amount of use of a la mañana. en la mañana is common in American Spanish. Commented Mar 5, 2015 at 23:29
  • A la mañana es lo mismo que en ingles decir "to the morging" lo dice alguien asi? Nadie. A es una preposición y se usa para "A la playa. A la fiesta" porque son lugares fisicos pero A la mañana no porque una mañana no es tangible no existe un lugar llamado asi. La RAE lo muestra en ejemplos pero la RAE anda mas perdida que pirata boliviano. Son tan aburridos en la RAE que en vez de mejorar el propio odioma se ponen a agregar estupideces como "Chatear. Surfear. Online" al español le sobran palabras pero ellos le agregan mas
    – Kamikaza
    Commented Mar 5, 2015 at 23:34
  • 3
    En este caso la RAE simplemente está documentando el uso común de "a la mañana" en muchas regiones de habla hispana. Entiendo que a mucha gente pueda parecerle raro, pero no por eso es menos correcto. Por cierto, se puede decir "la calor", puesto que es un sustantivo ambiguo en cuanto al género.
    – aguslr
    Commented Mar 6, 2015 at 8:13

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