What is the difference between the preposition 'a' and 'de'?

I am not sure if they both mean 'to/from'.


2 Answers 2


Both prepositions can have a lot of different uses, but basically a would be "to" and de would be "from".

Preposition de

Denota de dónde es, viene o sale alguien o algo. La piedra es de Colmenar The stone is from Colmenar . Vengo de Aranjuez I come from Aranjuez .

Preposition a

Indica la dirección que lleva o el término a que se encamina alguien o algo. Voy a Roma, a palacio I'm going to Rome, to the palace . Estos libros van dirigidos a tu padre These books are addressed to your father .

Of course this is a huge oversimplification of the many uses of both prepositions.

  • Recuerdo que en el colegio siempre me decían (mas o menos) "si usas la palabra definida en la definición, es una mala definición". Aunque definir una preposición debe ser prácticamente imposible siguiendo esa norma.
    – Brian H.
    Commented Dec 11, 2017 at 15:46

They mean "to/from", but the correct way to write "to/from" in English is "para" and "de", but in reverse order.

First you will say who is the sender "de" and then you will say who is the receiver "para".


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