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What's the meaning of this?

Llego sobre las 3

It means before, around, after, after but not by much?

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    Is it exactly llego or llegó?
    – fedorqui
    Dec 27, 2019 at 14:30
  • Also: where did you hear it? What country was the speaker from? Some context would help
    – fedorqui
    Dec 27, 2019 at 17:07

2 Answers 2

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The expression:

  • llegar sobre la hora

or

  • llegar sobre X hora (las 2, las 3, las 4)

means "arriving just in time", with absolutely no time or very little time left. The implication is that the arrival was close to being a late arrival, and the person (or a delivery, or a form of transportation) narrowly avoided it.

This use seems to be common in several Latin American countries:

  • Mexico: El impresionante gol de Funes Mori sobre la hora en la final entre Monterrey y América de México (Source)

  • Argentina: Liverpool ganó sobre la hora (Source)

  • Uruguay: [...] sobre la hora optó por vestir la camiseta del “Rayadito” (Source)

  • Chile: Leeds de Marcelo Bielsa igualó sobre la hora ante Preston y sigue sublíder de la Championship (Source)

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    I don't fully agree. If someone tells me Llego sobre las 3, I assume they will be arriving around 3, on a range of 10? 20? mins. Otherwise, in Spain, people would say llegaré a las 3 clavadas or similar. But it may be different depending on the country
    – fedorqui
    Dec 27, 2019 at 14:31
  • @fedorqui In my country, "sobre" is used to express what I explained in my reply. For example, it is very usual to hear things like El equipo metió un gol sobre el final.
    – Gustavson
    Dec 27, 2019 at 16:47
  • Ah right, then I may post an answer with the Spanish from Soain approach
    – fedorqui
    Dec 27, 2019 at 17:07
  • @Gustavson. From your profile I see "your country" is Argentina. That is highly relevant information. I agree with fedorqui about the usage in Spain. There are of course different uses throughout the world, but knowing how you speak in "your country" is not of much use if you don't say which country that is. Dec 27, 2019 at 22:55
  • @LevelRiverSt It seems to be the case not only in "my country".
    – Gustavson
    Dec 27, 2019 at 23:54
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In Spain, someone saying Llego sobre las 3 sounds as a message being sent when somebody is notifying another about the approximate time they will be arriving.

If I heard this, I would assume that they will arrive somewhere between 2.45 and 3.15, that is, at 3 with some delay or advance.

Other options can be:

  • Llego a eso de las 3
  • Llegaré hacia las 3

If that person would want to specify they will be exactly on time, they would say either of these:

  • Llego a las 3 clavadas
  • Llego a las 3 en punto
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    So "llego sobre las 3" in Spain could be translated to English as "I'm going to arrive around 3". Dec 31, 2019 at 16:08
  • @Alan exactly!!
    – fedorqui
    Dec 31, 2019 at 16:22

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