I'm working with a Mexican contractor to remodel my house, so it is quite common that I need to describe the sides of objects. I would like to speak with informal street-style Mexican with him because he once told me that I talk like a textbook.


  1. The left side. Is it enough to say la izquierda or must I say el lado izquierdo? If I say it without lado, should it be masculine or feminine?
  2. The right side. Ditto.
  3. The front. Is it el frente?
  4. The back. I've been using el fondo for a long time, but recently discovered that fondo can mean both back and bottom. Should I use a less ambiguous word? I know that debajo is the adjective meaning below. Is it permissible to convert it to a noun be saying el debajo?
  5. The top. Google Translate says la parte superior. When translated verbatim back to English, it sounds like "the superior part", which only a scientific article would say. Is that considered too formal?
  6. The bottom. Google Translate says la parte inferior, which I feel is just as awkward as superior.
  • I don't think "la parte superior" and "inferior" sound awkward in Spanish. In English yes, but in Spanish they are quite common ways to express what you want. In fact if I'd have written an answer, I'd have said exactly that. Disclaimer is that I know more about Spain Spanish than Mexican, so it could be slightly different in Mexico.
    – neizan
    Aug 6, 2013 at 7:32

1 Answer 1

The left side  <- a la izquierda o del lado izquierdo
The right side <- a la derecha o del lado derecho
The front      <- enfrente/ al frente
The back       <- atrás, el fondo(pensando en algo que se abre u observa al frente el fondo es la parte de atrás como un microondas.
The top        <- arriba
The bottom     <- abajo, el fondo (pensando en algo que se abre o se observa de arriba como un barril)


Para el cubo quiero que el lado derecho e izquierdo sean verdes, al frente morado, atras negro, arriba rosa y abajo/el fondo no tiene caso pintarlo porque no se verá.

  • 2
    Sorry if I was not clear, but I wanted the nouns. Instead of "below the bar", I want to say "the bottom of the box/etc.."
    – JoJo
    Jul 24, 2013 at 17:00
  • 1
    "the front" is "al frente" or "adelante". "enfrente" comes from "enfrentar" (to oppose, or on the opposite side) Jul 24, 2013 at 17:30
  • I have edited my answer ;)
    – Newbie
    Jul 24, 2013 at 17:33

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