In Spanish there are some adverbs followed by de:

Delante de, atrás de, en frente de, etc...

When these adverbs are followed in a sentence by a declined pronoun, they are often "contracted" forming a possessive:

Vuelen arriba de mí  →  Vuelen arriba mío.
    (Flight upside of me.)

Camina al lado de mí.  →  Camina al lado mío.
    (Walk by my side.)

Llévalo siempre delante de ti.  →  Llévalo siempre delante tuyo.
    (Always carry it in front of you.)

Búscalo atrás de ella.  →  Búscalo atrás suyo.
    (Look for it behind her.)

I have read that the use of adverbs should not be followed by possessives, but the first sentences of each example sounds strange to me.

Are there any workarounds to avoid the use of "adverb + de + pronoun" ?


You shouldn't use that "contracted" form since it is a mistake.

From the RAE:

En la lengua culta debe evitarse el uso de adverbios como cerca, detrás, delante, debajo, dentro, encima, enfrente con adjetivos posesivos; así pues, no debe decirse ×detrás mío, ×encima suya, etc., sino detrás de mí, encima de él, etc.

In cultivated language the use of adverbs like cerca, detrás, delante, debajo, dentro, encima, enfrente with possessive adjectives should be avoided; thus we should not say ×detrás mío, ×encima suya, etc., but detrás de mí, encima de él, etc.

As for your examples, removing the preposition de can be done by using other particles. And in these three cases, the substitutions are more appropriate than the original form although both are grammatically correct:

Vuelen arriba de míVuelen sobre mí

Camina al lado de míCamina a mi lado

Búscalo atrás de ellaBúscalo tras ella

As for delante de ti, it's perfectly correct and doesn't need to lose the preposition «de».

  • 2
    In the case of "lado", the possessive is perfectly correct, since lado is a noun, not an adverb. It is explained in the link you provide. So you can say "al lado mío", because you can say "a mi lado", but you cannot say "debajo mío", because you cannot say "en mi debajo".
    – MikMik
    Dec 28 '11 at 9:07
  • @MikMik That's right.
    – pferor
    Dec 28 '11 at 13:26
  • However, the (sligthly) incorrect form is quite used and accepted.
    – leonbloy
    Feb 13 '12 at 20:35

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