Questions tagged [preposiciones]

Palabras que introducen términos con los que forman grupo sintáctico. // Function words such as "a", "de", "en", "por", "para", "sin", or "sobre".

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24
votes
6answers
4k views

Difference between “por” and “para”

Even after taking 4 years of college Spanish and living abroad, I still don't have a very firm control of when to use por or para. What are the basic rules on when to use either.
23
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6answers
2k views

“Vaso de agua” or “vaso con agua”? Which is correct?

English What's the correct way to express that something "serves as a container for something else"? Example: ¿Quieres un vaso de/con agua? Should we use de or con? Are both correct? Why? If we ...
23
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the history of the “personal a”?

What is the historical origin of the "personal a" in Spanish? Examples of the personal a: George sees Mary. -> Jorge ve a María. I see the waitress. -> Veo a la mesera. But with the exact same ...
19
votes
3answers
3k views

What's the difference between “debe de” y “debe”?

Is there any difference? What's their usage? When should one be used instead of the other one? Examples: El niño debe de hacer su tarea. El niño debe hacer su tarea.
16
votes
2answers
4k views

Why do we use “conmigo” but not “sinmigo”?

In Spanish we typically use "conmigo" for "with me" but "sin mí" for "without me". What are the origins of the word "conmigo"? How did it come to be preferred over "con mí"? Why do we continue to ...
13
votes
1answer
5k views

Why is the cycle race called La Vuelta “a” España, not “de”?

The title says it all really. Before we started using the vernacular names we always called it the tour of Spain. What is this? a. not really understood by Spanish speakers as a tour belonging to ...
13
votes
5answers
54k views

Are there any differences between “de nada” and “por nada”?

Most of the time in all the Spanish speaking countries I've been in I've heard de nada as the reply to gracias or the equivalent of English you're welcome etc. But after a while I became conscious ...
12
votes
1answer
323 views

Mayúsculas en apellidos con preposiciones

Siempre he tenido una confusion con los apellidos con preposiciones, tales como: "de los Santos, de la Rosa, del Carmen". Mi pregunta es si estos se deben escribir como se indica arriba o si las ...
12
votes
6answers
938 views

Why do oler and saber take the preposition “a”?

As an English speaker learning Spanish, I was always a little confused that it smells and tastes "to" something rather than "of" something: Huele a humo. Sabe a ajo. I would think of "a" as implying ...
12
votes
3answers
15k views

Choosing between 'sobre' and 'acerca de'

Is there a significant difference between "sobre" and "acerca de", when the intent is to describe the topic of something? Where is "acerca de" a better choice than "sobre", and vice-versa?
11
votes
2answers
258 views

Unclear why to use “A vuestros hijos” instead of “vuestros hijos”

I have the following sentence in English Do your children like to read? Which translates to Spanish: ¿ A vuestros hijos les gusta leer? To me it is unclear, why I have to use "A vuestros" in ...
10
votes
2answers
7k views

What is the difference between “abajo,” “debajo,” and “bajo?”

I see some conflicting information out there on the web regarding this topic, especially with regard to which of these can and cannot pair with "de." I wrote a post on it, but when I ...
10
votes
1answer
10k views

When to add prepositions before an infinitive verb (por/para/a/de)?

With the infinitive form of a verb in English, (e.g. to speak), the word 'to' seems to convey a specific meaning where, in Spanish, an additional preposition is used in some cases. Examples: I can ...
9
votes
3answers
4k views

How to say instead (when at the end of a sentence)

I know how to say, Do Y instead of X using 'en vez de' or en 'lugar de' But how should I say something like Learn Spanish instead. Can I end a sentence with 'instead' or must I always specify ...
9
votes
3answers
421 views

Two nouns in a row, or, is it OK to omit “de”?

Two or more nouns are sometimes used consecutively, with the second modifying the first. For instance, I recently received a mail whose subject was "Honorarios migración." This is, I suppose, ...
9
votes
3answers
15k views

Cerca vs. acerca vs. cercano

What is the exact difference between these words? If I were to translate, for instance, “I am near the bank”, which one of the following would be the best way to go and why: Estoy cerca del banco. ...
8
votes
4answers
883 views

Por y Para for Recipients

I've heard por and para both being used to indicate recipients: Mi amor es por ti Este regalo es para ti In what situations regarding recipients are por and para usually used?
8
votes
1answer
6k views

¿Es correcto usar dos preposiciones iguales seguidas?

Tengo una duda con respecto al uso de preposiciones en la que mi cerebro lingüístico me dice una cosa, y mi cerebro lógico me dice otra. Os lo explico con un ejemplo. El verbo depender viene siempre ...
8
votes
2answers
116 views

Why “a favor” and “en contra” use such particular different prepositions?

The other day I was talking to someone who is learning Spanish, and she said, amid an expression, "en favor o a contra", instead of "a favor o en contra". After correcting her, she asked me why the ...
7
votes
4answers
18k views

¿Qué significa la frase “de por sí”? / What does “de por sí” mean?

Leyendo el libro "El Fuego y La Palabra: Una Historia del Movimiento Zapatista" uno de los artículos contiene este texto: El compañero insurgente llegó con un folleto que tenía una explicación ...
7
votes
3answers
189 views

'Se me van encoger' o 'se me van a encoger'

Me gustaría saber si alguien sabe cuál es la forma correcta de expresar algo que se encogerá: 'Se me van encoger' o 'Se me van a encoger'
7
votes
1answer
136 views

Using the “a” preposition with “echar de menos” and a personal object

I'm a bit fuzzy on how the "personal a" works in Spanish, for example in this passage from Harry Potter y la Cámara Secreta: Nunca se había sentido tan solo. Antes que ninguna otra cosa de Hogwarts,...
7
votes
1answer
109 views

¿Es correcto decir “condenado a de tres a diez años de cárcel”?

Leí ayer una noticia que se titulaba: Bill Cosby, condenado de tres a diez años de cárcel por agresión sexual El País, 25 de septiembre de 2018 Pasado el rato se cambió por el actual: Bill Cosby, ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Usage of the compound preposition “para con”

Wikipedia mentions that para con is rarely used, but I hear it often enough to warrant this question. On the other hand, the Wikipedia article references the Diccionario panhispánico de dudas with ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

¿Debo usar la 'a personal' con un personaje antropomorfo?

Se usa la a personal cuando el objeto es una persona. E.g.: Veo a mi hermana. (No se dice "Veo mi hermana.") ¿Se usa la a personal con personajes antropomorfos que no son humanos? E.g.: ¿Cuáles ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

Spanish phrasal verbs

Español La característica más difícil del idioma inglés (al menos en mi caso particular) son los "Phrasal verbs". Hoy me encontré una oración en un periódico que me hizo pensar sobre la existencia ...
6
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3answers
3k views

¿Cuál es la mejor manera de traducir “I'm voting to close as off-topic…”?

En Stack Overflow en español estamos traduciendo la interfaz para que los textos originales de Stack Overflow en inglés aparezcan en castellano. Hace unos días, yo propuse que la traducción de: I'm ...
6
votes
2answers
378 views

Why is “a” used in “El olor 'a' las enchiladas circula” instead of “de”?

I recently came across a question in one of my self-study workbooks asking me to translate this sentence: The smell of enchiladas circulates through the house. I put: El olor de las enchiladas ...
6
votes
2answers
764 views

«Cuidar que …» vs «Cuidar de que …»

The dictionary entry for cuidar shows uses of it both with and without de: cuidar tr. Poner diligencia, atención y solicitud en la ejecución de algo. tr. Asistir, guardar, conservar. Cuidar a un ...
6
votes
2answers
618 views

The translation of 'at' in Spanish

The Spanish translation of He appears at night. are given below. Is it correct both to say Él aparece en la noche. and/or Él aparece a la noche. en and a, what is the difference between ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

Why “de” is used instead of “con” when saying that 'you're in love with someone'?

Why in the below sentence does it use "de la" instead of "con la"? Is there rule when to do so? Me han dicho que estás enamorado de la nueva secretaria. That is: They told me that you're in ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

What's the difference between “estar ansioso de” and “estar ansioso por”?

I know that both 'estar ansioso de' and 'estar ansioso por' mean to be excited for something or looking forward to it, but how do I decide which one to use? Do the two have slightly different meanings?...
6
votes
1answer
140 views

¿Por qué, en contexto religioso, se sustituye le preposición “con” por “en”?

Encuentro muchas frases como "regocijaos en el Señor" o "unidos en el Señor" pero los mismos verbos se usarían con la preposición "con" en otros contextos. Algunos ejemplos: "regocijaos con tus hijos" ...
6
votes
2answers
6k views

¿Es correcto usar dos “comos” y decir “tanto como X como como Y”?

Supongamos que queremos utilizar la expresión Tanto X como Y, por ejemplo: Me gustan tanto el chocolate como los garbanzos Es decir, que me refiero a ambas cosas por igual. Vale, esto me suena ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the difference between using “por” for causation/reason and “para” for purpose?

I understand a lot of the uses of por and para. But there is a certain context that I am having trouble on. I get the feeling that causation/reason is for things that are going to happen and have ...
6
votes
4answers
33k views

A la mañana / De la mañana / En la mañana / Por la mañana

Objective 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. '...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

Más de lo normal / Más que lo normal

¿Debería usar "que" o "de" en los siguientes contextos? Estos días estoy más cansado de/que lo normal. Últimamente, he trabajado más de/que lo normal. Pienso que debería ser "que" porque es ...
6
votes
2answers
139 views

Necesitar / Necesitar de?

When to use "necesitar" as a transitive verb. And when to use "necesitar de"? I can find "requerir" and "requerir de" listed in the dictionary, telling us that "requerir de" is more formal, but no "...
6
votes
3answers
255 views

What are the more complex meanings of “de”?

So, I already know basic forms of this word (of, from, etc.), but I keep seeing it used in places that I don't understand. For example, I sometimes see "antes de que", or just "de que". Why does "de" ...
5
votes
5answers
349 views

Should I eat my apple? Usage of the preposition “en”

English: I have seen the Spanish preposition "en" used in various ways in my studies. For example: Ella pone la ropa en la cama. She puts the clothes on the bed or Tengo gozo en mi ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the use of 'de' preposition in 'Yo voy *de* compras todos los sábados'

Can someone please explain the grammar use of 'de' in the sentence below? I understood 'de' to mean 'of the'. Yo voy de compras todos los sábados. I go shopping every Saturday Would it not also ...
5
votes
2answers
184 views

Why is “a” needed in “Jugaba al tenis todos los días”?

In the sentence, "Jugaba al tenis todos los días cuando era más joven" why is it "al" over "el"? "Why is "a" needed?
5
votes
3answers
1k views

El pronombre de objeto indirecto en la oración “yo busco un trabajo para mí” ¿es obligatorio u opcional?

La oración Yo busco un trabajo para mí ¿ha de seguir las mismas reglas que Yo me busco un trabajo a mí o se puede usar sin pronombre átono? Y si la respuesta es sí ¿qué diferencia hay al ...
5
votes
2answers
65 views

Why is 'de' used in 'Estoy totalmente *de* acuerdo'?

As I understand it, the preposition de is used as either 'from', 'made from' (material), 'of' (possessive), or for time frames. So why is 'de' used in this sentence? Estoy totalmente de acuerdo.
5
votes
2answers
1k views

“cerca de” vs. “cerca a”

On the Duolingo app for learning Spanish, there is a test question that prompts the user to translate The train station is close to the university. to Spanish. I entered... La estación de tren ...
5
votes
2answers
159 views

Should I include “a” after “conocemos”?

Which would be correct? Nosotros conocemos a los padres de nuestros amigos. Nosotros conocemos los padres de nuestros amigos.
5
votes
2answers
8k views

Difference between 'trabajar para' and 'trabajar por'

I know the difference between por and para, but I'm confused by these particular usages. I've seen both of them in various places. 'Trabajar para' seems to mean to work for, whereas 'trabajar por' ...
5
votes
4answers
3k views

Interpretaciones de “delante de” y “detrás de” según los objetos en la escena

Esto de tener hijos hace que tengas que volver a aprender multitud de conceptos. El ejemplo más reciente es el siguiente: Imaginemos que estamos en una posición determinada de la calle. Vemos un ...
5
votes
7answers
8k views

«Por la mañana» frente a «en la mañana»

Mientras voy calificando algunos escritos de mis alumnos, he notado que a pesar de lo que les digo en clase, escriben cosas como «Me ducho en la mañana» o «salgo en la noche», frases en las cuales ...
5
votes
3answers
133 views

Why do we need a “a” in “Oíste a los pajaros”?

I am just learning Spanish from Duolingo. Would this be incorrect? Oíste los pajaros Can it be used in informal spoken conversations?