Chapter 23   --   Prepositions

The name, prepositions, is longer than any of the actual words, but they are so frequently used, that they will be recognized immediately.

a  =  at, into, onto, to, toward(s)-->used with verbs of motion, teaching, or learning;
required when an action is directed to a person; used with all expressions of 
time; contracted with el to form a
 Some examples of its use follow.
at (location)  > At the end of the street.  Al final de la calle.
at (time) > I’ll be there at six o’clock. Estaré allá a las seis.
direction to   > I am going to work. Yo voy a trabajar.
into > I fell into the sea. Me caí al mar.
onto > They stepped onto the platform. Bajaron al andén.
to > I gave the book to Joseph. Yo dí el libro a José.
toward(s) > We looked towards the north.  Miramos al norte.
-- also used as follows --
to indicate mode: a la americana  (american style)
to indicate a condition: hecho a mano (hand made); mano a mano (hand to hand)
as part of a command: ¡a callar! (Be quiet!)
to mean upon: Al entrar la casa (Upon entering the house)
acerca de = about
We spoke about this already. Ya hablamos acerca de eso.
además de = besides (in the sense of also)
Besides, I’m tired now. Además, estoy cansado ahora.
There are golf courses, also. Hay campos de golf, además.
We need a car, as well. Necesitamos un carro, además.
alrededor de = around, about (in the sense of near)
There are plants around the house.  Hay plantas alrededor de la casa
antes de = before (in all senses)
Call the day before coming Llame el día antes de venir.
He arrived the day before. Llegó el día antes.
I arrived before he did. Yo llegué antes de él llegó.
We spoke the day before. Hablamos el día antes.
It occurred in 23 BC. Ocurió en 23 antes de Cristo.
I never had problems before. Nunca tenía problemas antes.
He appeared before the judge. Apareció antes del juez.
I was able to leave earlier. Podía salir antes.
-- also used as follows --
antes de nada = before anything (in the sense of first of all)
antes que = rather
lo antes posible = as soon as possible
cerca = near, nearby, close, close by
There was no hotel close by. No había un hotel cerca.
Are you near the station? Está cerca la estación?
-- also used as follows --
de cerca = close up, closely, in person, personally
I can’t see things close up. No veo bién cosas de cerca.
The car was followed closely. El coche fue seguido de cerca.
I met him in person. Le encontré de cerca a él.
The crisis affected me personally.  La crisis me afectó de cerca.
cerca de = about, around, nearly
It is about six o’clock. Son cerca de las seis.
There are around 20 persons. Hay cerca de 20 personas.
There are nearly two tons. Hay cerca de dos toneladas.
con = with (in all senses)
I live with my parents. Vivo con mis padres.
She takes tea with lemon.  Ella toma té con limón.
It is like bread with butter. Es como pan con matequilla.
She walks with difficulty. Ella camina con dificultad.
With whom are you talking? Con quién habla?
I will talk with Louis. Yo hablaré con Luis.
He is friendly with everyone. Es amable con todos.
With that, she left.   Con eso, salió.
-- also used as follows --
con que = as long as
As long as she invites me. Con que me invite.
contra = against (in all senses)
It is five against one. Son cinco contra uno.
The Giants play against the Reds. Los Gigantes juegan contra los Rojos.
Who is against the idea? ¿Quién está contra la idea?
I leaned my bicycle against the wall. Apoyé mi bicicleta contra la pared.
-- also used as follows --
en contra de = contrary to
It is contrary to what we thought.   Es en contra de lo que pensábamos.
por contra = on the other hand
On the other hand, we can go. Por contra, podemos irnos.
de = of, from (in all senses)
The capital of Spain is Madrid. La capital de españa es Madrid.
The table is made of wood. La mesa es de madera.
It is a gold ring. Es un anillo de oro.
It is Joseph’s book. Es el libro de José.
Mary is from the United States.  María es de los estados unidos.
He is a fifteen year old boy. Es un muchacho de 15 años.
-- also used as follows --
de ... a = from ... to
I lived in Chile from 1980 to 1981. Viví en chile de 1980 a 1981.
de ... en = by (in the sense of manner, how)
They walked two by two. Caminaron de dos en dos.
de = by, than
She has a child by her first husband. Tiene un niño de su primer marido.
It is less than seven. Es menos de siete.
debajo de = underneath, beneath, under
Put it underneath the table. Ponga lo debajo de la mesa.
The third story is below ours. El tercer piso está debajo del nuestro
debido a = due to
delante de = in front, in front of
dentro de = inside, within
Mary is inside the house.   María está dentro de la casa.
Inside the house is a pool. Dentro de la casa está una piscina.
desde = since, from
It is 380km from here to there. Hay 380km desde aquí hasta allá.
From the 15th century to today. Desde el siglo 15 hasta hoy.
From now on Desde hoy en adelante.
We are open from 9 to 6.   Estamos abierto desde las 9 hasta las 6.
-- also used as follows --
desde abajo = from below
desde arriba = from above
desde hacia = since when, how long
desde lejos = from afar
desde luego = of course
desde que = ever since
después de = after, afterward, afterwards
We will do it after. Lo haremos después.
We arrived after they did. Nosotros llegamos después de ellos.
Your name comes after mine. Su nombre llega después del mío.
detrás de = behind, in back, in back of
The garden is in back. El jardín está detrás.
I like to sit in the back. A mi, me gusta sentarme detrás.
The street is behind the park. La calle está detrás del parque.
In back of the house is a patio. Detrás de la casa está un patio.
durante = during
We visited Spain during March. Visitamos españa durante marzo.
It snowed during the week. Nevaba durante la semana.
en = in, into, on (in all senses)
The book is on the table. El libro está en la mesa.
The gift is in the box. El regalo está en la caja.
The office is on the fifth floor. La oficina está en el quinto piso.
Put the bread into the bag. Ponga el pan en la bolsa.
He speaks in Spanish. Él habla en español.
We go to Florida in January. Nosotros vamos a florida en enero.
encima de = on top, on top of, upon
The cup is on top of the table. La copa está encima de la mesa.
Leave it on top. Déjalo encima.
-- also used as follows --
por encima = over, overhead
The clouds passed overhead. Los nubes pasaron por encima.
y encima = on top of that (in the sense of also)
On top of that, she left at six. Y encima de eso, salió a las seis.
enfrente de = opposite, opposite to, in front, in front of
Louis sat opposite to me. Luis se sentaba enfrente de mi.
The tire was in front of the car. La llanta estaba enfrente del auto.
entre = between, among
The river flows between two states. El rio fluye entre dos estados.
Between us, we have only $50. Entre nosotros, tenemos sólo $50.
He will arrive between 1 to 2. Llegará entre la una y las dos.
Among them, it is a custom. Entre ellos, es una costumbre.
frente = in front of
He was in front of the camera. Él estaba frente de la cámera.
She is in front of me. Ella está frente a mi.
fuera de = outside, outside of, out, out of
The boys played outside.   Los muchachos jugaron fuera.
Yesterday, we went out for dinner. Anoche, fuimos a cenar fuera.
We need someone from the outside. Necesitamos alquién de fuera.
It is outside of the law. Es fuera de la ley.
He is out of town. Está fuera.
It is made out of the country. Es hecho fuera del país.
-- also used as follows --
¡fuera! = get out!
de or desde fuera = from outside
estar fuera = to be out (of bounds, town, the office, and so on)
fuera de eso = apart from that
ir fuera = to go abroad
hacia = toward, towards, about
Let’s go toward the ocean. Vamos hacia el mar.
It is about two o’clock. Hacia las dos.
-- also used as follows --
hacia abajo = downwards
hacia adelante = forwards
hacia arriba = upwards
hacia atrás = backwards
hasta = until, up to, till
There is a week until Fall. Hay una semana hasta el otoño.
You may spend up to $100. Puedes gasta hasta $100.
The ranch extends up to the river. El rancho extiende hasta el rio.
-- also used as follows --
hasta ahora = until, up to now
hasta cuándo = until, up to when
hasta el momento = up to the moment
hasta entonces = until, up to then
hasta la vista = so long, goodbye
hasta luego = I’ll see you later.
hasta nunca = I hope I never see ~ again.
hasta pronto = I’ll see you soon.
hasta siempre = goodbye (regarded as formal speech)
lejos de = far, far from, far away
Is it far from here? ¿Está lejos de aquí?
Yes, it is very far. Sí, está muy lejos.
You go too far. Vas demasiado lejos.
June is not far off. El junio no está lejos.
-- also used as follows --
a lo lejos = in the distance
de, desde lejos = from afar, from a distance
lejos más = even farther away
para = for (in the sense of destination or intention), in order to
I bought the book for Helen. Compré el libro para Elena.
Yesterday, he left for Spain. Ayer, él salió para España.
Let’s leave it for tomorrow. Vamos a dejarlo para mañana.
She bought the camera for him. Ella compró la cámera para él.
In order to speak well, one must study. Para hablar bién, se debe estudiar.
I practice in order to play well. Yo practico para jugar bién.
por = for (in the sense of means or method), by, per, through, along, during, to
The tickets are two for $1. Los billetes son dos por $1.
He called for a doctor. Llamó por un doctor.
She went to Spain for two months. Ella fue a España por dos meses.
We played tennis for one hour. Jugamos tenis por una ora.
He is paid two times a month. Se le paga dos veces por mes.
We entered through the door. Entramos por la puerta.
Let’s go by her house. Vamos a pasar por su casa.
It takes less time to go by airplane. Toma menos tiempo ir por avión.
Twenty divided by 5 is 4.  Veinte dividido por cinco es cuatro.
I go bowling in the afternoon. Yo juego bolín por la tarde.
The eggs cost $4 per dozen. Los juevos cuestan $4 por docena.
-- some other uses follow --
por ahora = for now
por aquí = around here
por casualidad = by chance, incidentally
por chance = by chance
por completo = completely
por dentro = within
por desgracia = unfortunately
por dónde = Which way? Where?
por escrito = written, in writing
por eso = therefore, so
por fin = at last
por fuera = outside
por las nubes = sky high, extreme
por lo general = in general
por lo menos = at least
por lo visto = apparently
por ningún lado = no where, no place
por ningún motivo = under no circumstances, for no reason
por otra parte = on the other hand
por primera vez = for the first time
por poco = almost
por regla general = as a general rule, usually
por si acaso = just in case
por suerte = by luck
por supuesto = of course
por última vez = finally, for the last time
según = according to, in accord with, depending on
According to the law, we must pay Según la ley, debemos pagar.
In accord with the rules, we win. Según las reglas, ganamos.
Depending on the weather, we’ll go. Según el tiempo, iremos.
sin = without
The price is without the monitor. El precio es sin el monitor.
We fished for 2 hours without luck. Pescamos por dos horas sin suerte.
They left without saying anything. Salieron sin decir nada.
It is alcohol free wine. Es vino sin alcohol.
sobre = over, above
The plane is flying over Madrid. El avión vuele sobre Madrid.
It is a mile above the earth. Está una milla sobre la tierra.
They want to win above all. Ellos quieren vencer sobre todo.
-- also used as follows --
estar sobre = to be above someone in rank or position
tener que estar sobre = to keep watch over someone
tras = after
We returned to work after a few days. Volvimos a trabajar tras unos días.
After winning the game, they celebrated. Tras ganar el juego, celebraron
-- also used as follows --
día tras día = day after day
ir tras alquién = to chase (go) after someone
uno tras otro = one after another


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