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 al

 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 antesde 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 decerca.

                   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 cercade las seis.

                   There are around 20 persons.            Hay cercade 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 caminacon dificultad.

                   With whom are you talking?              Con quién habla?

                   I will talk with Louis.                         Yo hablarécon Luis.

                   He is friendly with everyone.             Es amablecon todos.

                   With that, she left.                             Con eso, salió.

                   -- also used as follows --

                   con que = as long as

                             As long as she invites me.        Conque me invite.

          contra = against (in all senses)

                   It is five against one.                          Son cincocontra 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.           Porcontra, 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 librode 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 debajode la mesa.

                             The third story is below ours. El tercer piso está debajo del nuestro

          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.        Dentrode 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 despuésde 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 estádetrás.

                             I like to sit in the back.             A mi, me gusta sentarme detrás.

                             The street is behind the park.   La calle está detrásdel parque.

                             In back of the house is a patio.          Detrásde 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.

                             She works in trasportation.      Ella trabaja en transportación.

          encimade = on top, on top of, upon

                             The cup is on top of the table. La copa está encimade la mesa.

                             Leave it on top.                        Déjaloencima.

                             -- 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 enfrentede 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 fuerade la ley.

                             He is out of town.                              Estáfuera.

                             It is made out of the country.             Es hecho fueradel 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.                 Vamoshacia 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 lejosde 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 dejarlopara mañana.

                   She bought the camera for him.                            Ella compró la cámerapara 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.                                 Llamópor 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.

                   -- also used as follows --

                   por ahora = for now

                   por aquí = around here

                    por casualidad = by chance, incidentally

                   por chance = by chance

                   por completo = completely

                   por consiguiente = consequently

                   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 fortuna = by luck, luckily

                   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


This book is available from under item number 3352644. Books purchased from Lulu are accompanied by a complete list of irregular verbs and all of their forms.

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