Spanish Prepositions (preposiciones) are words that are placed before (pre-posed) another word to express the relationship between the words that they articulate.
In Spanish they are used to link a noun, a noun phrase or a pronoun with the rest of the sentence to indicate location, direction, time, etc.
In both languages, English and Spanish, prepositions are followed by an object, which is frequently a noun. One big difference in terms of prepositions between these two languages is the position. In Spanish you will always find an object following a preposition while in English, sometimes a preposition can appear at the end of a sentence. That is not possible in Spanish.
Prepositions are one of this these things that you cannot learn by heart. Every language use the prepositions in very different contexts and situations, meaning that you shouldn’t translate one preposition in Spanish to English because this could change depending on the verb that goes with.
They can be one of the most challenging aspects when learning Spanish.
Now we are going to study the most common prepositions in Spanish giving examples to illustrate the way they go in a sentence.
a= to, at, by means of
– To express the idea of direction towards something, someone or somewhere.
EJ: Entrada a centro de ciudad (Access to city centre)
– To refer to specific people, places or animals as direct objects.
Ej: Llama a tu amigo (Call your friend)
Vamos a mis casa (Let’s go to my house)
¿Has visto a los perros? (Did you see the dogs?)
– To express the idea of motion:
Ej: Vamos al (a + el) cine (Let’s go to the movies)
Fue a España el años pasado (He/she went to Spain last year)
– To express manner:
Ej: Vamos a pie (Let’s go by geet)
– To express time (“at”):
Ej: Me acuesto a las 11 (I go to sleep at 11)
El partido empieza a las 8 (the game starts at 8)
– To introduce an indirect object:
Ej: Tiró la bolsa a la basura (He/she threw the bag to the bin)
– To refer to smell, taste or sound:
Ej: El jardín huele a flores (The garden smells of flours)
La cerveza sabe a cebada (The beer tastes like barley)
La canción suena a Rock (The song sounds like rock)
– To express rate or distance:
Ej: El coche va a120 km/h(the car goes at120 Km/h)
El precio es 10 euros a la hora (the rate is 10 euros per hour)
ante= before (faced with)
– To describe or express a situation literally “in front of”, “before”:
Ej: Se paró ante la casa (He/She stopped in front of the house)
-To describe a situation figurative “faced with”, “in respect of”:
Ej: Ante esa situación no podemos hacer nada (Facing this situation we can’t do anything else)
– To express preference:
Ej: Eligiría la ciudad ante un pueblo (I would choose a city over a village)
bajo= under (This word means literally under but it is more associated to a formal context. The similar word “debajo” is used more frequently. We use “bajo” commonly in a figurative sense and we can translate it to English as “beneath”).
– To express position approximately in space (“under”, “beneath”):
Ej: Hay una moneda bajo la mesa (There is a coin under the table)
– To show submission or obedience (“under” “under control”):
Ej: El ejercito bajo mandos del capitán (The army under the command of the captain)
– To illustrate the idea of “less than” or under a minimum in measurements:
Ej: En invierno, la temperatura está bajo cero (The temperature is below zero)
– To express the idea of in “company of” or to show the manner in which something is done or the instrument or material that you use to do it:
Ej: Voy a jugar con mis amigos (I am going to play with my friends)
Cortalo con unas tijeras (Cut it off with scissors)
Nació con talento para la música (He/she was born with musical talent)
– To express an encounter or appointment between people or people and objects:
Ej: Me econtré con tu hijo ayer (I bumped into your son yesterday)
Tengo una cita con el dentista (I have got an appointment with the dentist)
– To show an attitude or behaviour towards another people or object:
Ej: Es muy bueno con los niños (He is always very attentive to children)
– To express the idea of “containing”:
Ej: Tengo una bolsa con libros (I have a bag full of books)
– To express the state or situation of people:
Ej: Estoy contento con tu trabajo (I am happy with your work)
– To indicate reciprocal actions (talk, speak, write, chat, etc):
Ej: Estoy hablando con Pedro (I am talking to Pedro)
Estoy escribiendome cartas con mi tía (I am corresponding with my auntie)
We hope we helped with the Spanish Prepositions. (Spanish info)