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Por vs. Para Quiz

Do you know the difference between the Spanish prepositions por and para? Although both can be translated as "for" in certain instances, these two oft-confused words have different uses in Spanish and a wide variety of translations in different contexts. In the most general terms, por is used to indicate a cause or reason while para indicates a goal or purpose. If you need to learn or review the uses of por and para in greater detail, we recommend that you peruse Yabla's lesson entitled Por vs. Para: How to Use These Spanish Prepositions. Then, when you're ready, test your knowledge with this quiz!

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Por vs. Para: Fill in the Blank

In the following sentences, choose the preposition por or para that correctly completes each sentence. 

 

1. Las tijeras son ____ cortar. 

a. por

b. para

 

2.  Vamos a viajar  _____ Europa este verano.  

a. por

b. para

 

3. Yo voy al gimnasio cuatro veces _____ semana.

a. por

b. para

 

4. Noel tiene que entregar su trabajo  ______ el lunes. 

a. por

b. para

 

5. Lo hice ____ amor. 

a. por

b. para

 

6. Ellos prepararon una cena espectacular _______ mi familia. 

a. por

b. para

 

7.  ____ mí, Daniel es el mejor restaurante de Nueva York. 

a. por

b. para

 

8. A Guillermo le encanta caminar _____ la ribera. 

a. por

b. para

 

9. Mi mamá vino ____ visitarme. 

a. por 

b. para

 

10. Nosotros solemos estar de muy mal humor _____ la mañana.

a. por

b. para

 

11. Juan esperó _____ cuatro horas en una fila para comprar las entradas. 

a. por

b. para

 

12. Orlando compró un auto nuevo ____ mucho dinero. 

a. por

b. para

13. Carla trabaja  ______ una empresa muy famosa. 

a. por

b. para

 

14. Hay que subir ____ las escaleras para llegar al segundo piso. 

a. por

b. para

15. El edificio fue construido ____ un arquitecto muy reconocido. 

a. por

b. para

16. Los estudiantes van ____ la escuela. 

a. por

b. para

17.  _____ lo que veo, ella está enferma y no va a poder venir.

a. por

b. para

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BONUS ROUND

Choose the correct combination of the prepositions por and para to make the sentences grammatically correct.

 

18. Liliana está estudiando cinco horas ____ día ____ su examen. 

a. por, para

b. para, por

c. para, para

d. por, por

 

19. El libro que compré ____ mi mamá fue escrito ____ su autor favorito. 

a. por, para

b. para, por

c. para, para

d. por, por

 

20.  ____ la noche, me gusta caminar ____ mi barrio ____ relajarme

a. Por, por, por

b. Para, para, para

c. Por, para, para

d. Por, por, para

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Por vs. Para Quiz: The Answers

The following are the answers to all of the questions in this Por vs. Para Quiz as well as the translations and grammatical reasons for each. 

 

1. Correct Answer: b. para 

Las tijeras son para cortar. 

The scissors are for cutting. 

REASON: The Spanish preposition para is used to talk about the use of something. 

 

2.  Correct Answer: a. por

 Vamos a viajar por Europa este verano. 

We're going to travel in Europe this summer. 

REASON: Use por when talking about approximate location

 

3. Correct Answer: a. por 

 Yo voy al gimnasio cuatro veces por semana.

I go to the gym three times a week. 

REASON: When referring to the frequency of an action, choose the preposition por. Note the alternative translation in the following example from the Yabla Spanish video library:

 

Serían trescientos euros por mes

It would be three hundred euros per month

Caption 55, Karla e Isabel Alquilar una habitación - Part 2

 Play Caption

 

4. Correct Answer: b. para

Noel tiene que entregar su trabajo para el lunes.  

Noel has to turn in her project on Monday. 

REASON: When talking about a future point in time or deadline, pick para

 

5. Correct Answer: a. por 

Lo hice por amor. 

I did it for love. 

REASON: The Spanish preposition por can be used to talk about the reason for something. 

 

6. Correct Answer: b. para 

Ellos prepararon una cena espectacular para mi familia. 

They made an amazing dinner for my family. 

REASON: When naming a recipient, go with para, as in the following clip:

 

Este libro es para ti.

This book is for you.

Caption 47, Carlos y Cyndy Uso del Voseo en Argentina

 Play Caption

 

7. Correct Answer: b. para 

 Para mí, Daniel es el mejor restaurante de Nueva York. 

To me, Daniel is the best restaurant in New York. 

REASON: Para in Spanish can be employed to express a personal opinion

 

8. Correct Answer: a. por

A Guillermo le encanta caminar por la ribera. 

Guillermo loves to walk along the riverbank. 

REASON: The Spanish preposition por can be placed prior to place names to denote a course of movement within that location

 

9. Correct Answer: b. para

Mi mamá vino para visitarme. 

My mom came to visit me. 

REASON: When talking about the purpose for something, opt for the preposition para

 

10. Correct Answer: a. por

Nosotros solemos estar de muy mal humor por la mañana.

We tend to be in a very bad mood in the morning. 

REASON: When referencing the time of day, use por

 

11. Correct Answer: a. por 

 Juan esperó por cuatro horas en una fila para comprar las entradas. 

Juan waited for in a line for four hours to buy the tickets. 

REASON: The Spanish preposition por is correctly used in this sentence to describe duration, like in this similar example:

 

Por muchos años estuvo abandonado,

For many years, it was abandoned,

Caption 66, Amaya Teatro romano

 Play Caption

 

12. Correct answer: a. por 

Orlando compró un auto nuevo por mucho dinero. 

Orlando bought a new car for a lot of money. 

REASON: Por should be used to speak about financial transactions.

 

13. Correct answer: b. para

Carla trabaja para una empresa muy famosa. 

Carla works for a very famous company. 

REASON: Para is the correct Spanish preposition for referring to employment

 

14. Correct answer: a. por

Hay que subir por las escaleras para llegar al segundo piso 

You have to go up [using/with] the stairs to get to the second floor. 

REASON: Utilize por to describe the means used to do something. 

 

15. Correct answer: a. por

El edificio fue construido por un arquitecto muy reconocido. 

The building was built by a very famous architect. 

REASON: In passive sentences in Spanish, the preposition por can be employed to designate who or what performed an action

 

16. Correct answer: b. para

Los estudiantes van para la escuela. 

The students are going to the school. 

REASON: Para in Spanish can refer to the direction of or destination for some movement, as we see twice here:

 

Andrea, yo me voy para donde Amalia y usted salga para el hotel.

Andrea, I'll go to Amalia's and you go to the hotel.

Caption 42, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa Capítulo 2 - Part 9

 Play Caption

 

17. Correct answer: a. por

 Por lo que veo, ella está enferma y no va a poder venir.

From what I can see, she's sick and isn't going to be able to come. 

REASON: Por is the correct Spanish preposition for providing evidence that is used to form a conclusion

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BONUS ROUND

 

18. Correct answer: a. por, para

Liliana está estudiando por cinco horas cada día para su examen. 

Liliana is studying for five hours a day for her test. 

REASON: Despite the fact that both por and para are translated into English as "for" in this sentence, it is necessary to choose por in Spanish to denote duration and para to state an objective.

 

19. Correct answer: b. para, por

El libro que compré para mi mamá fue escrito por su autor favorito. 

The book that I bought for my mom was written by her favorite author. 

REASON: Here, the word para refers to a recipient while por points to the agent of an action in a passive sentence

 

20. Correct answer: dpor, por, para

 Por la tarde, me gusta caminar por mi barrio para relajarme

In the evening, I like to walk around my neighborhood in order to relax.

REASON: In this sentence, por refers to the time of day as well as a general location, and para states a purpose

 

That's all for this quiz on the Spanish prepositions por vs. para. We hope you did well! For more on this topic, be sure to check out Yabla's three-part video series, Las preposiciones 'por' y 'para' , and don't forget to write us with your questions and comments.

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Por vs. Para: How and When to Use These Spanish Prepositions

The por vs. para dilemma is one of the biggest headaches for English speakers learning Spanish, especially since both are sometimes translated as "for." If you are still confused about the Spanish prepositions por and para, this lesson will explain how and when to use each. We hope that by the end of it, you will understand the difference between these two words and be able to use them with confidence. 

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Por vs. Para: The Key Difference

Before we examine some specific uses of por and para in Spanish, we would like to invite you to think about these prepositions as opposites in the following terms:

 

Por: Indicates a cause or reason.

Para: Indicates a purpose, objective, or goal.

 

In a video from his series about the prepositions por and para, Carlos explains this difference by contrasting two sentences. Let's hear the first:

 

Estoy preocupado por el examen.

I'm worried about the exam.

Caption 35, Carlos explica Las preposiciones 'por' y 'para' - Part 1

 Play Caption

 

In this sentence, the preposition por indicates that the exam is the cause or reason for Carlos' concern. Now, let's look at the other sentence:

 

María estudió tres días para el examen.

Maria studied for the exam for three days.

Caption 39, Carlos explica Las preposiciones 'por' y 'para' - Part 1

 Play Caption

 

In this case, the preposition para indicates that the exam was María's goal and/or purpose for studying, most likely to try to achieve the best possible grade. 

 

Now that we have highlighted this overarching difference between the prepositions por and para, let's explore a variety of more nuanced uses of each of these Spanish words.  

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How and When to Use the Preposition Por in Spanish

Let's take a look at many of the most common uses of the preposition por in Spanish.

 

To Indicate the Reason for Something

 

Si ese tipo vino aquí por dinero, pues... eso es lo único que quiere.

If that guy came here for money, well... that's the only thing he wants.

Captions 49-50, Confidencial: Asesino al Volante Capítulo 3 - Part 8

 Play Caption

 

Before Place Names to Denote a Course of Movement Within That Location

 

Pero ¿sabéis lo que le gusta hacer a Lukas? Ir a correr por la playa.

But, do you know what does Lukas like to do? Go running on the beach.

Captions 58-59, Amaya Mi camper van

 Play Caption

 

To Indicate Approximate Location 

 

Hoy he decidido hacer unas compras por el centro de la ciudad.

Today I've decided to do some shopping in the city's downtown.

Caption 2, Raquel Haciendo compras

 Play Caption

 

To Talk About the Time of Day

 

Las clases son normalmente por la tarde;

The classes are usually in the afternoon;

Caption 6, El Aula Azul Las actividades de la escuela - Part 2

 Play Caption

 

To Express Duration

 

Fui jugador amateur por mucho tiempo,

I was an amateur player for a long time,

Caption 22, Víctor en Caracas El fútbol con Tony Carrasco

 Play Caption

 

To Indicate the Frequency of an Action

 

Es de vital importancia que la tienda online se actualice. Deberíamos actualizar al menos dos veces por semana.

It's of vital importance that the online store is updated. We should update at least twice a week.

Captions 6-7, Raquel y Marisa Español Para Negocios - Nuestra tienda online

 Play Caption

 

To Indicate the Means Used To Do Something

 

Ayer llamé a mi cuñada por teléfono

Yesterday, I called my sister-in-law on the phone

Caption 5, Aprendiendo con Silvia Frases hechas - Part 3

 Play Caption

 

To Talk About Purchases and Transactions

 

¿Por cuánto lo has comprado?

For how much have you bought it?

Caption 17, 75 minutos Del campo a la mesa - Part 16

 Play Caption

 

In Passive Sentences to Indicate Who or What Performs the Action

 

O: "El edificio ha sido diseñado por la arquitecta".

Or: "The building has been designed by the [female] architect."

Caption 34, Lecciones con Carolina La voz pasiva - Part 3

 Play Caption

 

To Provide Evidence Used To Form a Conclusion

 

Por lo que se ve, pues, no está quemado, no está dañado,

From what you [can] see, well, it's not burned, it's not damaged,

Captions 39-40, Aprendiendo con Priscilla Vocabulario de taller mecánico

 Play Caption

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How and When to Use the Preposition Para in Spanish

Now that we know how to use the preposition por in Spanish, let's see how to use the preposition para.

 

To Express the Purpose for Something

 

El veterinario vino ayer para comprobar que el bebé que lleva dentro está en buen estado,

The veterinarian came yesterday to check that the baby she's carrying is in good shape,

Captions 66-67, Amaya Apertura del refugio

 Play Caption

 

To Name a Recipient

 

Este libro es para ti.

This book is for you.

Caption 47, Carlos y Cyndy Uso del Voseo en Argentina

 Play Caption

 

To Indicate a Time Limit or Point in the Future 

 

Tengo que terminar el trabajo para mañana.

I have to finish this work by tomorrow.

Caption 39, Carlos explica Las preposiciones 'por' y 'para' - Part 2

 Play Caption

 

To Indicate the Direction or Destination of a Movement

 

Eh... voy para la casa. Si quiere, vamos juntos.

Um... I'm going home. If you want, we can go together.

Captions 7-8, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 14 - Part 9

 Play Caption

 

To Indicate the Use of Something

 

Tengo que tomar un medicamento para el dolor y otro para bajar la fiebre.

I have to take a medication for the pain and another one to lower the fever.

Captions 30-31, Ariana Cita médica

 Play Caption

 

To Talk About Employment

 

Trabajo para una empresa francesa de electrónica

I work for a French electronics company

Caption 13, Carlos y Xavi Part 2 Ustedes y Vosotros

 Play Caption

 

To Express Personal Opinions

 

porque es una ciudad que, para mí, lo tiene todo.

because it's a city that, for me, has it all.

Caption 7, San Sebastián El rompeolas

 Play Caption

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Por vs Para: Understanding the Main Differences

Now that we have learned how to use the Spanish prepositions por and para, we would like to take a moment to summarize the main differences between them in the following chart.

 

  POR PARA
     
Key Difference: Cause/Reason Purpose/Goal
Ana estudia japonés por placer (Ana studies Japanese for pleasure). Ana estudia japonés para poder visitar Japón algún día (Ana is studying Japanese in order to be able to visit Japan someday).
     
     
Place: Movement Destination/Direction
Juan camina por la playa (Juan walks on/along the beach). Juan va para la playa (Juan is going to the beach).
   
Approximate Location  
Claudia vive por el centro (Claudia lives in the downtown area).  
     
     
Time: Time of Day Time Limit
Me gusta correr por la mañana (I like to run in the morning). Tengo que terminar el informe para el jueves (I have to finish the report by Thursday).
   
Duration  Future Point in Time
Luis habló por dos horas (Luis spoke for two hours). Necesito un billete del metro para mañana (I need a subway ticket for tomorrow).
   
Frequency   
  Susana va a la piscina tres veces por semana (Susana goes to the pool three times a/per week).  
     
     

Additional:

Conclusions Opinions
Por la cara que tenía, yo creo que Pedro estaba triste (From the look on his face, I think Pedro was sad). Para mí, esta es la mejor pizza (To me, this is the best pizza).
   
Agents of Passive Sentences Recipients
El Coliseo fue construido por los romanos (The Colosseum was built by the Romans). El regalo es para María (The gift is for Maria).
   
Means/Tools Employment
Juan habla por teléfono (Juan is talking on the phone). Mario trabaja para una multinacional (Mario works for a multinational company).
   
Purchases/Transactions  
Compré la cámara por 200 dólares (I bought the camera for 200 dollars).  

 

Before we go, we would like to highlight a very common mistake among non-native Spanish speakers. Although your inclination might be to use the word para, remember that in order to express gratitude in Spanish, the preposition por should always be used, as in the sentence "Gracias por el regalo" (Thanks for the gift).

 

That's all for today. Although we know that this lesson did not touch on all of the possible uses of the prepositions por and para, we hope that it has helped you to better understand how and when to use each of them, and don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions. ¡Hasta la próxima!

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Contractions in Spanish

Surely "you're" familiar with "contractions" in English, or shorter words formed by combining two or more words, dropping one or more letter, and adding an apostrophe (for example, "you're" from "you are" in this sentence). But do you know about contractions in Spanish? Interestingly, while there are close to 100 contractions in English, in Spanish, there are only two (and no apostrophes are required!). Let's learn what they are and how to use them. 

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The Spanish Contraction Al

In short, the Spanish contraction al is used whenever the preposition a (at, to, etc.) is followed by the masculine definite article el (the). While the scenarios in which this takes place are too numerous to name, let's take a look at several of the most common ones with examples from our Yabla Spanish video library. 

 

When Heading Toward a Place

Al in this case is usually translated as "to the" in English. 

 

Siempre voy al mercado cuando no tengo ingredientes.

I always go to the market when I don't have ingredients.

Caption 10, Ariana Cena especial

 Play Caption

 

When Describing Location

This is the equivalent of the English "at the."

 

Puede tomar el ascensor que está al final del pasillo a la izquierda

You can take the elevator that is at the end of the hall on the left

Caption 57, Cleer y Lida Recepción de hotel

 Play Caption

 

With Certain Verbs That Require the Preposition a

Since the preposition a is an essential part of certain verbs such as acostumbrarse a (to get used to), asistir a (to attend), jugar a ("to play" something), and many more, a becomes al when a masculine definite article follows.

 

Los viernes, juego al fútbol con mis amigas. 

On Fridays, I play soccer with my friends.

Caption 21, Ariana Mi Semana

 Play Caption
 

Following the Personal a

As the preposition a is required prior to people who function as the objects of sentences in Spanish, a likewise becomes al in the presence of the masculine definite article. 

 

y ya le pedí al chef que la comida fuese vegetariana

and I already asked the chef for the food to be vegetarian

Caption 55, Programación de oficina El dictado del jefe

 Play Caption

 

When Describing a Limit 

In this usage, al is typically employed with the other Spanish contraction del (from the) to describe the end point of something, for example, a range.

 

Estos son los números del uno al cien.

These are the numbers from one to a hundred.

Caption 44, El Aula Azul Los Números del 1-100

 Play Caption

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The Spanish Contraction Del 

This second Spanish contraction is formed by combining the preposition de (of, from, about, by, etc.) with the masculine singular definite article el when one follows another in a sentence. Let's see some of the many common situations in which you might find it.

 

When Heading Away From a Place

This describes the point of origin from which something leaves.

 

También para cuando salimos del agua, eh...

[It's] also for when we come out of the water, um...

Caption 36, Ana Teresa Yoga y surf

 Play Caption

 

When Describing Origin

This describes where someone or something originates or comes from.

 

La mayoría de la gente viene del Pacífico

Most of the people come from the Pacific,

Caption 2, La Sucursal del Cielo Capítulo 2 - Part 4

 Play Caption

 

When Describing Possession

This is used like 's in English to indicate ownership when what is owned is preceded by el

 

Yago, pero ese caballo es del patrón. Se va a calentar, ¡Yago!

Yago, but that's the master's horse. He's going to get mad, Yago!

Caption 35, Yago 1 La llegada - Part 1

 Play Caption

 

With Certain Verbs That Include the Preposition De

Like a, de is a part of certain Spanish verbs like acordarse de (to remember), olvidarse de (to forget), and depender de (to depend on) and thus changes to del when el is present.

 

¿Te acuerdas del atraco en el banco?

Do you remember the stickup at the bank?

Caption 54, Los casos de Yabla El examen - Part 1

 Play Caption

 

With Prepositional Phrases That Contain De

The contraction del might be used when el follows any of the numerous prepositional phrases that contain the word de (e.g. después de, antes de, a partir de, etc.).

 

El contrato empieza a correr a partir del próximo mes.

The lease starts to run starting from next month.

Caption 26, Ricardo La compañera de casa - Part 2

 Play Caption

 

When Indicating the Beginning of a Range

As we mentioned in the section regarding al, al and del are often used together when describing a range, with del indicating its beginning. 

 

Cogí unos días libres del veinte al veintiséis de abril".

I took a few days off from April twentieth to twenty-sixth."

Caption 26, Aprendiendo con Silvia Horas, fechas y períodos de tiempo - Part 3

 Play Caption

 

When Not to Use Contractions in Spanish 

Now that you have learned a plethora of situations in which you should employ the Spanish contractions al and del, you should be aware of some others in which you should not use them.

 

1. With Definite Articles Other Than El

Note that when any other definite article (la, las, or los) comes after the word a or de, no contraction is formed.

 

el corazón envía más sangre a las piernas

the heart sends more blood to the legs

Caption 31, Aprendiendo con Silvia Las emociones - Part 12

 Play Caption

 

2. When El Is Part of a Proper Noun

Don't use a Spanish contraction when the word el is part of a proper noun. Carlos sums this up perfectly:

 

No decimos "el Presidente del Salvador", sino "el Presidente de El Salvador".

We don't say "el Presidente del Salvador," but rather "el Presidente de El Salvador" [the President of El Salvador].

Captions 46-47, Carlos explica Geografía y gentilicios

 Play Caption

 

3. With the Word él (with an accent)

The Spanish contractions al and del must not be used when what follows a or de is the accented form, or Spanish subject pronoun él (which means "he," "him," or "it" rather than "the").

 

Ahora, Lukas, todo el mundo se enamora de él.

Now, Lukas, everybody falls in love with him.

Caption 51, Amaya La historia de Lukas

 Play Caption

 

That's all for today. We hope that this lesson has helped you to know when and when not to use the two Spanish contractions al and del, and don't forget to write us with your questions and comments

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Beyond "During": The Preposition Durante in Spanish

As you might imagine, the Spanish preposition durante can often mean "during." However, in different contexts, it is also the equivalent of the English words "for" and "over." This lesson will explore some of the meanings and peculiarities of the Spanish preposition durante

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When Durante Functions Like "During"

The Spanish preposition durante should be translated as "during" when it refers to when something took place. Let's explore two subcategories of this usage.

 

Throughout the Course of

Like the English preposition "during," the Spanish word durante can mean "throughout the duration or course of." Let's see an example:

 

el calor en Sevilla es bastante fuerte durante los meses de verano

the heat in Seville is quite intense during the summer months,

Caption 21, Viajando con Fermín Sevilla - Part 2

 Play Caption

 

A Specific Point 

Also like "during," durante can refer to a specific point within some time period, as this caption illustrates:

 

Durante nuestra visita hemos tenido la ocasión de charlar con Mikel,

During our visit, we've had the opportunity to chat with Mikel,

Captions 65-66, Viajando con Fermín Restaurante La Viña - Part 1

 Play Caption

 

When Durante Means "For"

When the Spanish preposition durante is used to talk about something's duration, or how long it lasted, it works like the English preposition "for." Let's see an example:

 

tenemos que hacer muchos ejercicios seguidos durante un minuto.

we have to do a lot of exercises in a row for a minute.

Caption 26, Ariana Crossfit - Part 1

 Play Caption

 

Notice that, unlike the English preposition "during," the Spanish preposition durante can also come before plural periods of time, as we see in the following clip:

 

Ay, Kevin, nosotros no podemos esperarlo durante cuatro años.

Oh, Kevin, we can't wait for you for four years.

Caption 3, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 13 - Part 7

 Play Caption

 

In other words, while it would be unusual to say "we can't wait for you during four years" in English, it is common to see the Spanish preposition durante used in this fashion as the equivalent of the English word "for."

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When Durante Works Like "Over"

Sometimes, durante describes an action that took place gradually, repetitively, or continuously within a particular timespan, in which case it is advisable to translate it as "over." Let's take a look:

 

han surgido durante los últimos diez años unas cincuenta escuelas de baile de salsa

some fifty salsa dance schools have sprung up over the last ten years,

Caption 2, Región mundo Paso a paso - Part 2

 Play Caption

 

In the same vein, note that, when paired with todo/a (all/whole), the Spanish preposition durante means "throughout":

 

Los burros, durante toda la historia, han sido infravalorados, ¿no?

Donkeys, throughout history, have been undervalued, right?

Caption 25, Santuario para burros Santuario - Part 1

 Play Caption

 

That's all for today. We hope that this lesson has clarified many of the different meanings and translations of the Spanish preposition durante... and don't forget to write us with your suggestions and comments.

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The Preposition sin in Spanish

In this lesson, we will talk about the Spanish preposition sin, which usually translates to "without" in English. In the following lines, we will explore the various ways to use sin, providing different examples to illustrate its use in different contexts. Get ready!

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To Express a Lack or Absence

Like the English preposition "without," the primary function of the Spanish preposition sin is to indicate the absence or lack of something. Let's take a look:

 

en la camioneta, una camioneta blanca sin, este, sin ventanas.

in a van, a white van without, um, without windows.

Caption 32, Amigos D.F. El secuestrar

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Y así acaba nuestro carnaval y la gente sin dinero pero contenta.

And that's how our carnival ends, and people [are left] without money but happy.

Captions 82-83, Cleer y Lida El Carnaval de Barranquilla - Part 2

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Of course, an alternative translation for sin in this second example would be "with no money," which conveys the same idea.

 

Note that, when used to talk about a lack of something, the preposition sin is the direct opposite of the preposition con. Let's see an example of each with the same noun:

 

Entonces, se recomienda, todas las mañanas, comer la mitad de una toronja o un pomelo; sin azúcar, no hagan trampa.

So, it's recommended, every morning, to eat half a grapefruit or a "pomelo;" without sugar, don't cheat.

Captions 67-69, Otavalo Conozcamos el Mundo de las Frutas con Julia

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Es una bebida refrescante que se pone jugo de limón con azúcar y agua.

It's a refreshing drink in which one puts lemon juice with sugar and water.

Caption 24, Otavalo Julia nos muestra las verduras

 Play Caption

 

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To Express Opposition or Contradiction

In certain cases, sin can convey opposition or contradiction between two elements. Let's take a look:

 

Sin embargo, muchas veces tenemos complementos que hacen las veces de adjetivo sin ser adjetivos necesariamente:

However, we often have complements that function as adjectives without necessarily being adjectives:

Captions 50-52, Ana Carolina El uso correcto de los adjetivos

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To Indicate Time or Duration

The preposition sin can also be used to talk about something that has not occurred during a specific period of time. Let's see this usage in action:

 

Cuéntame ¿qué ha pasado en estos siete años sin vernos? -Ay...

Tell me what has happened in these seven years without seeing each other? -Oh...

Caption 10, El reencuentro Las amigas hablan del trabajo y el amor.

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A more colloquial way to express this in English might be "in these seven years we didn't see each other."

 

To Emphasize Something

When used after the adverb no, the preposition sin helps to reinforce a message or emphasize something. Let's look at the following video clip:

 

Me despido de todos, no sin antes recordarles que estén pendiente[s] de nuestro siguiente video.

I'll say goodbye to everyone, not without first reminding you to be on the lookout for our next video.

Captions 32-33, Manos a la obra Separadores de libros: Pikachu

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To Give Orders

When followed by an infinitive verb, the preposition sin can additionally be used to give orders! Let's see one last example:

 

¡Niños, todos a la cama y sin protestar!

Children, all to bed and without protest!


As you can see, the preposition sin allows for the expression of absence, opposition, and other related concepts. We encourage you to practice using it in different ways to solidify your understanding of this versatile preposition, and don't forget to send us your suggestions and comments.

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Infinitive Verbs in Spanish

Let's start this lesson off with a quote that refers to a very important and oft-mentioned concept in Spanish: 

 

Veamos el verbo en infinitivo

Let's look at the verb in infinitive

Caption 13, Carlos explica El modo imperativo 2: Irregulares, Usted + plurales

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Most simply put, the infinitive is the impersonal, unconjugated, or "to" form of a verb, such as "to swim," "to see," or "to dance" in English. Let's take a closer look at Spanish infinitives and learn many of their potential uses.

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Types of Infinitives in Spanish 

Do you know how many types of infinitive verbs there are in Spanish? Let's hear the answer from Yabla's popular teacher Carolina:

 

Con infinitivo tenemos tres tipos de verbos: verbos que terminan en "ar", como "cantar", verbos que terminan en "er", como "comer" y verbos que terminan en "ir", como "salir".

With infinitive we have three types of verbs: verbs that end in "ar," like "cantar" [to sing], verbs that end in "er," like "comer" [to eat] and verbs that end in "ir," like "salir" [to leave].

Captions 11-14, Lecciones con Carolina El gerundio - Part 1

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These three categories of infinitive verbs determine the patterns according to which regular verbs are conjugated in all of the various verb tenses in Spanish. Although there are far too many to name, we have provided below ten of the most common Spanish infinitives in each category. The bold print indicates some irregular or stem-changing verbs whose conjugations deviate from the norm.

 

-AR Verbs -ER Verbs -IR Verbs
dar (to give) aprender (to learn) abrir (to open)
estar (to be) comer (to eat) decir (to tell)
hablar (to talk) creer (to believe) describir (to describe)
llamar (to call) hacer (to make/do) escribir (to write)
llegar (to arrive) poder (to be able) pedir (to ask)
llevar (to take/carry) querer (to want) recibir (to receive)
pasar (to spend) saber (to know) salir (to leave)
quedar (to remain) ser (to be) sentir (to feel)
tomar (to take) tener (to have) venir (to come)
trabajar (to work) vender (to sell) vivir (to live)

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Uses of Spanish Infinitives 

Now that we understand what an infinitive verb is, let's learn some of the ways in which these non-conjugated verbs can be employed in Spanish. 

 

Spanish Infinitives After Certain Conjugated Verbs

Many specific conjugated verbs in Spanish can be followed immediately by an infinitive verb. In this case, the infinitive may be translated into English with either the "to" or present participle (-ing) form, depending upon the specific verb and context. Let's see a couple of examples with querer (to want) and evitar (to avoid), which are often followed by infinitive verbs:

 

Perfecto. Yo quiero viajar a Japón. ¿Sí?

Perfect. I want to travel to Japan. Right?

Caption 77, Clase Aula Azul Pedir deseos - Part 1

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"Evita beber desde media tarde bebidas estimulantes

"Avoid drinking, starting from mid-afternoon, stimulant drinks

Caption 24, Aprendiendo con Silvia Consejos para dormir mejor - Part 1

 Play Caption

 

Although the list of these tverbs that are frequently followed by the infinitive is quite long, some additional common ones include buscar (to seek), deber (to have to/must), esperar (to hope), intentar (to try), necesitar (to need), soler (to usually), tener que (to have to), and temer (to fear).

 

Spanish Infinitives Following Prepositions

When a verb follows a preposition in Spanish, it should be in the infinitive form. In these cases, Spanish infinitive verbs will be translated with the -ing form of the verb. Let's look at some examples:

 

Antes de empezar, necesito mis anteojos.

Before starting, I need my glasses.

Caption 19, Natalia de Ecuador Los adverbios de orden

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¡Perdónalo! Lo dijo sin pensar.

Forgive him! He said it without thinking.

Caption 34, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 10 - Part 4

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Some other prepositions after which infinitive Spanish verbs are often found include, but aren't limited to: a (to, at), con (with), de (from, of), después de (after), and en (at/in/on).

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Spanish Infinitives After Fixed Expressions

There are many common fixed expressions in Spanish that include prepositions and thus require the infinitive, including the near future tense, ir a + infinitive ("to be going to" do something), pensar en + infinitive ("to think about" doing something), dejar de + infinitive ("to stop" or "quit" doing something), tener ganas de + infinitive ("to feel like" doing something), haber que + infinitive (for some action "to be necessary"), estar por + infinitive ("to be about to" do something), and countless more! Let's see a few of these in action:  

 

que tengo ganas de saltar y bailar.

that I feel like jumping and dancing.

Caption 4, Aprendiendo con Silvia Las emociones - Part 6

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Había que pagar el precio.

One had to pay the price.

Caption 2, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 5 - Part 5

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¡Ya deje de hablar de esa niña!

Stop talking about that girl already!

Caption 7, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 6 - Part 2

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Spanish Infinitives as Nouns

Sometimes, like in English, Spanish infinitive verbs can function like nouns, as in the following excerpt: 

 

Me encanta comprar.

I love shopping.

Caption 40, Ariana Mi Semana

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Note that in such cases, while the article is not required, it may be added for emphasis as follows:

 

Ahora hasta de hablar,

Now even about talking,

los muchachos les da pena el hablar maya.

the young kids are embarrassed about speaking Maya.

Caption 54, Yabla en Yucatán - Don Salo - Part 1

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Spanish Infinitives as Commands

In certain situations, such as explaining how to do something step by step in a manual, cookbook, show, etc., or telling the public on a sign or some other medium what they can and cannot do, Spanish verbs in the infinitive can be construed as commands. Let's take a look: 

 

"No fumar. Esto produce la muerte".

"Don't smoke. This causes death."

Caption 56, Los médicos explican - Las migrañas

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An alternative translation on a sign might be: "No smoking." 

 

That's all for today. We hope that this lesson has helped you to understand what infinitive verbs are and many of their possible uses. Can you think of any more? Don't forget to write us with your suggestions and comments.

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The Preposition contra in Spanish

Are you familiar with the Spanish preposition contra? In most cases, the Spanish preposition contra can be translated as "against" and functions very similarly to many uses of its English counterpart. Occasionally, however, this Spanish preposition can be used to depict situations in which a different English preposition could be utilized. Let's explore some uses and nuances of this Spanish preposition. 

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1. Opposition of Two or More Things

The first meaning of the Spanish preposition contra refers to the opposition of two or more things, in which case it is typically translated as "against." Let's take a look at a couple of examples that describe entities facing off "against" one another:

 

una batalla ocurrida en mil setecientos dos que enfrentó a ingleses y holandeses contra españoles y franceses,

a battle that took place in seventeen oh two, which pitted the English and Dutch against the Spanish and French,

Captions 56-57, Adrián en Galicia Vigo

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¿Cómo ves el Mundial? ¿Cómo ves esto? -Yo lo veo que vamos a ser España contra Argentina.

How do you see the World Cup? How do you see this? -I see it as we're going to be Spain against Argentina.

Captions 55-56, Víctor en España El Mundial de Catar 2022 - Part 2

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Similarly, the Spanish preposition contra can reference the literal or figurative fight "against" something specific, such as a disease or cause:

 

pero la lucha contra el narcotráfico continúa

but the fight against narco-trafficking continues,

Caption 41, Los Tiempos de Pablo Escobar Capítulo 1 - Part 11

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Busco un remedio contra el dolor de cabeza.

I'm looking for some headache medicine. 

 

Note that in this last example, while the word "contra" implies combatting pain, it is not explicitly translated into English. 

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2. A Contrary Position 

Like the English word "against," the Spanish preposition contra can indicate a sentiment of disagreement, disapproval, or opposition, for example, to a particular cause, notion, or person. Let's examine some examples of this meaning of contra:

 

¡Y contra eso estamos!

And we're against that!

Caption 58, Los Tiempos de Pablo Escobar Capítulo 1 - Part 13

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In this context, the word contra often appears within the construction en contra de, which means "against" or "in opposition to":

 

Los diferentes sistemas o soluciones constructivas, eh... No estoy a favor o en contra de ninguno.

The different systems or constructive solutions, um... I'm not in favor of or against any one.

Captions 7-8, Leif El Arquitecto Español y su Arte - Part 2

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3. Towards

This third use of the Spanish preposition contra denotes the direction of a movement "towards" something or someone. Although the word "against" can sometimes act as an English equivalent of this usage, in other cases, different English prepositions may be more common translations. For example, if you said "Reboté mi pelota contra la pared," a common translation would be "I bounced my ball off the wall." Let's see a few more examples:

 

El coche chocó contra la pared

The car crashed into the wall 

 

Bochica lanzó su báculo contra la montaña,

Bochica threw his staff at the mountain,

Caption 51, Aprendiendo con Carlos América precolombina - El mito de Bochica

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se percuten contra el piso. Otras veces, esos instrumentos se percuten... madera contra madera.

are struck against the floor. Other times, those instruments are struck... reed to reed.

Captions 29-31, Sonido Babel Los quitiplás

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4. In Front of

This meaning of the Spanish preposition contra typically describes things that are leaning "on" or "(up) against" something else, or facing it, as in the following examples:

 

El niño apoyó su patinete contra la pared.

The child leaned his scooter on/against the wall. 

 

Arrimaron los tablones contra el muro. 

They put the boards up against the wall. 

 

5. In Exchange for

In common expressions like "entrega contra reembolso" (delivery on/upon payment) or "pago contra entrega" (payment on/upon receipt), the Spanish preposition contra conveys that one thing happens in exchange for another and/or cannot happen until something else has occurred:

 

Recibirán el dinero contra entrega de la factura. 

You'll receive the money when you submit the invoice.

 

Interestingly, the securities industry uses a similar term, versus, in expressions like Delivery Versus Payment (DVP) to say that payment must take place in order for the delivery to happen. However, most of the time, the English words "on," "upon," or "when" convey this notion. 

 

That's all for today. We hope that this lesson has clarified for you the different uses of the Spanish preposition contra. Can you think of any additional examples and/or their English translations? We'd love for you to write us with you insights and questions.

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The Preposition entre in Spanish

Are you familiar with the Spanish preposition entre? While the preposition entre in Spanish is most often a direct equivalent for the many uses of the English words "among" and "between," it can occasionally be utilized in slightly different ways and with different translations than its English counterparts. Today's lesson will explore many of its nuances.

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1. State Between Two Things 

According to the Dictionary of the Spanish language, the Spanish preposition entre "denotes the situation or state in between two or more things." Let's break up this definition into a few subcategories:

 

Relationships:

The Spanish preposition entre might describe the nature of a relationship "between" entities, whether talking about bloodlines or quality. Let's see an example of each:

 

La relación entre José y yo. ¿José es mi...? -Hermano.

The relationship between Jose and me. Jose is my...? -Brother.

Captions 19-20, Curso de español Vamos a hablar de la familia

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La relación entre mi papá y mi abuela era tan amistosa como la que tenía Rusia con Estados Unidos.

The relationship between my dad and my grandma was as friendly as the one Russia had with the United States.

Captions 8-9, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 13 - Part 2

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State:

Now, let's look at an example where entre describes the "state" between two things:

 

encontréis ese equilibrio entre cuerpo y mente.

you find that balance between body and mind.

Caption 60, Ana Teresa 5 principios del yoga

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Comparison:

And finally, like the English word "between," the Spanish preposition entre can be employed to compare things:

 

¿Y sabéis cuál es la diferencia entre la lava y el magma? 

And do you know what the difference between lava and magma is?

Caption 24, Aprendiendo con Silvia Los volcanes

 Play Caption

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2. "Within" or "In"

The preposition entre in Spanish also comes up in some situations in which an English speaker might use the word "in" or "within." Examining two different captions from the same video, note that while the first has been translated with the more literal "among," it could be substituted with the English word "in," while "in" is probably the only suitable choice in the second example.

 

Allí, se escondió entre los juncos. 

There, he hid among the reeds.

Caption 29, Cleer El patito feo

 Play Caption

 

Pero, afortunadamente, una viejita que lo había visto entre la nieve, lo recogió.

But, fortunately, an old woman who had seen him in the snow picked him up.

Caption 39, Cleer El patito feo

 Play Caption

 

3. An Intermediate State

Another use of the Spanish preposition entre is to refer to an intermediate state between two or more things:

 

Granada produce al año entre quince y veinte millones de kilos de aguacate 

Granada produces per year between fifteen and twenty million kilos of avocados

Captions 1-2, 75 minutos Del campo a la mesa - Part 16

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Entonces los edificios tienen ese toque especial... de mezcla entre la arquitectura antigua y la moderna.

So the buildings have that special touch... from the mix between old and modern architecture.

Captions 20-21, Yabla en Buenos Aires Puerto Madero

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This Spanish preposition can furthermore depict an intermediate physical location:

 

se sentaba siempre entre las dos únicas chicas de la clase, 

always sat between the only two girls in the class,

Caption 33, Aprendiendo con Silvia Nacionalidades y adjetivos - Part 1

 Play Caption

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4. "As One of"

The word entre in Spanish can likewise entail the idea of inclusion, as in the following two examples, where it could be replaced by the English phrase "as one of":

 

No gané el concurso, pero quedé entre los finalistas

I didn't win the contest, but I placed among the finalists,

Captions 46-47, Aprendiendo con Carlos El microrrelato - Part 3

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Entre ellos, tenemos estos burros de peluche que a la gente le gusta mucho.

Among them, we have these stuffed donkeys that people like a lot.

Captions 14-15, Santuario para burros Tienda solidaria

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5. Entailing Cooperation

As we see in the following examples, the Spanish preposition entre might also evoke the idea of collaborative effort:

 

Si podemos imaginarlo, entre todos podemos lograrlo.

If we can imagine it, among all of us, we can achieve it.

Caption 9, Con ánimo de lucro Cortometraje - Part 1

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El plato se llama "La Deli" y entre los tres le vamos a dar forma y la decoración.

The dish is called "The Deli," and between the three of us, we're going to give it shape and decorate it.

Caption 24, Misión Chef 2 - Pruebas - Part 7

 Play Caption

 

6. "According to the Custom of"

If you wish to speak about what is done customarily "among" particular groups, the Spanish preposition entre could additionally come in handy:

 

"Hermano" es una palabra que se usa mucho entre amigos 

"Brother" is a word that is used a lot among friends

Caption 35, Carlos comenta Confidencial - Jerga típica colombiana

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una serie argentina que es muy popular entre nuestros usuarios.

an Argentine series that is very popular among our users.

Captions 3-4, Carlos y Cyndy Comentario sobre Muñeca Brava

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7. Reciprocity

And finally, the preposition entre in Spanish can suggest reciprocity, in which case it might be translated with the English "each other."

 

y cómo se apoyaban entre ellos.

and how they supported each other.

Caption 19, Aprendiendo con Silvia Nacionalidades y adjetivos - Part 2

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se juntaban las españolas de ese pueblo para hablar entre ellas.

the Spanish women from that town would get together to talk to each other.

Captions 49-50, Soledad Amistades

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We hope that this lesson has helped you to better understand the many uses of the Spanish preposition entre, especially those that are slightly different than the manners in which its English equivalents "among" and "between" are employed. Feel free to write us with your questions and suggestions.

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The Preposition hasta in Spanish

Although the most common English translation for the Spanish preposition hasta is "until," like most Spanish prepositions, its meaning can vary in different contexts. Today's lesson will explore the four main definitions of the Spanish word hasta provided by Royal Spanish Academy as well as its various English translations.

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1. A Final Limit in Space or Time

According to the first definition, the Spanish preposition hasta can denote "a final limit in a trajectory of space or time." Possible translations for this use of hasta include "until," "up until," "up to," and "to." Let's take a look at this use via several subcategories.

 

Time

The preposition hasta in Spanish can mean "up to" a certain point in time. Let's see some examples:

 

Eh... Trabajo hasta las dos 

Um... I work until two,

Caption 47, Cleer y Lida Juego de preguntas y respuestas - Part 2

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Hasta el momento, ella ha probado zanahoria, brócoli y papa.

Up until now, she has tried carrots, broccoli, and potatoes.

Captions 37-38, Ana Carolina Ejercicio de adverbios de tiempo

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Like the word "until" in English, when used in situations in the past, this takes on the meaning of "before" and sometimes has a slightly negative connotation:
 
 
No llegaron hasta el final de la fiesta.
They didn't arrive until the end of the party.  
 

Location

When used to talk about location, hasta means "up to that point" and might be translated with "up to" or simply "to":

 

Hay dos formas de llegar hasta Pasai Donibane: por mar o por tierra.

There are two ways to get to Pasai Donibane: by sea or by land.

Captions 29-30, Viajando con Fermín Pasajes (Pasaia) - Part 2

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Aquí lo que tenemos que hacer es meter un hisopo, pues hasta su buche.

Here what we have to do is to place a Q-tip, well up to his throat.

Captions 53-54, Animales en familia Un día en Bioparc: Microchip para Nacahué - Part 1

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Situation

The Spanish word hasta is often used along with que to form an adverbial phrase that means "until" (such moment as something else happens). Note that when the verb that follows hasta que refers to a habitual action or past event, it will be conjugated in an indicative tense. Let's see an example:

 

y lo tuvo con ella hasta que llegó la primavera.

and she had him with her until spring came.

Caption 41, Cleer El patito feo

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On the other hand, when the subordinate clause following hasta que refers to a potential future event or is a command, the verb that follows will be in the subjunctive

 

y tenemos que dejar que poche hasta que se quede bien blandita. 

and we have to let it saute until it gets very soft.

Caption 41, La cocina de María Tortilla de patatas

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For several more examples, check out Yabla's lesson on hasta que and hasta que no, which function similarly. 

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2. A Numerical Limit

According to definition two, the Spanish preposition hasta can also describe a maximum quantity. Let's view a couple of examples:

 

En el mes me puedo gastar hasta doscientos euros...

During the month I can spend up to two hundred euros...

Caption 69, 75 minutos Gangas para ricos - Part 15

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Pesan hasta siete kilos, ocho kilos los machos adultos.

They weigh up to seven kilograms, eight kilos for adult males.

Caption 95, Animales en familia Un día en Bioparc: Coatís

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3. Hasta Meaning "Not Before"

This third and less common use of the Spanish preposition hasta to mean "not before" is primarily heard in Mexico and Central America. Let's take a look:

 

Terminará hasta mediodía.

He won't finish before noon. 

 

4. Emphasis or Disbelief 

In the fourth definition, the Spanish word hasta instead functions as an adverb to add emphasis or a feeling of surprise or disbelief, much like the English word "even":

 

¿Hamburguesas de aguacate? -Sí... Hasta miel de aguacate.

Avocado burgers? -Yes... Even avocado honey.

Captions 44-45, 75 minutos Del campo a la mesa - Part 1

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Hasta se cree la mega estrella.

She even thinks she's the megastar.

Caption 54, X6 1 - La banda - Part 1

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Idiomatic Expressions with hasta

Now that we know four different ways to use the Spanish word hasta, let's take a look at some of the many idiomatic expressions in which it appears, including at least five different ways to say goodbye in Spanish:

 

hasta luego: see you later

hasta pronto: see you soon

hasta la próxima: see you next time

hasta mañana: see you tomorrow

hasta la vista: until we meet again

 

A host of additional expressions with estar hasta mean "to be fed up":

 

estar hasta las narices (literally "to be up to one's noses")

estar hasta la gorra (literally "to be up to one's hat")

estar hasta arriba ("to have had it up to here")

estar hasta la coronilla (literally "to be up to one's crown")

 

Let's see this last one in context:

 

Muy bien, estaba hasta la coronilla.

Just great, I was fed up.

Caption 16, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 6 - Part 4

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Meanwhile, estar hasta el cuello (literally "to be up to one's neck") is equivalent to the English "to be up to one's eyeballs," or overwhelmed, while estar hasta en la sopa ("to be even in the soup") describes something or someone that seems omnipresent. And finally, let's look at a Spanish expression with hasta that can mean "that's all" or "that's it":

 

hasta aquí el vídeo de hoy.

that's all for today's video.

Caption 68, Aprendiendo con Silvia Recuerdos de infancia - Part 1

 Play Caption

 

On that note, we hope that this lesson has helped you to understand the different uses of the Spanish word hasta and some idioms that include it. Can you think of any more? We invite you to let us know with your suggestions and comments¡Hasta pronto!

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3 Ways to Use the Preposition ante in Spanish

Although the preposition ante is not as "popular" as some others, such as the preposition a or the preposition en, it is still very useful. In fact, this lesson will explain 3 different ideas that the preposition ante can express. Let's get started!

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1. "Before" or "In Front of"

One of the most common uses of the preposition ante is to mean "before" or "in front of." This includes physical position or location. Let's see a couple of examples from our library:

 

Hoy la luna pálida aparece ante mis ojos

Today the pale moon appears before my eyes

Caption 1, Festivaliando Mono Núñez - Part 17

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y ya a la edad de cinco años tocaba piano ante el público y daba conciertos.

and at the age of five was already playing piano in front of an audience and putting on concerts.

Captions 26-27, Hispanoamericanos en Berlín Mauricio y el maestro Arrau

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In addition to describing literal location, the preposition ante can also figuratively mean "before," particularly when used with nouns, verbs, and adjectives that entail a particular stance on something, or call to or withdrawal from action. In these cases, it is often translated with the less formal "to." Let's take a look:

 

Lo que usted tiene que hacer es quejarse ante una asociación protectora de animales. 

What you have to do is complain to an animal protective association.

Captions 26-27, Kikirikí Animales - Part 5

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Sus llamativos trajes y su manera de bailar reflejan la resistencia ante la conquista española.

Their striking costumes and their manner of dancing reflect the resistance to the Spanish conquest.

Captions 17-18, Música andina Ritmos andinos con violín

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De ceder ante tu llanto No pienso abrir las heridas de haberte querido tanto

Of giving in to your crying I do not plan to open the wounds of having loved you so much

Captions 21-22, No te va a gustar Chau

 Play Caption

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2. "In the Face of"

The preposition ante can also be used as the equivalent of English expressions like "in the face of," "in the presence of," or "faced with." Let's take a look at two examples, including one from our popular series Confidencial: Asesino al Volante:

 

Sabias palabras del padre Sarmiento ante la inmisericorde caza de brujas que se ha desatado en contra del Señor Jorge Castellanos. 

Wise words from Father Sarmiento in the face of the merciless witch hunt that has been unleashed against Mister Jorge Castellanos.

Captions 60-62, Confidencial: Asesino al Volante Capítulo 4 - Part 1

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y, ante el temor de la mujer por un viaje tan largo a un lugar tan desconocido, la consoló con la promesa de regresar lo antes posible

and, faced with the wife's fear of such a long trip to such an unknown place, he consoled her with the promise of returning as soon as possible

Captions 11-13, Cleer El espejo de Matsuyama

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3. "As Compared to"

The preposition ante can also be used like the English "(as) compared to" or "next to," as in the following examples:

 

Ante la belleza de su hermana mayor, la chica se creía muy ordinaria. 

Compared to her older sister's beauty, the girl believed she was very ordinary. 

 

Ante la personalidad exigente de su jefe previo, su jefe nuevo parecía muy tranquilo. 

Next to her former boss' demanding personality, her new boss seemed very mellow. 

 

Idiomatic Uses of the Preposition ante

 You might also hear the Spanish preposition ante in idiomatic expressions, such as ante ello ("in light of that" or "considering that"), ante la duda ("in case of doubt" or "when in doubt"), ante todo ("above all" or "first of all"), and many more. Let's hear two of these in action:

 

Y ante todo sos una chica que tenés derecho a soñar con todo lo que quieras.

And above all you're a girl who has the right to dream about everything you want.

Caption 13, Muñeca Brava 44 El encuentro - Part 7

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Ante la duda... -Ninguna. -que no se coma.

In case of doubt... -None. -don't eat it.

Captions 85-86, 75 minutos Del campo a la mesa - Part 11

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That's all for this lesson. As you can see, there are many ways to use the preposition ante, and we encourage you to try to write some additional sentences with each one of these uses. And, of course, don't forget to send us your questions and comments

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The Preposition desde in Spanish

Are you familiar with the preposition desde in Spanish? In this lesson, we'll learn many of the various ways to use it. Let's take a look. 

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Indicating an origin or starting point

This is one of the most common uses of desde and includes three subcategories:

 

1. Describing movement or direction

 

El autobús que va desde el aeropuerto a la Plaza de España

The bus that goes from the airport to the Plaza de España

Caption 10, Raquel Oficina de Turismo

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2. Referring to a particular time period

 

desde la Época Prehispánica hasta el siglo veinte.

from the Pre-Hispanic Era to the twentieth century.

Caption 11, Paseando con Karen Monterrey - Museo de Historia Mexicana

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3. Referencing a particular fact or situation

 

Desde que llegué a Misiones, lo único que has hecho es estar encima mío.

Since I arrived at Misiones, all you have done is breathe down my neck.

Caption 12, Yago 6 Mentiras - Part 1

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Providing a point of reference

This is another very common use of the Spanish preposition desde. Just like with the previous category, there are three different ways to use it to give a reference point.

 

1. Measurement

 

Su interior mide, desde la pared interior hasta fuera, diecinueve con cinco metros,

Its inside measures, from the inside wall to the outside, nineteen point five meters,

Captions 22-23, Rosa Los Dólmenes de Antequera

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2. Perception

 

pero desde aquí, desde Hotel Kivir, vemos Triana. Triana es el barrio más conocido de Sevilla.

but from here, from the Hotel Kivir, we see Triana. Triana is the best-known neighborhood in Seville.

Captions 30-31, Sevilla, España Hotel Kivir - Part 1

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3. Location

 

Los saludo desde Popayán, Colombia.

I greet you from Popayan, Colombia.

Caption 2, Viajando con Carlos Popayán - Colombia - Part 1

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Expressing a personal viewpoint or opinion

One's opinion or point of view can be relayed by combining the preposition desde with terms like punto de vista (point of view), perspectiva (perspective), ángulo (angle), or enfoque (approach).

 

El arquitecto, eh... desde mi punto de vista, nace.

The architect, um... from my point of view, is born.

Caption 16, Leif El Arquitecto Español y su Arte - Part 1

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¿En qué marco describiría usted, desde la perspectiva del gobierno nicaragüense... el trabajo del desminado?

In what framework would you describe, from the perspective of the Nicaraguan government... mine-clearing work?

Captions 34-35, Tierra Envenenada Desminando - Part 3

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Indicating cause

In rare cases, the preposition desde in Spanish can be used to express something's cause. Let's see an example:

 

Algo tan absurdo solo se puede decir desde la ignorancia.

Something so absurd can only be said from ignorance.

 

Expressing correlation with the prepositions a and hasta

The Spanish preposition desde can be used with both a and hasta.

 

Quiero que recorramos juntos esa zona, desde Santa Marta hasta La Arenosa

I want to traverse that area together, from Santa Marta to La Arenosa

Caption 28, Carlos Vives, Shakira La Bicicleta

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desde la nota aguda a la nota grave

from the high note to the low note,

Caption 23, Música andina La zampoña

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On this note, we've reached the end of this lesson. We hope you learned something new today, and don't forget to send us your suggestions and comments.

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Using Articles When Referring to a Part of a Group

In this lesson, we would like to remind you of a very simple rule, which is nonetheless often forgotten even by native Spanish speakers. Let's start this lesson with a simple quiz. Which of the following sentences is incorrect?

 

Sentence A

Pero tenéis que entender que la mayoría de animales

But you have to understand that most animals

Captions 48-49, Amaya - Mis burras Lola y Canija

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Sentence B

"Cultivaremos la mayoría de los alimentos en los océanos".

"We'll grow most of [our] food in the oceans."

Caption 3, Escuela BCNLIP - Clase con Javi: el futuro

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If you're not sure which sentence is incorrect, we invite you to read this lesson.

 

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A simple rule to keep in mind

In expressions in which a part of a group is mentioned, it is appropriate to keep the article (ella, los, or las) after the preposition de.  Let's look at a couple of examples with different expressions:

 

la mitad + de + article

 

Correct:

 

La mitad de los artistas deberían estar presos

Half of the artists should be in jail

Caption 34, Calle 13 - Calma Pueblo

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Incorrect:

 

está limitado a la mitad de personas que pueden entrar habitualmente.

is limited to half the people who can usually enter.

Caption 32, Sergio - Socorrismo y COVID-19

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In this sentence, the article is missing after the preposition de. Considering that, the following would be the appropriate way of saying this sentence:

 

está limitado a la mitad de las personas que pueden entrar habitualmente.

 

la mayoría + de + article

 

Correct:

 

es uno de los principales problemas ambientales

is one of the main environmental problems

de la mayoría de los países del mundo,

of most countries in the world,

Captions 8-9, 3R - Campaña de reciclaje

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Incorrect:

 

En la mayoría de casos, el burro es incautado por la policía de los animales

In most cases, the donkey is confiscated by the animal police

Caption 51, Santuario para burros - Santuario

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As you can see, in this sentence, the article is also missing after the preposition de. That said, the appropriate form would be the following:

 

En la mayoría de los casos, el burro es incautado por la policía de los animales

 

Can you now answer the question we posed at the beginning of this lesson?

 

While this mistake is not a dramatic one, we invite you to keep this rule in mind so you can construct these kinds of sentences properly. That's all for now. We hope you have enjoyed this brief reminder, and don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions. ¡Hasta la próxima!

 

 

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The Preposition con in Spanish

Do you know how to use the preposition con (most commonly translated as "with") in Spanish? Let's explore some of the various ways of using this preposition correctly.

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Con to Describe Accompaniment

Like its English counterpart, the first use of the preposition con that most likely comes to mind is to introduce the concept of accompaniment by someone or something. We can find this use in the name of some of our series such as Aprendiendo con Carlos, Paseando con Karen, and also in the words of Ester from El Aula Azul:

 

Quédate con nosotros hoy

Stay with us today,

y aprende algo nuevo en nuestra clase.

and learn something new in our class.

Captions 4-5, Clase Aula Azul - Información con subjuntivo e indicativo

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The way con is used here is no different from the way we use "with" to describe accompaniment in English. However, it is worth mentioning that stranded prepositions (prepositions separated from their objects and often placed at the end of the sentence) do not occur in Spanish. Thus, a question like the one below must place the preposition con next to its object quién at the beginning of the sentence, as opposed to the manner in which "who" and "with" can be separated in informal English. 

 

¿Y con quién vives en Alemania?

And who do you live with in Germany?

Caption 21, La rutina diaria - La mañana

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Con Used to Indicate the Means or Tools Used to Do Something

The preposition con can also be employed to introduce the means or tools used to do an activity or achieve something. 

 

Hazlo primero con lápiz y después con plumón.

Do it first in pencil and then with a marker.

Caption 17, Manos a la obra - Separadores de libros: Pikachu

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Y os puedo asegurar que

And I can assure you that,

con paciencia y con disciplina se consigue todo.

with patience and discipline, one can achieve anything.

Caption 73, Fermín y los gatos - Mi gata Bimba

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We also use the preposition con in Spanish to introduce the way something is done or how it should be done:

 

¡Por acá, Guillermina, con cuidado!

Through here, Guillermina, carefully!

Caption 30, Guillermina y Candelario - Una película de terror

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Notice that the word cuidado can also appear before con in phrases such as the following:

 

Cuidado con el perro.

Beware of the dog.

 

Or, as Karen warns us in her video:

 

Mucho cuidado con lo que escribes.

[Be] very careful with what you write.

Caption 38, Aprendiendo con Karen - Útiles escolares

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Using Con with Verbs

When the preposition con is followed by an infinitive, it can function as a gerund (the -ing form of a verb, which functions as a noun):

 

Con decir perdón es suficiente.

Saying you're sorry is enough.

Caption 20, Muñeca Brava - 47 Esperanzas

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Con is also the dependent preposition (preposition that depends upon or must follow a particular noun, verb, or adjective) after certain verbs such as terminar (to put an end to something), bastar (to be enough or suffice) or comparar (to compare), to name a few. 

 

Terminar con mi noviazgo no parecía tan complicado.

Ending my relationship didn't seem so complicated.

Caption 61, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 8

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Y me basta con saber que estás allí

And it's enough to know that you're there

Caption 19, Franco De Vita - Mi sueño

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A pesar de que lo... la cultura azteca también

Although the... the Aztec culture also

tenía su preciosismo no se compara con los Mayas...

had its beauty, it can't be compared to the Mayans...

Captions 46-47, Antonio Vargas - Artista - ilustración

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Creating Contrast

Finally, the preposition con can additionally introduce a phrase that stands in contrast to the following clause, taking on a meaning similar to "although" or "despite."

 

Esta mujer aquí donde la ve,

This woman who stands here before you,

con lo simpática que parece, es como un general.

as nice as she seems, is like a general.

Captions 62-63, Los casos de Yabla - El perrito malcriado

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That's all for this lesson. We hope it has been clear for you and you can now use this preposition con más seguridad y precisión (with greater confidence and accuracy)! And, don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions

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Vivir en vs. Vivir a

Many Yabla users have been wondering about the difference between 'vivir en' and 'vivir a' when you are talking about a particular place. In this lesson, we will explain how to properly use the verb vivir (to live) with either of these two prepositions. Let's start this lesson with a little quiz. Put the missing preposition(s) in the following sentence:

 

Porque si te cansas de vivir ___ Cádiz, te puedes ir a vivir ___ Málaga.

Because if you get tired of living in Cadiz, you can go to live in Malaga.

 

Would you use the preposition a or the preposition en? Or both? Let's find out the answer.

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When to use vivir + en

We use 'vivir en' when we want to indicate a place. Let's see some examples:

 

Hice mis amigos, tengo mi novia

I made friends, I have my girlfriend,

y me encanta vivir en Miami.

and I love to live in Miami.

Captions 35-36, Fiesta en Miami - Antonio

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Siempre he tenido mi idea de vivir en Alemania.

I have always wanted to live in Germany.

Caption 82, Gonzalo el Pintor - Vida

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When to use vivir + a

We use 'vivir a' when we want to indicate that someone is moving towards a place: a destination. Because of that, 'vivir a' is preceded by verbs that indicate movement such as ir (to go) or venir (to come). In fact, the preposition 'a' before the destination is required by the verb that indicates movement and not by the verb vivir (to live). Let's take a look:

 

Me voy a ir a vivir a Barcelona.

I'm going to go live in Barcelona.

Caption 23, Arume - Málaga, España

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¿Viene a vivir a Buenos Aires?

She's coming to live in Buenos Aires?

Caption 38, Yago - 8 Descubrimiento

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Combining 'vivir en' and 'vivir a'

Now that we understand the difference, it is time to solve our quiz:

 

Porque si te cansas de vivir en Cádiz,

Because if you get tired of living in Cadiz,

te puedes ir a vivir a Málaga.

you can go to live in Malaga.

Captions 10-11, 75 minutos - Gangas para ricos

 Play Caption

 

That's it for now. We hope you like this lesson and don't forget to send us your comments and suggestions.

 

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A punto vs. Apunto

Do you know how to use a punto as opposed to apunto? Do you know the meaning of the expression "estar a punto de"? Let's start this lesson with a little quiz. Which term would you use in the following sentences, a punto or apunto?:

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Te ______ en la lista de pacientes.

I'll write you down on the patient list.

 

What about this one?:

En 1985, Colombia estuvo ______ de conseguir la paz.

In 1985, Colombia was about to achieve peace.

 

Let's review the meaning of a punto and apunto.

 

The meaning of a punto

A punto is an adverbial phrase that can be used in the following two ways:

 

1. To indicate that something is ready for the end it has been prepared for.

2. As a synonym of "timely" or "on time". 

 

Here's one example:

 

¿Esto lo hago hasta que quede a punto de nieve?

Shall I do this until it forms peaks [literally "until it looks like snow"]?

-Has'... Ah, no, eh... -Claro.

-Unt'... Oh, no, um... -Of course.

Caption 9, Ricardo - La compañera de casa

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A punto de + infinitive

While the adverbial phrase a punto is used fairly often, the most common use of a punto is when it's part of the prepositional phrase a punto de + infinitive verb. In terms of its meaning, we use a punto de + infinitive verb when we want to say that something is or was about to happen. In fact, you can think of a punto de as the English equivalent "about to". Let's look at a couple of examples:

 

La señora pulpo me contó que tenía muchos hijitos a punto de nacer.

Lady octopus told me that she had many children about to be born.

Captions 21-22, Guillermina y Candelario - La Señora Pulpo

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Estoy súper emocionada, pues estoy a punto de ingresar

I'm super excited because I'm about to enter

a uno de los lugares más emblemáticos.

one of the most symbolic places.

Captions 10-12, Paseando con Karen - Barrio Antiguo

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Cuando estaba a punto de huir y regresar a mi casa,

When I was about to flee and go back home,

hubo un milagro que salvó mi bachillerato.

there was a miracle that saved my high school diploma.

Captions 18-19, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 1 - Part 5

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If you keep in mind the last two sentences, it is worth mentioning that most of the time in Spanish we use the verb estar (to be) before a punto de + infinitive verb. As we mentioned previously, we use this formula for sentences in the past as well as the present.

 

What about the meaning of apunto?

Now that you know how to use a punto and a punto de, we can say that apunto (one word) corresponds to the first person singular of the verb apuntar in the present tense. Apuntar can mean:

 

To point out something

To take notes or write down something

To subscribe to something

 

Let's see an example:

 

A cogerlos con la mano, me apunto.

For taking them with my hand, I'll sign up.

-Cógelo con las manos.

-Take it with your hands.

Caption 25, 75 minutos - Del campo a la mesa

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So, now that we have revealed the meanings and uses of both a punto and apunto, it's time to see the answers to the quiz we used to introduce this lesson:

 

Te apunto en la lista de pacientes.

I'll write you down on the patient list.

Caption 27, Ariana - Cita médica

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En mil novecientos ochenta y cinco, sucedieron muchas cosas buenas.

In nineteen eighty-five, many good things happened.

Colombia estuvo a punto de conseguir la paz.

Colombia was about to achieve peace.

Captions 2-3, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 1 - Part 2

 Play Caption

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And that's it for now. We hope you enjoyed this lesson and don’t forget to send us your feedback and suggestions.

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The Word Bajo as a Preposition (and So Much More)!

As a beginner Spanish student, the word bajo may well be among the first words one learns, typically as an adjective meaning “short.” However, like many words in Spanish, this word has a whole plethora of meanings and can additionally function as a preposition, adverb, noun, and even a verb!

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Let’s start by examining the use of the word bajo as a preposition. Although its translation is almost always “under” or “below,” like its English equivalent, this could refer not only to physical location, but also to the state of being subject to some influence. Let’s take a look at the following examples from our Yabla Spanish library.

 

One possible meaning of the preposition bajo is "in a position below something else":

 

Pero no entiendo qué hace mi amiga un día de semana bajo este árbol tan maravilloso.

But I don't understand what is my friend doing on a weekday under this wonderful tree.

Captions 4-5, Escribiendo un libro - Algunos consejos sobre cómo comenzar

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Another, similar meaning of “bajo,” which also involves location, suggests that something is beneath the surface or covered by something: 

 

Tengo aquí bajo mi almohada tu fotografía

I have your picture here under my pillow

Caption 20, La Oreja de Van Gogh - Inmortal

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Moving on to uses of the preposition bajo not involving location, like “under” in English, bajo could also express the concept of being less than:

 

Congelando lo que es la punta de la botella en una solución que está a diez o quince grados bajo cero.

Freezing the tip of the bottle in a solution that is ten or fifteen degrees below zero.

Captions 33-34, Europa Abierta - Champagne en Andalucía

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The Spanish preposition bajo could additionally mean "in accordance with" or "subject to the terms of," for example, some agreement:

 

Algunos clientes bajo contrato, le pre-maduramos la fruta.

[For] some customers under contract, we pre-ripen the fruit.

Caption 99, 75 minutos - Del campo a la mesa

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And finally, although we have only touched on some of its many nuanced meanings, we’ll take a look at an example in which the preposition bajo entails being managed or governed by something:

 

Para su información, todo el personal de servicio está bajo mi mando, ¿sí?

For your information, all the service staff is under my authority, right?

Caption 49, Muñeca Brava - 3 Nueva Casa

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Now, let’s look at bajo as an adjective. Its most common translations are “short” or “low,” both in terms of height or level and in reference to intensity or morality. Here are some examples from the Yabla Spanish video library: 

 

Y es muy gracioso porque Pedro es todo lo contrario de Carolina.

And it's very funny because Pedro is totally the opposite of Carolina.

Es bajo, es gordo...

He's short, he's fat...

Captions 32-33, El Aula Azul - Mis Primos

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Desde chiquito el bajo mundo conocía

Since he was a child, he knew the underworld

Caption 4, La Secta - Consejo

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Se manifestaban porque el sueldo era muy bajo.

They were on strike because their salary was very low.

Caption 33, Con ánimo de lucro - Cortometraje

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As an adverb, bajo could also be translated as “low” in some cases (for example, when describing a helicopter flying “low”) or “softly” or “quietly” when referring to one’s speech:

 

¡Que le quede claro! -¡Shhhhh, habla bajo!

Let that be clear to you! -Shhhhh, speak quietly!

Caption 42, Yago - 7 Encuentros

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Much more straightforwardly, as a noun, the word bajo refers to the musical instrument, the bass: 

 

Entonces yo dije: "Yo... yo puedo tocar... Yo puedo tocar el bajo."

So, I said, "I... I can play... I can play the bass."

Caption 50, Carli Muñoz - Niñez

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And finally, it is worth noting that bajo is the first person singular, present tense conjugation of the verb “bajar” (to go or come down or get off or out).

 

Ya está, la comida... -Sí, sí, sí, ya, yo ya bajo.

It's ready, the food... -Yes, yes, yes, now, I'm coming down now.

Caption 72, Muñeca Brava - 44 El encuentro

 Play Caption

 

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We hope that this lesson has shed light on some of the ways the word bajo can function as a preposition - in addition to a noun, verb, adjective or adverb! If you would like to see many additional examples in context, simply enter the word bajo in the search bar at the top of the Videos page to find matches in the transcripts of the Yabla Spanish library. And don’t forget to send us your feedback and suggestions.

 

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The Preposition en in Spanish

Are you familiar with prepositions in Spanish? In this lesson, we will talk about the preposition en, which is one of the most commonly used prepositions in the Spanish language. In fact, this preposition works like the English prepositions “in,” “on” and “at.” Let's take a look. 

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How to use the preposition en in Spanish

 

We use the preposition en when we want to state that something ocurred in a particular year or when we want to make a reference to a particular season or month of the year. In other words, we use the preposition en when talking about time.

 

Esa institución dejó de existir en mil novecientos noventa y nueve.

That institution ceased to exist in nineteen ninety-nine.

Caption 60, Carlos comenta - Los Años Maravillosos - Costumbres alimenticias y conflicto

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Y en invierno suele hacer mucho frío.

And in winter it tends to be very cold.

Caption 15, Clara explica - El tiempo

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En abril, llueve mucho.

In April, it rains a lot.

Caption 17, El Aula Azul - Estaciones y Meses

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When it comes to time, we also use the preposition en when we want to express a particular amount of time:

 

En veinte minutos se va a servir la cena.

In twenty minutes dinner is going to be served.

Caption 3, Muñeca Brava - 36 La pesquisa

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The preposition en in Spanish is also used when we want to indicate the location of a person or object.

 

Estoy en la escuela, El Aula Azul.

I am at the school, The Blue Classroom.

Caption 4, El Aula Azul - Ser y Estar

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El perro de Ana duerme en el horno.

Ana's dog sleeps in the oven.

Caption 5, Extr@: Extra en español - Ep. 1 - La llegada de Sam

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One of the most common uses of the preposition en is when we use it to talk about means of transportation.

 

Me fui a Bélgica con mi novio en avión.

I went to Belgium with my boyfriend on a plane.

Caption 2, Blanca y Mariona - Proyectos para el verano

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The preposition en is also used to express the value of something.

 

Y las cabañas sin baño están en ochenta mil pesos.

And the cabins without a bathroom go for eighty thousand pesos.

Caption 35, Cleer y Lida - Reservando una habitación

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Finally, the preposition en is also used to indicate how something is carried out.

 

En silencio pensaré tan sólo en ti

In silence I will think only of you

Caption 34, La Oreja de Van Gogh - Deseos De Cosas Imposibles

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In this example, notice how we can use the preposition en along with the verb pensar (to think) when we want to express "thinking of" someone or something.

 

Common expressions that use the preposition en in Spanish

Apart from the uses we have mentioned above, the preposition en can be found in various expressions that are quite common in Spanish. Let's look at some of them:

 

¿Es en serio?

Seriously?

Caption 50, Conversaciones en el parque - Cap. 2: Cafe y bocadillos

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Acuérdate que tenemos muchos amigos en común.

Remember that we have a lot of friends in common.

Caption 14, Los casos de Yabla - Problemas de convivencia

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En realidad, sólo con la práctica podemos entender mejor.

Actually, only with practice can we better understand.

Caption 64, Carlos explica - Tuteo, ustedeo y voseo: Conjugación

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To summarize, the following are the most common uses of the preposition en in Spanish:

 

- When talking about time (years, month, seasons or amount of time)

- To indicate the location of a person or an object

- To indicate the means of transportation

- To express the value of something

- To indicate how something is carried out.

- In some very common expressions

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That's it for today. Now that you know how to use the preposition en in Spanish, try to write some sentences with all the different uses we mentioned throughout this lesson. And don’t forget to send your feedback and suggestions.

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The Preposition de in Spanish

Let’s talk about prepositions in Spanish! In this lesson, we will discuss the very often used and common preposition de. This preposition has lots of uses in Spanish and because of that, we can use it like the following English prepositions: fromofin, and even than. Let’s have a look.

 

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How to use the preposition de in Spanish​

 

There are several ways we can use the preposition de in Spanish. For example, we use the preposition de when we want to indicate the nationality or origin of someone or something:

 

¿De dónde eres? -Soy de Alemania

Where are you from? -I am from Germany.

Captions 36-37, Curso de español - ¿De dónde eres?

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We also use the preposition de when we want to indicate the material that something is made of.

 

El lápiz está hecho de madera.

The pencil is made of wood.

Caption 40, Aprendiendo con Karen - Útiles escolares

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Similarly, we use the preposition de when we want to describe the features or characteristics of someone or something, in other words, when we want to describe a noun with another noun.

 

Se toma mucho el jugo de naranja que tiene mucha vitamina C.

Orange juice is consumed a lot as it has a lot of vitamin C.

Caption 74, Otavalo - Conozcamos el Mundo de las Frutas con Julia

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Eh, sobre todo aquí tenemos libros de historia de, eh…

Um, most of all, here we have history books about, um…

Caption 60, El Instituto Cervantes - Jefa de biblioteca

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Un profesor de español.

Spanish teacher.

Caption 22, El Aula Azul - Cursos y actividades de la escuela

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One of the most common uses of the preposition de is when we use it to talk about possession. Let’s look at an example.

 

Es una empresa de tradición familiar, de mis abuelos.

It's a company with a family tradition from my grandparents.

Caption 50, Europa Abierta - Carne ecológica y segura

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In the example above, you can see that the first de is used to describe the company, while the second de is used to indicate possession (the company belongs to the grandparents). We can also use the preposition de in terms of “possession” when we want to indicate the relation that connects people.

 

El novio de Claudia es un tipo muy pinta.

Claudia's boyfriend is a very "pinta" [handsome] guy.

Caption 27, Carlos comenta - Confidencial - Jerga típica colombiana

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The preposition de also helps us to indicate a cause when it is placed after an adjective and before a verb.

 

Estoy ya cansado de estar endeudado

I am tired of being in debt (I’m tired because I’m always in debt)

Caption 3, Bacilos - Mi Primer Millón

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We can also use the preposition de when we want to express something using a comparison or a point of reference with the expressions más de (more than) or menos de (less than):

 

Sí, un poquito menos de quinientos mil habitantes.

Yes, a little less than five hundred thousand inhabitants.

Caption 47, Buenos Aires - Heladería Cumelen

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Besides the uses we mentioned above, we also use the preposition de when talking about expressions of time. Let’s see how:

 

Supongamos que son las cinco de la tarde

Let's suppose that it's five in the evening

Caption 66, Carlos explica - El pretérito Cap. 2: Perfecto compuesto I

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And finally, we use the preposition de along with the preposition a to indicate a particular range or period. Like in the following example:

 

El horario es de lunes a viernes

The schedule is from Monday to Friday

Caption 69, Negocios - La solicitud de empleo

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To summarize, the following are the most common uses of the preposition de in Spanish:

- To indicate nationality or origin

- To indicate the material that something is made of

- To describe the features or characteristics of someone or something (to describe a noun with another noun)

- To indicate possession

- To indicate a cause (after an adjective and before a verb)

- To express a comparison or point of reference (with más de or menos de)

- To talk about expressions of time

- To indicate a particular range (with the preposition a)

 

The contraction del in Spanish

 

When the preposition de goes before the definite article el, you need to combine the two words using the contraction del (de + el). Just as it happens with the contraction al (a + el), when you have the preposition de next to the article el, the contraction del is mandatory!

 

Estos son los números del uno al cien.

These are the numbers from one to a hundred.

Caption 44, El Aula Azul - Los Números del 1-100

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In this example, we can see both contractions (del and al) in action. Also, in this sentence, the speaker is using the preposition de and the preposition a together because she is indicating a range. Remember that it would be wrong to say that sentence in the following way: Estos son los números de el uno a el cien.

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That's all for now. If you feel like it, try writing sentences with all the different uses we have mentioned for the preposition de. And don’t forget to send your feedback and suggestions.

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