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!
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 17Play Caption
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 ArrauPlay Caption
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 5Play Caption
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 violínPlay Caption
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 ChauPlay Caption
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 1Play Caption
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 MatsuyamaPlay Caption
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.
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 7Play Caption
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 11Play Caption
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.
Generally speaking, we use the present indicative in Spanish to talk about actions that are taking place at the moment (now). However, that's not the only use of it. Let's take a look at the following list so you can understand how to use the present indicative in Spanish.
Actions that are taking place right at the moment (now):
¿Dónde están las chicas?
Where are the girls?
¿Las chicas? -Ajá.
The girls? -Uh-huh.
Lola y Ana. -Uh...
Lola and Ana. -Uh...
Lola y Ana viven aquí.
Lola and Ana live here.
Captions 26-29, Extr@: Extra en español - Ep. 1 - La llegada de SamPlay Caption
In the above sentence, you can see how the verbs estar (to be) and vivir (to live) are conjugated in the present indicative for the third person plural (las chicas/Lola y Ana/ellas... están/viven).
You can also talk about actions that take place over time:
Trabajo en un colegio.
I work at a school.
Soy maestra de música y de ciencias.
I'm a music and science teacher.
Captions 6-7, Ariana - Mi CasaPlay Caption
In this example, you can see the verbs trabajar (to work) and ser (to be) conjugated in the present indicative for the first person singular (yo trabajo/soy).
IMPORTANT! Remember that in Spanish it is very common to drop the pronouns from the sentences. As you can see in the sentence above, Ariana doesn't say "yo trabajo" but rather only "trabajo".
En agosto, vamos a la playa.
In August, we go to the beach.
En septiembre, empieza el otoño.
In September, the fall begins.
Captions 21-22, El Aula Azul - Estaciones y MesesPlay Caption
In the example above, we can see the present indicative of the verb ir (to go) in the first person plural (nosotros vamos) and the present indicative of the verb empezar (to begin) in the third person singular (el otoño empieza).
La Laguna de San Pablo está a los pies del imponente
The San Pablo Lagoon is at the foot of the imposing
Caption 13, Otavalo - Un día en la ciudad de los lagosPlay Caption
In the example above, Natalia uses the present indicative of the verb estar for the third person singular (está) to state a fact.
You can talk about daily activities and habitual actions using the present indicative:
De lunes a viernes, me levanto a las siete de la mañana.
From Monday to Friday, I get up at seven in the morning.
Caption 2, GoSpanish - La rutina diaria de SolPlay Caption
In the above clip, you can see how Sol uses the present indicative of the verb levantarse (yo me levanto) to express one of her habitual actions.
Dante y Mika vienen todos los días a trabajar conmigo
Dante and Mika come work with me every day
aquí al Refugio del Burrito.
here at the Little Donkey Shelter.
Caption 62, Rosa - La perrita MikaPlay Caption
Similarly, Rosa uses the present indicative of the verb venir (to come) to describe something habitual. In this case, the verb is conjugated in the third person plural (Dante y Mika/ellos... vienen).
Did you know that the present indicative can be used for things happening in the near future? Let's see some examples.
Le prometo que termino de morfar y... y salgo a laburar. Va a ver.
I promise you that I'll finish eating and... and go out to work. You'll see.
Caption 63, Yago - 8 DescubrimientoPlay Caption
In this sentence, the speaker is using the present indicative of the verb salir (to go out) in order to express an action that will take place in the near future. Once he's done with his lunch, he will go out to work. The verb is conjugated in the first person singular (yo salgo).
Bueno, pues entonces, no hay que pensarlo más.
OK, well then, we don't have to think about it anymore.
Mañana hablamos con el jefe y desde la oficina
Tomorrow we'll talk to the boss and from the office
Captions 11-12, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa - Capítulo 2Play Caption
In the previous example, you can fully appreciate how the present indicative of the verb hablar (to talk) is used to indicate an action that will take place tomorrow! This may be a bit weird for English speakers but it is a very common formula used by Spanish speakers. The verb is conjugated in the first person plural (nosotros hablamos).
Finally, it is worth mentioning that in journalism and the academic field, some people like to use the present indicative when referring to historical facts. Let's see the following example:
El Imperio romano cae en el año 476
The Roman Empire falls in the year 476
And that's it for today. We hope this lesson helped you to understand how to use the present indicative in Spanish. And don't forget to send us your comments and questions.
We have been exploring interesting forms of negation in Spanish. This lesson will be focusing on the use of the expressions en absoluto, de ninguna manera, and del todo.
The Spanish expression en absoluto (not at all) is similar to the English negation "absolutely not" but it's not used the same way. Perhaps the most notable difference is that in Spanish you don't necessarily need the word no (not) for the expression to be considered a negation. Here's an example:
Aldo, ¿a vos te molesta? -En absoluto.
Aldo, does it bother you? -Not at all.
Captions 4-5, Yago - 6 Mentiras - Part 9Play Caption
If you want to add the negative word no (not) you usually include it before the expression en absoluto followed by a comma:
No, en absoluto. ¿Alguna indicación más para el viaje?
No, absolutely not. Any other instruction for the trip?
Captions 76-77, Muñeca Brava - 7 El poemaPlay Caption
Of course, if you don't add the preposition en (in) before it, the word absoluto is just an adjective:
Quiero tener el control absoluto de la empresa.
I want to have absolute control of the company.
Caption 14, Muñeca Brava - 8 TrampasPlay Caption
Spanish also uses the adverb absolutamente (absolutely). You need a negative word such as no (not) or nada (nothing) to use it as part of a negation:
Manillas tampoco, absolutamente nada.
No bracelets either, absolutely nothing.
Caption 59, Misión Chef - 2 - PruebasPlay Caption
If you want to use this word in short negative answers, you just need to add a negative word directly after it, or before it followed by a comma. Here are some examples:
¿Te duele algo? -Nada, absolutamente / Absolutamente nada.
Is anything hurting you? -Nothing, absolutely not / Absolutely nothing.
¿Vino alguien a la fiesta? -Nadie, absolutamente / Absolutamente nadie.
Someone came to the party? -Nobody, absolutely not / Absolutely nobody.
¿Tienes hambre? -No, absolutamente / Absolutamente no.
Are you hungry? -No, absolutely not / Absolutely not.
The expression de ninguna manera means "no way." It can be used as part of long negative statements like de ninguna manera voy a hacer eso (there's no way I will do that). You could also invert the order of the words, but in this case you need to add the negative word no before the verb, for example: no voy a hacer eso de ninguna manera (I won't do that, no way).
You can also use de ninguna manera as a short negative answer, with or without the use of the negative word no:
¿Usted también me va a dar la espalda? -¡De ninguna manera!
You're turning your back on me too? -No way!
Caption 41, Yago - 8 Descubrimiento - Part 7Play Caption
No... no, no. No, de ninguna manera.
No... no, no. No, no way.
Captions 44-45, Muñeca Brava - 18 - La ApuestaPlay Caption
Finally, another Spanish expression that is commonly used in negative phrases is del todo (at all, totally, completely). In fact, to be part of a negation this expression needs to be preceded by a negative word, such as no (not) or nunca (never), and a conjugated verb. Here is an interesting example:
Se titula "Nunca se convence del todo a nadie de nada".
It's entitled "You Never Convince Anyone Completely of Anything."
Caption 8, Bunbury - Entrevista Con Enrique BunburyPlay Caption
You can also use del todo as part of a short negative answer: you have to keep the negative word proceeding it (in this case you should not use a comma) but you can omit the conjugated verb because it's implied in context. For example:
¿Te gustó la película? -No del todo.
Did you like the movie? -Not completely.
¿Fuiste feliz en tu primer matrimonio? -Nunca del todo.
Were you happy in your first marriage? -Never completely.