Prepositions in Spanish.
One of the most used grammatical elements in all Languages are the Prepositions. In English and Spanish Grammars, its definition is very similar and, although in English they have always been more abundant, the number of Prepositions in Spanish has been increasing in time, by the greater Authority of the Spanish Language that is the RAE, Real Academia Española (Royal Spanish Academy).
However, its definition remains unchanged and can be simplified in the following way:
“The preposition is a word that relates to the elements of a sentence and may indicate a relationship between these that define: origin, destination, address, place, time, starting point, reason, location, etc.”
Although there is no direct correspondence between them, in both Languages there are the so-called Simple Prepositions formed by a single word, and the Composite Prepositions formed by two or more words.
And when we say that there is no direct correspondence, we mean that there are Simple Prepositions in English that can only be expressed by Composite Prepositions in Spanish and vice versa.
The most important difference that the English-speaker must assimilate is that in Spanish there are only 23 Simple Prepositions against the 53 that exist in English.
This means that some Spanish Prepositions are equivalent to several of the English and vice versa, according to the context, which can be confusing if we try to do literal translations instead of applying the Rules of Use.
The most notable Prepositions and their Rules of Use will be reviewed in the following Publications but, for now, we will see the Complete List and its Equivalences.
Simple Prepositions in English and their most usual Spanish equivalents can be seen in the following Table:
|Simple Prepositions in English / Preposiciones Simples en Ingles|
|about||sobre, acerca de|
|above||sobre, encima de|
|across||a través de||1|
|after||después de, tras de||1|
|against||contra, en contra de|
|along||a lo largo de||1|
|as||en calidad de, en condición de||1,2|
|before||antes de, antes que, delante de||1|
|behind||tras, detrás de|
|beneath||bajo, debajo de|
|beside||junto a, al lado de||1|
|beyond||mas allá de, fuera de||1|
|but||excepto, salvo, pero||3|
|concerning||sobre, acerca de|
|despite||a pesar de||1|
|except||a excepción de||1,3|
|into||en, a, dentro de|
|like||en calidad de, a modo de||1|
|next||al lado de, junto a||1|
|past||mas allá de||1|
|through||mediante, a través de, por medio de|
|throughout||en todo, a través de todo, a lo largo de||1|
|under||bajo, abajo de, conforme a|
|unlike||diferente a, a diferencia de||1|
|upon||sobre, a, encima de|
|within||entre, dentro de|
- There is not a single Spanish word to express it.
- Literal translation of the word “as” is “como”, and it is not a Preposition in Spanish but a Conjunction.
- The words “excepto”, “salvo” and “pero” are not Prepositions in Spanish but Conjunctions.
- Prepositions “por” and “para” have many meanings, and they will be study as an special case due the often confusions that cause because both are translated as “for”.
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