Spanish Grammar TipLas preposiciones – Spanish Prepositions

Las preposiciones (prepositions) are words that do not change in the sentence and are used to link or establish relationships between phrases or words. Each preposition can serve more than a single purpose, thus its meaning generally depends on the context. For the same reason, their translation in other languages can vary.

Let’s have a look at the main prepositions in Spanish and their most common uses:


direction: Voy a Madrid → I am going to Madrid.
location: El banco queda a mano derecha → The bank is on the right.
time: Hemos quedado a las cinco de la tarde → We are meeting at 5pm.


position: El director habló ante sus empleados → The manager spoke in front of his employees.


position: Estamos sentados bajo un cielo estrellado → We are sitting under a starry sky.
subordination / dependence: La situación quedó bajo el control de la policía → The situation was under the control of the police.


association / connection: Carlos salío con sus amigos → Carlos went out with his friends.
medium: Ha superado sus miedos con mucho coraje → She overcame her fears with great courage.


opposition: El Barça juega contra el Real Madrid → Barcelona is playing against Real Madrid.


possession: El piso de tus padres es muy bonito → The flat of your parents is very nice.
origin: Nosotras venimos de Salamanca → We are coming from Salamanca.
material: Esta caja es de cartón. → This box is made of cartboard.
time: Saldremos a las 10 de la mañaña. → We are leaving at 10 in the morning.
topic: Siempre hablan de política. → They talk about politics all the time.


beginning of time: Las tiendas abren desde las 9 de la mañaña. → Shops open from 9 in the morning.
beginning of space: Se tarda una hora desde Toledo a Madrid. → It takes one hour from Toledo to Madrid.


time: Nació en febrero. → She was born in February
location: Entreno en el gim tres días a la semana. → I work out in the gym three days a week.
medium: Fueron a Valencia en autobús. → They went to Valencia by coach.
manner: La nueva peli es en inglés. → The new movie is in English.


in the middle of things, people or actions: El restaurante queda entre el cine y el banco → The restaurant is between the cinema and the bank.


direction / inclination: El barco navegaba hacia el este. → The ship was sailing towards the east.


termination of time, space, amount, action: El museo queda abierto hasta las siete de la tarde. → The museum stays open until 7pm.


purpose: Ahorro para irme de viaje a Tenerife. → I am saving to go on holiday to Tenerife.
finality: Este regalo es para ti. → This gift is for you.


movement: Andaba por el parque con su perro. → He was walking across the park with his dog.
cause / reason: Lo han expulsado por acoso. → They expelled him because of bullying.
generic time: Por la noche, nunca estoy cansado. → I am never tired at night.


concerning: Según mi padre, no se puede aparcar aquí. → According to my dad, we cannot park here.


exclusion: Andreas solo toma café sin leche. → Andreas only drinks coffee without milk.


position: El boli está sobre la mesa. → The pen is on the table.
topic: La noticia habla sobre el robo de ayer. → The news is about yesterday’s robbery.


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