Hi, I'm struggling with Simple Prepositions, I din't pass my exam because I got wrong all the prepositions. Do you have any advices? Thank you so so much. Waiting for your kindly reply , Best Regards.
I thought a lot about your question, and I wish there was a magic rule to get all prepositions right, but unfortunately this is not the case. :(
But I really want to help you so here are some resources and tips. :)
First of all, prepositions don’t have exact translations in English (or other languages), so don’t try to fit a preposition into just 1 or 2-3 translations, or into just one category, because you’ll find surprises that won’t fit in any of those, and you’ll just get more confused and frustrated.
Also, prepositions are not placed everywhere around randomly, so try to see the patterns, the similarities, the differences, make lists, diagrams, drawings, anything that helps you to figure them out better.
General uses of most common prepositions
- a: objective, goal, indirect object
- con: with (this is probably the easiest one)
- de: origin, belonging, ingredient/material
- desde: origin (focus on distance), from somewhere in place or time until here/now.
- en: location, transportation, during
- hasta: to, until (focus on distance), from here/now to somewhere in place or time.
- hacia: towards, around
- por: cause, reason, method, way
- para: purpose, goal
Different prepositions + [place/time]
- Voy a México. - I go to Mexico.
- Voy para México. - I’m on my way to Mexico.
- Voy hacia México. - I’m going towards Mexico.
- Voy hasta México. - I go to Mexico. (All the way from here to there)
- Vengo de Bolivia. - I come from Bolivia.
- Vengo desde Bolivia. - I come from Bolivia. (All the way from there to here)
- Vivo en Chile. - I live in Chile.
- Vivo por el parque. - I live close to the park. (The park is around my house)
*I made all these examples with hours, but you can use days, weeks, months, years, seasons, daytime, etc.
- Trabajo a las 8:00 AM. - I work at 8:00 AM
- Trabajo hasta las 8:00 PM - I work until 8:00 PM
- Ella llegará por las 5:00. - She’ll arrive around 5:00.
- Ella llegará para las 5:00. - She’ll arrive around 5:00.
- Ella llegará hacia las 5:00. - She’ll arrive around 5:00.
*In this case all these 3 sentences have the same meaning and most of the times can be interchangeable.
- Practico de 5:00 a 7:00. - I practice from 5:00 to 7:00.
- Practico desde las 5:00 hasta las 7:00. - I practice from 5:00 until 7:00.
- Me levanto desde las 6:00. - I get up from 6:00.
- Me duermo hasta las 11:00. - I go to bed until 11:00.
en + months, seasons, years (not days)
- Tengo vacaciones en julio. - I’m on vacation in July.
- Quiero ir en primavera. - I want ton go in the spring.
- Voy a ir a Argentina en el 2020. - I’m going to Argentina in 2020.
**days: we use “el, los”:
Estoy libre el viernes. - I’m free on Friday.
Tomo clases de piano los miércoles. - I take piano classes on Wednesdays.
I made a Google document with the most common prepositions and their most common uses, and I also made as many examples as I could so you can see how we use them.
Here’s the document: PREPOSITIONS
Por & Para
For por and para visit my Google document. ↑↑↑
Read a lot
To get used to prepositions you need to use them a lot, and one way to do this is reading. Try to read everything you can in Spanish, from advertising to novels or news, depending on your level. Pay attention to the prepositions, specially to the ones that you find more difficult. Look at the context, and the words before and after each preposition, it will make it easier.
I know it’s difficult to try to understand what you’re reading and try to study the prepositions at the same time, so that’s why I leave you here some webpages where you can read the same articles or stories in Spanish and English. So you don’t have to focus on what is being said, but how prepositions are used.
You can also go to Linguee to search for prepositions in context.
Do as many exercises as you need to get prepositions right.
Here, I share with you all the preposition exercises I found.
- learn Spanish fell good
- to learn free
- Spanish Dict: Go to Prepositions, pick the one that you need, at the end of every page there’s a quiz.
- 123 Teach Me
- Green Mouse
- Cliffs Notes: Go to Prepositions and pick what you need.
We use Transitional Words or Phrases to link words, sentences or phrases, as therefore, nevertheless and so on.
In Spanish, many of these transitional phrases have prepositions. If you try to translate them literally they probably won’t make sense, so try to learn them just as they are.
Here are some links where you can see these transitional phrases:
I hope this was useful. Remember, the more you use them the easier it will be. :)
¡Buena suerte! Good luck!