PREPOSITIONS: A, EN, DE

Today we will be learning how to use the prepositions a, en, de.

Let’s look at some examples to see how the preposition “a” is used. 

Mañana viajo a Barcelona. Llego a Barcelona a las 10 de la mañana en avión. El aeropuerto está a 30 minutos de Barcelona en tren. Tengo que ir a la playa y al Parque Güell.
Tomorrow I’m travelling to Barcelona. I arrive in Barcelona at 10am by plane. The airport is 30mins by train from Barcelona. I have to go to the beach and to Park Guell. 

We use “a” with verbs that express movement (ir – to go, llegar – to arrive, viajar – to travel…).

We also use the preposition “a” to indicate travel time (está a 30 minutos) or to indicate distance in kilometers (está a 30km – it is 10km away).

Now let’s read some examples using the preposition “en”:

Vivo en Madrid. Trabajo en Palencia. Barcelona está en España, está en el norte del país. Mi hotel está en el centro de Barcelona. Barcelona está en la costa. Llego a Barcelona a las 10 de la mañana en avión. 
I live in Madrid. I work in Palencia. Barcelona is in Spain, it is in the north. My hotel is in the centre of Barcelona. Barcelona is on the coast. I arrive in Barcelona at 10am by plane.

We use “en” when there is no movement involved.  We use the preposition “en” to describe where an activity takes place.

 We also use the preposition “en” with transport: viajar en tren (travel by train), viajar en coche (travel by car) , en metro (by metro), en autobús (by bus) , en avión (by plane).

Be careful though! We say: “ir a pie”, go on foot.

To finish, let’s take a look at some examples using the preposition “de”:

La Sagrada Familia está en Barcelona y es una iglesia muy especial del arquitecto Antoni Gaudí. Museo de Picasso. 
The Sagrada Familia is in Barcelona and it is a very special church designed by the architect Antoni Gaudí (literally “of” the architect Antoni Gaudi). The Picasso Museum (literally- the Museum “of” Picasso).

The preposition “de” indicates who is the author or owner of something: “de Gaudí”, “de Picasso”. Gaudí and Picasso are both artists who created works- they are authors. 

The preposition “de” is also used in place of the English “to/from” in combination with “cerca/lejos” (near/far) to talk about a place:

Palencia está cerca de Madrid. Barcelona está lejos de la China. 
Palencia is near “to” Madrid.
Barcelona is far from China. 

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