2 Vote

At this link: prepositions (which is from a source that I generally find reliable, Gerald Erichsen)

There is this example sentence:

bajo — under — El perro está bajo la mesa. The dog is under the table.

Every other time I had seen this sentence used before I had seen "debajo de" instead of "bajo", but web search does show other sources using "bajo".

We have several good threads on the difference between the terms, including:

abajo, debajo, bajo, debajo vs. bajo

So my question is simply, in the given example, is there any reason to favor one usage over another, or is it merely personal preference.

In English I think I could say: the dog is under the table, the dog is beneath the table, the dog is underneath the table, and (possibly) the dog is below the table, with no specific reason except personal preference to pick among them (the English grammaticians among us may correct me).

  • Did you mean to label the link prepositions, not pronouns? - 0074b507 Dec 16, 2010 flag
  • yes, thanks - Stadt Dec 16, 2010 flag

6 Answers

1 Vote



Maybe both are right but searching I think I found a little difference, bajo is must used for lower and debajo could be more like under, anyway I think there is no difference if you use them interchangeably.

  • As a native speaker, in that sentence do both of them sound okay to you, or do you like the sound of one better - Stadt Dec 16, 2010 flag
  • Well, weirdly the first (bajo de) sounds even proper to me, I would say the first only for that reason. - Dakie Dec 16, 2010 flag
  • Anyway both sound ok to me - Dakie Dec 16, 2010 flag
  • Thanks - Stadt Dec 16, 2010 flag
2 Vote

From the DPD:


Con pronunciación átona, bajo es también una preposición que equivale a debajo de (→ debajo):
Se sentó bajo el sauce del jardín
►Colocó las zapatillas bajo la cama.

1 Vote

There is no difference in your example, but I would use "abajo de" since I'm in Ecuador.

  • Thanks (my Spanish will be used primarily with Mexicans, whether in the US or Mexico) - Stadt Dec 16, 2010 flag
1 Vote

Your English examples are all synonyms.

  • Thanks, my English gets corrected here enough, that even as native speaker I am never sure that my English is proper. - Stadt Dec 16, 2010 flag
1 Vote

Se puede intercambiar debajo y bajo, refieren a lugares concretos El perro está bajo/debajo la mesa-the dog is under the table "abajo" es menos específico El perro está abajo- the dog is downstairs Me voy abajo- I'm going downstairs/or down

1 Vote

In short, there is not any reason to favor one usage over another. it is merely personal preference or custom.

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