5 Vote

What is the difference between afuera/fuera and adentro/dentro in latin american spanish?

  • Posted Jun 10, 2011
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  • Buena pregunta. Quiero saber, también. - Tosh Jun 10, 2011 flag

6 Answers

3 Vote

Dentro can mean "inside" of something, whether a box or a period of time. Adentro denotes movement to the inside of something. Same goes for fuera/afuera as it regards being outside.

2 Vote

I have seen plenty of things like:

¿Quiere comer afuera?

No. Quiero comer adentro.

Neither of those denote movement. They just say where they want to eat.

I disagree. If used properly, dentro = inside (static), adentro = "to /towards" the inside (motion)

2 Vote

According to this thread.

The a added to words like this seem to be most often used to indicate movement.

If you were going outside, you would use afuera. If you were going inside, you would use adentro.

If you are inside you would use dentro. If you are outside you would use fuera.

However it seems to be used differently in Latin America vs. Spain.

According to our moderator Heidita afuera is rarely used in Spain.

Se viene a usar igual cuando es adverbio, en España no se usa apenas afuera, con el sentido de fuera.

Básicamente no veo la diferencia. Mira las definiciones el la RAE.

Tu frase: ...que trabajar fuera del hogar (en España sería más usual, quizás también sea regional en España, no estoy segura)

However, it should be noted. In general the a a the beginning of words such as "adentro, afuera, adonde" indicate movement.

As our valued member Lazuras1907 has said before, in this case in reference to another member named james:

Keep in mind that these are used differently in Latin America and Spain. In Spain, the tendency is to use afuera with motion verbs, the same way that adonde is used, and to use fuera with state verbs. Estoy fuera (I'm outside), voy afuera (I'm going outside). But in Latin America, afuera is used for both.

I would use afuera in your context, but let's wait and see what others say.

Es lo que dice James: antaño, muchos adverbios tenían una versión con una a- inicial para indicar movimiento, mientras que la versión sin la a- se usaba para situaciones estáticas. En España se usan más o menos aún así, aunque no todo el mundo sigue esta regla, y muchos usan las versiones sin a- también con verbos de movimiento, y viceversa, aunque esto último es más frecuente en América (p. ej., usar 'fuera' en ambos casos). En cualquier caso, las versiones con a- están sujetas a ciertas restricciones, como por ejemplo en la formación de ciertas locuciones, como "afuera de aquí" o "adelante de ti", que resultan inaceptables para la mayoría de los hablantes, y no se recomiendan en el lenguaje esmerado.

  • That makes sense, then. Rosetta Stone (Latin America) teaches afuera/fuera as equals. Same with adentro/dentro. - Tosh Jun 10, 2011 flag
  • But that is good to know... I will keep that in mind along with 'adónde'. - Tosh Jun 10, 2011 flag
2 Vote

Out is "fuera" and outside is "afuera".

Command - Get out! = ¡Fuera!

Out of the city = fuera de la ciudad

Out of the circle = fuera del círculo

Out of federal jurisdiction = fuera de jurisdicción federal

Outside is like the exterior of a house = afuera de la casa

I'm going outside = Voy afuera

The patio is outside = El patio está afuera

The cat and the dog are outside = El perro y el gato están afuera.

Dentro = in

adentro = inside

Dentro de dos semanas me voy. = In two weeks I'm leaving.

El perro está dentro de la casa = The dog is in the house

Estoy adentro = I am inside

El perro esta adentro = The dog is inside.

But, as someone pointed out above, in some countries they are both used in the same manner. I am giving you what we use in Panamá/

  • That's how I've been learning it. - Tosh Jun 10, 2011 flag
1 Vote

I have seen plenty of things like:

¿Quiere comer afuera?

No. Quiero comer adentro.

Neither of those denote movement. They just say where they want to eat.

And I have seen (for example):

El niño está adentro del carro. -and- El niño está dentro del carro. Both used interchangeably.

  • It is often a regional thing Tosh. Unfortunately this isn't a clear cut situation in the Spanish language. If you want the "accepted" version of uses you can look it up in the DRAE. - Fredbong Jun 10, 2011 flag
  • Makes sense now... see my comment on your post. :) - Tosh Jun 10, 2011 flag
0 Vote

I still dont get it, can someone explain please

  • Nowadays, It doesn't have much importance how you use them, because both work. It's common to hear people saying "Afuera" and "Fuera" and they mean the same. - Vicente1 Jun 10, 2011 flag
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