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Quick answer
"Behind" is a preposition which is often translated as "detrás de", and "down" is an adverb which is often translated as "abajo". Learn more about the difference between "behind" and "down" below.
behind(
bi
-
haynd
)
A preposition is a word that indicates the relationship between a noun and another word (e.g. He ran through the door.).
1. (in or toward the back of)
a. detrás de
The kids hid behind the curtains to surprise the birthday girl.Los niños se escondieron detrás de las cortinas para sorprender a la cumpleañera.
b. atrás de
Regionalism used in Latin America: all the countries in South America, Central America, and the Caribbean. Does not include Spain.
(Latin America)
Please stay behind your mother.Por favor quédate atrás de tu mamá.
c. tras
There was a little mouse behind the wardrobe, and when we moved it, it ran away.Había un ratoncito tras el armario y, cuando lo movimos, salió corriendo.
2. (responsible for)
a. detrás de
The secretary was behind the scam.La secretaria estaba detrás del timo.
b. tras
It seems two high-ranking officers are behind the coup.Al parecer dos altos mandos están tras el golpe de estado.
3. (less advanced than)
a. detrás de
Alexa is slightly behind Tracy in the overall season scores.Alexa está ligeramente detrás de Tracy en la puntuación global de la temporada.
b. atrás de
Regionalism used in Latin America: all the countries in South America, Central America, and the Caribbean. Does not include Spain.
(Latin America)
Gonzalez was behind Uribe in the polls, but he's catching up.González iba atrás de Uribe en las encuestas, pero lo está alcanzando.
c. a la zaga
Our team is behind all the rest this season.Nuestro equipo está a la zaga de los demás esta temporada.
d. tras
We're not behind them in the league table, we're ahead of them.Nosotros no vamos tras ellos en la clasificación de la liga, estamos por delante de ellos.
4. (related to time zone)
a. por detrás de
Seattle is three hours behind New York.Seattle está tres horas por detrás de Nueva York.
5. (supportive of)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
I thought you were going to be behind my idea of hiring Carlos on an interim basis.Pensé que iban a respaldar mi idea de contratar a Carlos como empleado interino.
Why aren't you behind me on this proposal?¿Por qué no me apoyas con esta propuesta?
6. (to one's name or credit)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
Anne has 25 years of teaching behind her.Anne tiene 25 años dando clases en su haber.
We have a lot of experience behind us.Tenemos mucha experiencia en nuestro haber.
An adverb is a word that describes a verb, an adjective, or other adverbs (e.g. to run quickly, very tired).
7. (to the rear)
a. atrás
Regionalism used in Latin America: all the countries in South America, Central America, and the Caribbean. Does not include Spain.
(Latin America)
The bus driver heard a noise and looked behind.El chofer oyó un ruido y miró atrás.
b. detrás
His dog was running along behind.Su perro venía corriendo detrás.
c. de cerca
Cecilia was nervous because the same black van had been following close behind for ten minutes.Cecilia estaba nerviosa porque la misma camioneta negra la había estado siguiendo de cerca por diez minutos.
8. (behind schedule)
a. atrasado
The renters are behind with their payments.Los inquilinos van atrasados en los pagos.
b. retrasado
The train is behind; let's go get something to eat.El tren viene retrasado; vamos a por algo de comer.
9. (related to time zone)
a. más atrás
Remember that Mexico City is 2 hours behind.Acuérdate que la Ciudad de México va dos horas más atrás.
A noun is a word referring to a person, animal, place, thing, feeling or idea (e.g. man, dog, house).
10.
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(colloquial)
(buttocks)
a. el trasero
(m) means that a noun is masculine. Spanish nouns have a gender, which is either feminine (like la mujer or la luna) or masculine (like el hombre or el sol).
She slapped him on the behind.Le dio una palmada en el trasero.
b. la cola
(f) means that a noun is feminine. Spanish nouns have a gender, which is either feminine (like la mujer or la luna) or masculine (like el hombre or el sol).
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(colloquial)
Regionalism used in South America: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela
(South America)
Nice behind!¡Linda cola!
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down(
daun
)
An adverb is a word that describes a verb, an adjective, or other adverbs (e.g. to run quickly, very tired).
1. (vertical direction)
a. abajo
She lives two floors down.Ella vive dos pisos más abajo.
2. (in exclamations)
a. abajo
Down with the government!¡Abajo el gobierno!
b. baja
Down, Fido! Get off of that sofa!¡Bájate, Fido! ¡Bájate del sofá!
A preposition is a word that indicates the relationship between a noun and another word (e.g. He ran through the door.).
3. (direction)
a. por
You can go down the service stairs.Puedes irte por la escalera de servicio.
4. (along)
a. por
They walked down the avenue holding hands.Caminaron por la avenida tomados de la mano.
An adjective is a word that describes a noun (e.g. the big dog).
5. (sad)
a. deprimido
I'm a bit down because my grandfather is sick.Estoy un poco deprimido porque mi abuelo está enfermo.
6. (not functioning)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
The website has been down for three hours.El sitio web lleva tres horas sin funcionar.
We pay an arm and a leg, and the internet is always down!Pagamos un ojo de la cara y, ¡el internet nunca funciona!
A noun is a word referring to a person, animal, place, thing, feeling or idea (e.g. man, dog, house).
7. (material)
a. el plumón
(m) means that a noun is masculine. Spanish nouns have a gender, which is either feminine (like la mujer or la luna) or masculine (like el hombre or el sol).
I can't use a comforter made with down because I'm a vegan.No puedo usar un edredón de plumón porque soy vegana.
8. (hair)
a. el vello
(m) means that a noun is masculine. Spanish nouns have a gender, which is either feminine (like la mujer or la luna) or masculine (like el hombre or el sol).
(on body)
The down on the back of his neck is blond.El vello que tiene en la nuca es rubio.
b. el bozo
(m) means that a noun is masculine. Spanish nouns have a gender, which is either feminine (like la mujer or la luna) or masculine (like el hombre or el sol).
(on face)
That stuff on your upper lip is more down than a real mustache.Eso que tienes encima del labio es más bozo que un bigote verdadero.
9. (American football)
a. el down
(m) means that a noun is masculine. Spanish nouns have a gender, which is either feminine (like la mujer or la luna) or masculine (like el hombre or el sol).
That's a first down for Washington.Es un primer down para Washington.
b. la oportunidad
(f) means that a noun is feminine. Spanish nouns have a gender, which is either feminine (like la mujer or la luna) or masculine (like el hombre or el sol).
They haven't converted a third down all game.No han convertido una tercera oportunidad en todo el partido.
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
10. (to cause to fall)
a. derribar
They downed the enemy aircraft with one shot.Derribaron el avión del enemigo con un solo disparo.
11. (to drink quickly)
a. terminar
He downed the soda and ran out the door.Terminó el refresco y salió corriendo por la puerta.
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