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Quick answer
"Behind" is a preposition which is often translated as "detrás de", and "in front" is an adverb which is often translated as "adelante". Learn more about the difference between "behind" and "in front" 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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in front(
ihn
 
fruhnt
)
An adverb is a word that describes a verb, an adjective, or other adverbs (e.g. to run quickly, very tired).
1. (further ahead)
a. adelante
Did you see what the car that's in front just did?¿Viste lo que acaba de hacer el coche que está adelante?
2. (towards the front)
a. delante
Where do you want to sit, in front or in back?¿Dónde te quieres sentar, delante o atrás?
b. a la cabeza
Whoever is in front will have to guide us. Quién esté a la cabeza tendrá que guiarnos.
c. al frente
Juan, you'll be in front since you're the shortest. Juan, irás al frente por ser el más chaparro.
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