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Quick answer
"By" is a preposition which is often translated as "por", and "in" is a preposition which is often translated as "en". Learn more about the difference between "by" and "in" below.
by(
bay
)
A preposition is a word that indicates the relationship between a noun and another word (e.g. He ran through the door.).
1. (indicating agent or cause)
a. por
The bridge was destroyed by the flood waters.El puente quedó destruido por las inundaciones.
The house was built by an architect.La casa fue construida por un arquitecto.
2. (indicating author or creator)
a. de
We're reading a book by Octavio Paz in Spanish class.Estamos leyendo un libro de Octavio Paz en la clase de español.
3. (indicating location)
a. junto a
The mayor built his house by the park.El alcalde construyó su casa junto al parque.
b. al lado de
I waited by the door until my name was called.Esperé al lado de la puerta hasta que me llamaron.
4. (indicating way or path)
a. por
The cowboy came by the old buffalo trail.El vaquero llegó por la vieja senda de los bisontes.
5. (indicating movement near)
a. por delante de
We drove by your house yesterday.Ayer pasamos por delante de tu casa.
6. (indicating short visit)
a. por
I’ll stop by the store and get some eggs.Pasaré por la tienda a comprar huevos.
7. (indicating final destination)
a. a
We’re going to go by my mom’s house for lunch on Saturday.Vamos a ir a la casa de mi mamá a comer el sábado.
8. (indicating time limit)
a. antes de
Since I wasn't home by 10, my dad will ground me.Como no llegué a casa antes de las 10, mi papá me va a castigar.
b. para
If the package hasn't arrived by Tuesday, we should contact the sender.Si no ha llegado el paquete para el martes, deberíamos contactar al remitente.
9. (indicating time span)
a. de
By day he's a tailor and by night he's a dancer.De día es sastre y de noche es bailarín.
10. (indicating means)
a. mediante
The energy produced by fusion is emitted as light.La energía producida mediante fusión se emite como luz.
b. por
The books are classified by subject.Los libros están clasificados por tema.
c. en (of transportation)
Would you rather go by car or by train?¿Preferirías ir en coche o en tren?
11. (according to)
a. según
It's noon by my watch.Es mediodía según mi reloj.
b. conforme a
By the new rules, there is no parking allowed near the fire station.Conforme a las nuevas normas, está prohibido estacionarse cerca de la estación de bomberos.
c. por
It's all right by me.Por mí no hay problema.
12. (mathematics)
a. por (multiplication)
Multiply three by twelve.Multiplica tres por doce.
b. entre (division)
Ten divided by five is two.Diez dividido entre cinco son dos.
13. (in compass directions)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
The wind is blowing east by southeast.El viento sopla estesudeste.
We were sailing north by northwest.Navegábamos en dirección nornoroeste.
14. (in measurements)
a. por
The new deck will measure ten feet by eight feet.Le nueva plataforma tendrá una medida de diez pies por ocho.
15. (indicating rate or amount)
a. por
Are you paid by the hour or by the job?¿Te pagan por hora o por trabajo?
She broke the record by two seconds.Batió el récord por dos segundos.
b. en (with percentages)
The price has gone up by 50%.El precio ha subido en un 50%.
16. (with gerund)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
She ended by thanking everyone who had helped.Terminó dando las gracias a todos los que habían ayudado.
They lowered their prices a lot, and by doing so they expected to fill the store with customers.Bajaron muchísimo los precios, y con esto pretendían llenar la tienda de clientes.
An adverb is a word that describes a verb, an adjective, or other adverbs (e.g. to run quickly, very tired).
17. (nearby)
a. cerca
Is the police station close by?¿Está cerca la comisaría?
18. (past)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
Our neighbor passed by without saying hello.Nuestro vecino pasó sin saludarnos.
You don’t own the street. Let me by!No eres dueño de la calle. ¡Déjame pasar!
19. (on a short visit)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
I'll stop by later.Me paso más tarde por ahí.
Your dad came by today.Tu papá pasó por aquí hoy.
20. (on one side)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
Can you keep the dress by for me? I’ll come back and pay for it later.¿Me puede apartar el vestido? Volveré luego a pagarlo.
I have a little money put by for emergencies.Tengo ahorrado un poco de dinero para emergencias.
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in(
ihn
)
A preposition is a word that indicates the relationship between a noun and another word (e.g. He ran through the door.).
1. (used to indicate location)
a. en
Your father is in the kitchen.Tu padre está en la cocina.
b. dentro de (inside of)
Dinner is in the fridge.La cena está dentro de la nevera.
2. (used to indicate time)
a. en
She was born in 1983.Nació en 1983.
b. dentro de (within)
I finished the third book in the "A Song of Ice and Fire" series in three days.Terminé el tercer libro en la colección "Una canción de hielo y fuego" dentro de tres días.
3. (at the conclusion of)
a. dentro de
We have to leave in five minutes, at the latest.Nos tenemos que ir dentro de cinco minutos, a más tardar.
b. en
You go on ahead. I'll meet you in a half hour.Tú ve. Yo te veo en media hora.
4. (used to indicate manner)
a. en
Does this dress come in red?Este vestido, ¿está disponible en rojo?
Try introducing yourself in Spanish.Intenta presentarte en español.
5. (after superlatives)
a. de
Lionel Messi is, without a doubt, the best soccer player in the world.Lionel Messi es, sin duda, el mejor futbolista del mundo.
6. (with ratios and quantities)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
Four people in five preferred the first brand of soda.Cuatro de cada cinco personas prefirieron la primera marca de refresco.
The wedding party should come down the aisle in twos.El cortejo nupcial debe caminar por el pasillo de dos en dos.
7. (used to indicate activity)
a. en
I heard you can make a lot of money in sales.Oí que se puede hacer mucho dinero en ventas.
b. dedicarse a
He works in investment banking.Él se dedica a la banca de inversión.
An adverb is a word that describes a verb, an adjective, or other adverbs (e.g. to run quickly, very tired).
8. (inside)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
Am I going to stand out here all day, or are you going to invite me in?¿Me voy a quedar parado aquí afuera el día entero, o me vas a invitar a pasar?
The dog won't come in until they open the door.El perro no entrará hasta que abran la puerta.
9. (present)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
I'm afraid the doctor isn't in today.Me temo que el doctor no se encuentra hoy.
Is Denise in? I'd like to speak with her.¿Está Denise? Me gustaría hablar con ella.
An adjective is a word that describes a noun (e.g. the big dog).
10. (fashionable)
a. de moda
Short skirts are no longer in.Las minifaldas ya no están de moda.
A noun is a word referring to a person, animal, place, thing, feeling or idea (e.g. man, dog, house).
11. (connection)
a. la palanca
(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).
He only got the job because his dad has an in with the company.Solo consiguió el puesto porque su papá tiene palanca dentro de la empresa.
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