Listen to an audio pronunciation
vs
Listen to an audio pronunciation
Quick answer
"By" is a preposition which is often translated as "por", and "on" is a preposition which is often translated as "en". Learn more about the difference between "by" and "on" 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.
Copyright © Curiosity Media Inc.
on(
an
)
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 position)
a. en
There is a great photo on the front page.Hay una foto estupenda en la portada.
b. sobre
Placing hot pans on the countertop is not recommended.No es recomendable poner ollas calientes sobre la encimera.
c. encima de
Where are my glasses? - I left them on the table.¿Dónde están mis lentes? - Las dejé encima de la mesa.
2. (used to indicate place)
a. en
The village is on the border.El pueblo está en la frontera.
3. (used to indicate time, date or day)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
Our anniversary is on Saturday.Nuestro aniversario es el sábado.
Where were you on the morning of September 30th?¿Dónde estabas la mañana del 30 de septiembre?
4. (used to indicate a completed action; used with gerund)
a. al
On arriving home, her husband told her the bad news.Al llegar a casa, su marido le contó la mala noticia.
b. tras
On finishing her studies, she went traveling in Europe.Tras finalizar sus estudios, se fue a viajar por Europa.
5. (used to indicate the subject)
a. sobre
Today, you have the chance to have your say on the matter.Hoy tiene la oportunidad de dar su opinión sobre el tema.
b. acerca de
He wrote a controversial book on Mexican politics.Escribió un controvertido libro acerca de la política mexicana.
6. (used to indicate the use of drugs or medication)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
Are you on any medication?¿Toma algún medicamento?
The driver was a young kid on drugs.El conductor era un chico que iba drogado.
7. (used to indicate activity or treatment)
a. de (trip, tour or vacation)
The band will be on tour until December.El grupo estará de gira hasta diciembre.
b. a (diet)
I need to go on a diet and lose weight.Tengo que ponerme a dieta y bajar peso.
8. (used to indicate source)
a. de
Some sharks feed on plankton.Algunos tiburones se alimentan de plancton.
9. (used to indicate membership or inclusion)
Regionalism used in the United States
(United States)
a. en
He's on the Olympic swimming team.Está en el equipo olímpico de natación.
10. (telecommunications)
a. en (the Internet)
I spent hours on the Internet looking for information for my paper.Pasé horas en Internet buscando de información para mi trabajo.
b. a (the phone)
I have to talk with my boss, but he's on the phone at the moment.Tengo que hablar con mi jefe pero está al teléfono ahora mismo.
11. (radio or TV)
a. en
Your favorite show is on TV tonight.Esta noche ponen tu programa favorito en la tele.
12. (transport)
a. en (in a bus, train or airplane)
I always get sick on the bus.Siempre me mareo en el autobús.
b. a (into a bus, train or airplane)
We got on the plane at six, but we only took off half an hour later.Subimos al avión a las seis pero tardamos media hora en despegar.
13. (music)
a. a
Playing on keyboards, Dave! A big round of applause for him!¡Al teclado, Dave! ¡Un fuerte aplauso para él!
14. (according to)
a. según
The order will be delivered based on your instructions.Se entregará el pedido según sus instrucciones.
b. de acuerdo con
He was acting on your advice.Él obraba de acuerdo con tus consejos.
15. (about one's person)
a. encima
Since she got robbed in the street, she doesn't like to have money on her.Desde que la atracaron en la calle, no le gusta llevar dinero encima.
b. consigo
He had no guns on him.No llevaba armas consigo.
16. (used to indicate who pays)
a. por cuenta de
The dinner is on my father, and I will buy the cinema tickets.La cena va por cuenta de mi padre y yo pago las entradas para el cine.
An adverb is a word that describes a verb, an adjective, or other adverbs (e.g. to run quickly, very tired).
17. (in place)
a. puesto
You can leave the tablecloth on.Puedes dejar el mantel puesto.
18. (with clothing)
a. puesto
You can leave your hat on.Puedes dejarte el sombrero puesto.
19. (used to indicate time or place ahead)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
From next year on, I will be pursuing my real dream.A partir del año que viene, perseguiré mi verdadero sueño.
There's a gas station a couple of miles further on.Hay una gasolinera un par de millas más adelante.
20. (used to indicate continuation)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
Dream on; nothing is impossible!¡Sigue soñando, que nada es imposible!
She went on and on about how smart her kids were.No paraba de hablar de lo inteligentes que eran sus hijos.
An adjective is a word that describes a noun (e.g. the big dog).
21. (in operation)
a. encendido
If the lights are on, the store's open.Si las luces están encendidas, la tienda está abierta.
b. prendido
Regionalism used in Latin America: all the countries in South America, Central America, and the Caribbean. Does not include Spain.
(Latin America)
While the oven is on, I'll bake this cake.Como está prendido el horno, hornearé esta torta.
22. (occurring)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
The race is on to find the missing ship.Ya empezó la carrera para encontrar el barco desaparecido.
This event is still on, despite the rain!¡El evento sigue en pie a pesar de la lluvia!
23. (radio, TV, theater or cinema)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
Is there anything good on at the movies?¿Están dando algo bueno en el cine?
Your favorite song is on right now.Está sonando tu canción favorita ahora mismo.
24. (on duty)
a. de turno
Who’s on this weekend?¿Quién está de turno este fin de semana?
25. (used to indicate agreement)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
I bet you $20 she doesn’t turn up. - You’re on!Te apuesto $10 a que no viene. - ¡Trato hecho!
I'll buy you dinner if you ask her out. - OK, you're on.Te invito a cenar si le pides que salga contigo - Vale.
Copyright © Curiosity Media Inc.
SpanishDict is the world's most popular Spanish-English dictionary, translation, and learning website.
© Curiosity Media Inc.  |  Ver en español
SOCIAL NETWORKS
APPS