Quick answer
"De niño" is an adverb which is often translated as "as a child", and "soñaba con ser" is a phrase which is often translated as "he dreamed of being". Learn more about the difference between "de niño" and "soñaba con ser" below.
de niño(
deh
 
nee
-
nyoh
)
An adverb is a word that describes a verb, an adjective, or other adverbs (e.g. to run quickly, very tired).
1. (general)
a. as a child
Para mí de niño lo más importante era recibir afecto.Getting affection was the most important thing to me as a child.
b. as a kid
Rosana era muy alegre de niña.Rosana was very cheerful as a kid.
c.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
Solía venir a jugar a este parque de niño.I used to come to this park to play when I was a child.
De niña sus padres siempre le decían a Lydia que era muy linda.When Lydia was a kid, her parents always told her that she was very pretty.
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soñaba con ser
A phrase is a group of words commonly used together (e.g once upon a time).
phrase
1. (third person singular)
a. he dreamed of being (masculine)
A Pedro le gustaba mucho cantar. Soñaba con ser un cantante famoso y actuar en grandes estadios.Pedro liked singing a lot. He dreamed of being a famous singer and performing in big stadiums.
b. she dreamed of being (feminine)
Celia estaba harta de su día a día. Soñaba con ser libre en algún lugar lejos de allí.Celia was fed up with her daily life. She dreamed of being free somewhere far away from there.
c. dreamed of being
Pamela soñaba con ser abogada o doctora.Pamela dreamed of being a lawyer or a doctor.
2.
A word or phrase used to refer to the second person formal “usted” by their conjugation or implied context (e.g. usted).
(formal)
(second person singular)
a. you dreamed of being
Ha dicho en diversas entrevistas que cuando empezó soñaba con ser una autora de prestigio.You've said in different interviews that when you started you dreamed of being a prestigious author.
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