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Quick answer
"Dentro de" is a preposition which is often translated as "inside", and "adentro de" is a phrase which is also often translated as "inside". Learn more about the difference between "dentro de" and "adentro de" below.
dentro de(
dehn
-
troh
 
deh
)
A preposition is a word that indicates the relationship between a noun and another word (e.g. He ran through the door.).
1. (in the interior)
a. inside
Mi perro duermo dentro de su jaula.My dog sleeps inside his cage.
b. within
Hay varios restaurantes de comida rápida dentro del centro comercial.There are several fast food restaurants within the mall.
c. in
Puse la carta dentro del buzón para que el cartero la recoja.I placed the letter in the mailbox for the mailman to pick up.
2. (time limit)
a. in
¡Dentro de una semana, estaré de camino a Sacramento!In one week, I will be on my way to Sacramento!
b. within
El trabajo deberá estar listo dentro del plazo que especifique el profesor.The assignment should be ready within the deadline the teacher specifies.
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adentro de(
ah
-
dehn
-
troh
 
deh
)
A phrase is a group of words commonly used together (e.g once upon a time).
phrase
1. (general)
Regionalism used in Latin America: all the countries in South America, Central America, and the Caribbean. Does not include Spain.
(Latin America)
a. inside
Perdí mi lápiz labial. - ¿Buscaste adentro de la cartera negra?I've lost my lipstick. - Did you search inside the black purse?
b. in
El gato se metió adentro de la caja.The cat got in the box.
c. inside of
¿Sabes qué hay adentro de ese arcón?Do you know what's inside of that chest?
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