Quick answer
"Dentro de" is a preposition which is often translated as "inside", and "en" is a preposition which is often translated as "in". Learn more about the difference between "dentro de" and "en" 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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en(
ehn
)
A preposition is a word that indicates the relationship between a noun and another word (e.g. He ran through the door.).
1. (indicating place)
a. in
Hay comida ya preparada en el supermercado.There's ready-made food in the supermarket.
b. on
Puedes poner los cubiertos en la mesa. You can put the silverware on the table.
2. (indicating time)
a. on
En 1969, aterrizamos en la luna.In 1969, we landed on the moon.
3. (indicating mode)
a. in
Si un oso te persigue, corre en zigzag.If a bear is chasing you, run in a zig-zag formation.
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