Quick answer
"Detrás" is an adverb which is often translated as "behind", and "al lado" is an adverb which is often translated as "nearby". Learn more about the difference between "detrás" and "al lado" below.
detrás(
deh
-
trahs
)
An adverb is a word that describes a verb, an adjective, or other adverbs (e.g. to run quickly, very tired).
1. (the rear part)
a. behind
Hay un edificio verde delante y otro azul detrás.There's a green building in front and a blue one behind.
b. back
En el carro, los niños deben sentarse detrás.In a car, children should sit in the back.
La casa tiene un jardín grande detrás.The house's got a large garden at the back.
2. (following)
a. then
Mi madre entró primero y detrás mi padre.My mother got in first and then my father.
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al lado(
ahl
 
lah
-
doh
)
An adverb is a word that describes a verb, an adjective, or other adverbs (e.g. to run quickly, very tired).
1. (indicating closeness)
a. nearby
No me tarda mucho llegar a la oficina porque vivo aquí al lado.It doesn't take me long to get to work because I live nearby.
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