Quick answer
"Donde" is an adverb which is often translated as "where", and "por donde" is a phrase which is often translated as "through". Learn more about the difference between "donde" and "por donde" below.
donde(
dohn
-
deh
)
An adverb is a word that describes a verb, an adjective, or other adverbs (e.g. to run quickly, very tired).
1. (indicating place)
a. where
Estoy en el restaurante donde comimos el otro día.I'm at the restaurant where we ate the other day.
b. wherever
Sal a donde quieras. A mí no me importa.Go wherever you want. I don't care.
A conjunction is a word that connects words, phrases, clauses, or sentences (e.g. The cat and the dog slept.).
2. (indicating place)
a. where
A él no le gusta jugar al beísbol donde no hay cancha.He doesn't like to play baseball where there is no field.
A preposition is a word that indicates the relationship between a noun and another word (e.g. He ran through the door.).
3. (indicating place)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
Se van a reunir todos los primos donde tu tía para cenar.All the cousins will gather at your aunt's for dinner.
¿Nos vemos donde el teatro del otro día?Shall we meet by the theater we went to the other day?
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por donde(
pohr
 
dohn
-
deh
)
A phrase is a group of words commonly used together (e.g once upon a time).
phrase
1. (after a verb)
a. through
El campo de batalla era un lodazal. Los soldados trataban de avanzar por donde estaba más seco.The battlefield was a quagmire. The soldiers tried to move forward through the drier parts.
b. which way
Da igual por donde entres al centro de la ciudad. Todos los accesos están atascados.It doesn't matter which way you go into town. All the approaches are jammed with traffic.
c. whichever
Lo mires por donde lo mires, las declaraciones del futbolista no tienen disculpa posible.Whichever way you look at it, the footballer's statements are inexcusable.
d.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
"Vaya por donde sea más rápido," le dije al taxista."Take the fastest route," I said to the taxi driver.
¿Se ve mejor el escenario por donde están?Can you see the stage better from where you are?
2. (after a noun)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
La vertiente por donde descendiste es la más peligrosa de la montaña.The rock face you climbed down is the mountain's most dangerous.
Esta es una lista de las calles por donde pasará el desfile.This is a list of the streets the parade will go through.
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