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Quick answer
"En vez de" is a preposition which is often translated as "instead of", and "lugar" is a noun which is often translated as "place". Learn more about the difference between "en vez de" and "lugar" below.
en vez de(
A preposition is a word that indicates the relationship between a noun and another word (e.g. He ran through the door.).
1. (general)
a. instead of
¿Por qué no me ayudas en vez de quedarte ahí mirando?Why don't you help me instead of sitting there watching?
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A masculine noun is used with masculine articles and adjectives (e.g. el hombre guapo, el sol amarillo).
1. (location)
a. place
Todo estaba en su lugar cuando llegué.Everything was in place when I arrived.
b. spot
Este es un buen lugar para armar la carpa.This is a good spot to set up the tent.
2. (position)
a. place
Acabó la carrera en el cuarto lugar.She finished the race in fourth place.
3. (situation)
a. place
Si te pusieras en mi lugar verías que no es fácil ser yo.If you put yourself in my place, you'd see it isn't easy being me.
4. (space)
a. room
¡Perdón! Ya no hay lugar en el carro.Sorry! There's no room in the car.
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