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Quick answer
"En" is a preposition which is often translated as "in", and "caer" is an intransitive verb which is often translated as "to fall". Learn more about the difference between "en" and "caer" below.
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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An intransitive verb is one that does not require a direct object (e.g. The man sneezed.).
1. (to drop)
a. to fall
La manzana cayó en la hierba.The apple fell onto the grass.
2. (to be suspended)
a. to hang
Las sábanas caen de la cama por un lado más que por el otro.The sheets hang over one side of the bed more than the other.
b. to fall
El cabello de la muchacha cae sobre sus hombros.The young woman's hair falls around her shoulders.
3. (weather)
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
Está cayendo una buena nevada, pon las cadenas a las ruedas.It's snowing hard; put the chains on the tires.
Tuvimos que quedarnos en casa porque estaba cayendo un chaparrón.We had to stay home because it was pouring with rain.
4. (to lessen)
a. to fall
Esperamos que los precios caigan durante las rebajas del fin de año.We are hoping that prices will fall during the year-end sales.
b. to drop
Las temperaturas cayeron por el frente frío.The temperatures dropped because of the cold front.
5. (to be defeated)
a. to fall
El castillo cayó tras un largo sitio.The castle fell after a long siege.
b. to be caught
El criminal cayó tras la confesión de su mujer.The criminal was caught after his wife confessed.
6. (to pass away)
a. to fall
Muchos soldados han caído defendiendo su país.A lot of soldiers have fallen in defense of their country.
b. to die
Estamos hoy aquí para honrar a los que cayeron en combate.We are here today to honor those who died in combat.
7. (to take place)
a. to fall
En mi familia, hay dos cumpleaños que caen en Navidad.In my family, we have two birthdays that fall on Christmas.
b. to be
Semana Santa cae en abril este año.Easter is in April this year.
8. (to be located)
Regionalism used in Spain
a. to be
El supermercado cae a tres cuadras de aquí.The supermarket is three blocks away from here.
9. (to receive by chance)
a. to go to
Ojalá que el premio gordo caiga en los hogares más necesitados.I hope that the jackpot goes to those who need it the most.
b. to get
Puede que te caiga una multa grande si te estacionas aquí.You could get a big fine if you park here.
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(to recall)
a. to realize
¡Acabo de caer en que tengo una cita con el dentista en diez minutos!I just realized I have a dentist appointment in ten minutes!
b. to remember
Te conozco de algún lugar, pero no caigo en donde.I know you from somewhere, but I don't remember from where.
11. (to commit)
a. to succumb
Me siento culpable porque estoy a dieta, pero caí en la tentación de un pastel de chocolate.I feel guilty because I'm on a diet, but I succumbed to the temptation of a chocolate cake.
12. (to take the bait)
a. to fall for it
El taxista intentaba engañarme porque me veo extranjero, pero no caí.The taxi driver was trying to trick me because I look foregin, but I didn't fall for it.
13. (to be within)
a. to fall
La venta de pasteles no cae dentro del presupuesto de la escuela.The bake sale does not fall within the school budget.
14. (to suit)
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
No bebo porque el alcohol me cae mal.I don't drink because alcohol disagrees with me.
¡Te cae estupendo ese vestido!You look great in that dress!
15. (to make an impression)
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
Me marché porque me cae mal tu primo con sus bromas ofensivas.I had to leave because I can't stand your cousin and his offensive jokes.
Me cae muy bien tu hermano; siempre me hace sonreír.I really like your brother; he always makes me smile.
16. (to result)
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
El embarazo de mi hermana pequeña no cayó bien en la familia.My little sister's pregnancy shocked the entire family.
Que Harvard la hubiera rechazado, le cayó mal.She wasn't pleased that Harvard rejected her.
17. (to visit)
a. to show up
Los invitados están al caer y la cena aún no está lista.My guests are about to show up and dinner is not ready yet.
b. to drop in
Mis hermanos siempre caen en la cena navideña sin avisar.My brothers always drop in for Christmas dinner without a calling beforehand.
18. (to get dark)
a. to set (the sun)
Está cayendo el sol; es hora de irse a casa.The sun is setting; it's time to go home.
b. to fall (night)
Se pueden ver las estrellas cuando cae la noche.You can see the stars when night falls.
A pronominal verb always uses a reflexive pronoun. (e.g. Te ves cansado.).
19. (to fall downward)
a. to fall
Mi hijo se cayó corriendo y se lastimó las rodillas.My son fell while running and hurt his knees.
b. to fall over
El vaso se cayó de la barra y se hizo pedazos.The glass fell off the bar and broke into pieces.
c. to fall down
Mi bebé está aprendiendo a andar y se cae muy a menudo.My baby is learning to walk and he falls down quite often.
d. to collapse
El edificio se cayó tras el terremoto.The building collapsed after the earthquake.
e. to drop
Ten cuidado que no se te caiga la sopa.Be careful that you don't drop the soup.
20. (to detach)
a. to fall out
En cuanto se te caiga un diente de leche, ponlo debajo de la almohada.As soon as your baby tooth falls out, place it under the pillow.
b. to fall off
En otoño, las hojas cambian de color y se caen de los árboles.In fall, the leaves change color and fall off the trees.
A phrase used as a figure of speech or a word that is symbolic in meaning; metaphorical (e.g. carrot, bean).
(to reach the highest degree)
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
Me caigo de cansancio, pero tengo que estudiar para el examen de mañana.I am really tired, but I have to study for tomorrow's exam.
Mi bebé está llorando porque se cae de sueño.My baby is crying because he's very sleepy.
22. (computing)
a. to go down
La red de la universidad se cayó por mantenimiento.The university network went down due to maintenance.
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