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Quick answer
"Encima de" is a phrase which is often translated as "on", and "a través de" is a preposition which is often translated as "through". Learn more about the difference between "encima de" and "a través de" below.
encima de(
ehn
-
see
-
mah
 
deh
)
A phrase is a group of words commonly used together (e.g once upon a time).
phrase
1. (on the surface of)
a. on
¿De quién son esos libros que hay encima del sofá? - Son míos, ahora los quito.Whose books are those on the sofa? - They're mine. I'll take them off in a minute.
b. on top of
Las llaves están encima de la mesa.The keys are on top of the table.
2. (over)
a. above
Vivimos en el apartamento encima de la tienda.We live in the apartment above the store.
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a través de(
ah
 
trah
-
behs
 
deh
)
A preposition is a word that indicates the relationship between a noun and another word (e.g. He ran through the door.).
1. (from one side to the other)
a. through
Pasa el hilo a través del ojo de la aguja.Pass the thread through the eye of the needle.
b. across
Cuando tenía 21 años, viajé a través del país.When I was 21 years old, I traveled across the country.
2. (by means of)
a. through
Conseguí mi trabajo a través de una referencia.I got my job through a referral.
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