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Quick answer
"Encima de" is a phrase which is often translated as "on", and "sobre" is a preposition which is also often translated as "on". Learn more about the difference between "encima de" and "sobre" below.
encima de(
A phrase is a group of words commonly used together (e.g once upon a time).
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 preposition is a word that indicates the relationship between a noun and another word (e.g. He ran through the door.).
1. (atop)
a. on
¡No pongas los pies sobre la mesa!Don't put your feet on the table!
2. (relating to)
a. about
La conferencia es sobre la tecnología.The conference is about technology.
3. (above)
a. over
El pájaro se alzó y voló sobre nuestras cabezas.The bird rose and flew over our heads.
4. (approximately)
a. about
Siguiendo la receta, debería tardar en cocinarse sobre ocho minutos.Following the recipe, it should take about eight minutes to cook.
b. around
Mi clase tiene sobre 15 o 20 alumnos.My class has around 15 or 20 students.
A masculine noun is used with masculine articles and adjectives (e.g. el hombre guapo, el sol amarillo).
5. (cover)
a. envelope
Abrió rápidamente el sobre y sacó la carta de su interior.He tore open the envelope and pulled out the letter inside.
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
Regionalism used in Argentina
a. sack
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
En cuanto llegué, me metí en el sobre.As soon as I arrived, I hit the sack.
7. (handbag)
Regionalism used in Cuba
(River Plate)
a. clutch bag
Necesito un sobre que combine con mis zapatos plateados.I need a clutch bag to match my silver shoes.
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