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Quick answer
"In the" is a phrase which is often translated as "en el", and "to" is a preposition which is often translated as "a". Learn more about the difference between "in the" and "to" below.
in the(
A phrase is a group of words commonly used together (e.g once upon a time).
1. (used to indicate location)
a. en el (masculine) (singular)
The clothes are in the closet.La ropa está en el armario.
b. en la (feminine) (singular)
The pizza is in the kitchen.La pizza está en la cocina.
c. en los (masculine or mixed gender) (plural)
According to the law, there must be seat belts in the cars.Según la ley, debe haber cinturones de seguridad en los coches.
d. en las (feminine) (plural)
We are going camping in the mountains.Vamos a hacer camping en las montañas.
2. (used to indicate time)
a. en el (masculine) (singular)
I was born in the year 1990.Nací en el año 1990.
b. en la (feminine) (singular)
I have a meeting in the morning.Tengo una reunión en la mañana.
c. en los (masculine or mixed gender) (plural)
The band began making music in the eighties.La banda comenzó a crear música en los años ochenta.
d. en las (feminine) (plural)
He begins working in the early hours of the day.Empieza a trabajar en las primeras horas del día.
3. (after superlatives)
a. del (masculine) (singular)
Mount Everest is the tallest mountain in the world.El monte Everest es la montaña más alta del mundo.
b. de la (feminine) (singular)
The winner of the championship is recognized as the best team in the league.El ganador del campeonato está reconocido como el mejor equipo de la liga.
c. de los (masculine or mixed gender) (plural)
This university is one of the best in the United States.Esta universidad es una de las mejores de los Estados Unidos.
d. de las (feminine) (plural)
The best teams in the divisions play in the playoffs.Los mejores equipos de las divisiones juegan en la fase final.
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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. (used to indicate direction)
a. a
I'm going to your house.Voy a tu casa.
b. hacia
She walked to the woods.Caminó hacia el bosque.
2. (as far as)
a. hasta
I would run to your house right now just to see you!¡Correría hasta tu casa ahora mismo solo para verte!
3. (in order to)
a. a
I just came to say hello.Solo vine a saludar.
4. (used to indicate belonging)
a. de
All of those books belonged to my grandfather.Todos estos libros eran de mi abuelo.
5. (used to tell the time)
a. menos
It is a quarter to six.Son las seis menos cuarto.
6. (used to indicate proportion or range)
a. por
The birth ratio is 107 boys to 100 girls.La proporción de nacimientos es de 107 niños por 100 niñas.
7. (in comparisons)
a. a
Variable A is greater or equal to variable B.La variable A es mayor o igual a la variable B.
8. (resulting in)
a. para
To my surprise, he did not recognize me.Para mi sorpresa, él no me reconoció.
9. (in toasts)
a. por
Here's to the birthday girl! Cheers!¡Por la cumpleañera! ¡Salud!
10. (used to indicate position)
a. a
Turn to the left to exit.Gira a la izquierda para salir.
11. (infinitive particle)
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
I learned to drive when I was 17.Aprendí a manejar a los 17 años.
We need to work faster.Tenemos que trabajar más rápido.
12. (used in place of a verb)
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
I didn't want to tell you but I felt I had to.No quería decírtelo pero me vi obligada a hacerlo.
It's my party and I'll cry if I want to.Es mi fiesta y lloraré si quiero.
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