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Quick answer
"On" is a preposition which is often translated as "en", and "out" is an adverb which is often translated as "afuera". Learn more about the difference between "on" and "out" below.
on(
an
)
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 position)
a. en
There is a great photo on the front page.Hay una foto estupenda en la portada.
b. sobre
Placing hot pans on the countertop is not recommended.No es recomendable poner ollas calientes sobre la encimera.
c. encima de
Where are my glasses? - I left them on the table.¿Dónde están mis lentes? - Las dejé encima de la mesa.
2. (used to indicate place)
a. en
The village is on the border.El pueblo está en la frontera.
3. (used to indicate time, date or day)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
Our anniversary is on Saturday.Nuestro aniversario es el sábado.
Where were you on the morning of September 30th?¿Dónde estabas la mañana del 30 de septiembre?
4. (used to indicate a completed action; used with gerund)
a. al
On arriving home, her husband told her the bad news.Al llegar a casa, su marido le contó la mala noticia.
b. tras
On finishing her studies, she went traveling in Europe.Tras finalizar sus estudios, se fue a viajar por Europa.
5. (used to indicate the subject)
a. sobre
Today, you have the chance to have your say on the matter.Hoy tiene la oportunidad de dar su opinión sobre el tema.
b. acerca de
He wrote a controversial book on Mexican politics.Escribió un controvertido libro acerca de la política mexicana.
6. (used to indicate the use of drugs or medication)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
Are you on any medication?¿Toma algún medicamento?
The driver was a young kid on drugs.El conductor era un chico que iba drogado.
7. (used to indicate activity or treatment)
a. de (trip, tour or vacation)
The band will be on tour until December.El grupo estará de gira hasta diciembre.
b. a (diet)
I need to go on a diet and lose weight.Tengo que ponerme a dieta y bajar peso.
8. (used to indicate source)
a. de
Some sharks feed on plankton.Algunos tiburones se alimentan de plancton.
9. (used to indicate membership or inclusion)
Regionalism used in the United States
(United States)
a. en
He's on the Olympic swimming team.Está en el equipo olímpico de natación.
10. (telecommunications)
a. en (the Internet)
I spent hours on the Internet looking for information for my paper.Pasé horas en Internet buscando de información para mi trabajo.
b. a (the phone)
I have to talk with my boss, but he's on the phone at the moment.Tengo que hablar con mi jefe pero está al teléfono ahora mismo.
11. (radio or TV)
a. en
Your favorite show is on TV tonight.Esta noche ponen tu programa favorito en la tele.
12. (transport)
a. en (in a bus, train or airplane)
I always get sick on the bus.Siempre me mareo en el autobús.
b. a (into a bus, train or airplane)
We got on the plane at six, but we only took off half an hour later.Subimos al avión a las seis pero tardamos media hora en despegar.
13. (music)
a. a
Playing on keyboards, Dave! A big round of applause for him!¡Al teclado, Dave! ¡Un fuerte aplauso para él!
14. (according to)
a. según
The order will be delivered based on your instructions.Se entregará el pedido según sus instrucciones.
b. de acuerdo con
He was acting on your advice.Él obraba de acuerdo con tus consejos.
15. (about one's person)
a. encima
Since she got robbed in the street, she doesn't like to have money on her.Desde que la atracaron en la calle, no le gusta llevar dinero encima.
b. consigo
He had no guns on him.No llevaba armas consigo.
16. (used to indicate who pays)
a. por cuenta de
The dinner is on my father, and I will buy the cinema tickets.La cena va por cuenta de mi padre y yo pago las entradas para el cine.
An adverb is a word that describes a verb, an adjective, or other adverbs (e.g. to run quickly, very tired).
17. (in place)
a. puesto
You can leave the tablecloth on.Puedes dejar el mantel puesto.
18. (with clothing)
a. puesto
You can leave your hat on.Puedes dejarte el sombrero puesto.
19. (used to indicate time or place ahead)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
From next year on, I will be pursuing my real dream.A partir del año que viene, perseguiré mi verdadero sueño.
There's a gas station a couple of miles further on.Hay una gasolinera un par de millas más adelante.
20. (used to indicate continuation)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
Dream on; nothing is impossible!¡Sigue soñando, que nada es imposible!
She went on and on about how smart her kids were.No paraba de hablar de lo inteligentes que eran sus hijos.
An adjective is a word that describes a noun (e.g. the big dog).
21. (in operation)
a. encendido
If the lights are on, the store's open.Si las luces están encendidas, la tienda está abierta.
b. prendido
Regionalism used in Latin America: all the countries in South America, Central America, and the Caribbean. Does not include Spain.
(Latin America)
While the oven is on, I'll bake this cake.Como está prendido el horno, hornearé esta torta.
22. (occurring)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
The race is on to find the missing ship.Ya empezó la carrera para encontrar el barco desaparecido.
This event is still on, despite the rain!¡El evento sigue en pie a pesar de la lluvia!
23. (radio, TV, theater or cinema)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
Is there anything good on at the movies?¿Están dando algo bueno en el cine?
Your favorite song is on right now.Está sonando tu canción favorita ahora mismo.
24. (on duty)
a. de turno
Who’s on this weekend?¿Quién está de turno este fin de semana?
25. (used to indicate agreement)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
I bet you $20 she doesn’t turn up. - You’re on!Te apuesto $10 a que no viene. - ¡Trato hecho!
I'll buy you dinner if you ask her out. - OK, you're on.Te invito a cenar si le pides que salga contigo - Vale.
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out(
aut
)
An adverb is a word that describes a verb, an adjective, or other adverbs (e.g. to run quickly, very tired).
1. (outside)
a. afuera
I left some of the grocery bags out in the car. Will you help me bring them in?Dejé algunas bolsas de mandado afuera en el carro. ¿Me ayudas a meterlas?
b. fuera
Make sure to wear sunscreen; it's sunny out.Asegúrate de ponerte bloqueador solar; fuera está soleado.
2. (not at work or at home)
a. fuera
She was out for most of the day, but she's here now.Estuvo fuera la mayor parte del día, para ya llegó.
b. afuera
I'll be out all next week. Please route my calls to Dr. García.Voy a estar afuera toda la semana que viene. Favor de pasar mis llamadas al Dr. García.
c.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
Could I see Mr. Richardson? - I'm sorry. He's out.¿Puedo ver al señor Richardson? - Lo siento. No está.
You've just missed him. He's just stepped out.Lo perdiste por poco. Acaba de salir.
3. (distance)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
He lived out in Arizona for a couple of years.Estuvo viviendo en Arizona por un par de años.
The ship spotted a whale with her calf when it was two miles out.El barco vio una ballena con su cría cuando estaba a dos millas de distancia.
4. (on strike)
a. en huelga
The steel workers are out due to a dispute over working conditions.Los trabajadores acereros están en huelga debido a una disputa sobre las condiciones de trabajo.
5. (revealed)
a. descubierto
The secret's out about who your boyfriend is.Se ha descubierto el secreto de quién es tu novio.
b. desvelado
The lies have ended and the truth is out.Las mentiras se han acabado y la verdad se ha desvelado.
6. (available)
a. en existencia
She bought the best motorcycle out.Se compró la mejor motocicleta en existencia.
7. (blossomed)
a. en flor
The agapanthus have been out for a couple of months.Los agapanthus están en flor desde hace unos meses.
8. (out of fashion)
a. pasado de moda
Smoking is so out.Fumar es tan pasado de moda.
b.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
Skinny jeans are out this season.Los vaqueros flacos están pasados este año.
Wearing overalls to school is totally out, unless it’s an agricultural school.Ya no se llevan los overoles a la escuela, al menos que sea una escuela de agronomía.
9. (inaccurate)
a. equivocado
There’s no way that number is correct. You’re out.No hay forma de que ese número sea correcto. Estás equivocado.
10. (loudly)
a. en voz alta
You need to speak out so everyone can hear you.Debes hablar en voz alta para que todos te escuchen.
b. en alto
The teacher read out the list of names to the class.La maestra leyó en alto la lista de nombres a la clase.
11. (indicating purpose)
a. en busca
Raul is only out to make himself rich.Raúl solo está en busca de cómo enriquecerse.
12. (unconscious)
a. inconsciente
He’s been out ever since the branch fell on his head.Ha estado inconsciente desde que se le cayó la rama en la cabeza.
b. sin conocimiento
With just a couple of beers, she’s out.Con tan solo un par de cervezas, ella queda sin conocimiento.
13. (without)
a. sin
We’re out of milk. Can you go to the store?Nos hemos quedado sin leche. ¿Puedes ir a la tienda?
b. no quedar
We’re out of eggs.No quedan huevos.
14. (radio)
a. fuera
Reindeer team, state ETA, out.Equipo venado, diga hora de llegada, fuera.
15. (at an end)
a. terminado
School’s out in ten minutes, so the kids should be home soon.Las clases habrán terminado dentro de diez minutos, así que los niños pronto deben estar en casa.
An adjective is a word that describes a noun (e.g. the big dog).
16. (extinguished)
a. apagado
The lights are out. Do you have a flashlight?Las luces están apagadas. ¿Tienes una linterna?
17. (sports)
a. eliminado
There are only two teams left now that yours is out.Solo quedan dos equipos ahora que quedó eliminado el tuyo.
b. fuera
The ball landed out of bounds.La pelota cayó fuera de la cancha.
18. (legal)
a. libre
Charles had been in prison for five years before he was out last year.Charles había estado en prisión durante cinco años antes de quedar libre el año pasado.
19. (openly homosexual)
a. declarado
Pedro has been out for 15 years.Pedro ha estado declarado desde hace 15 años.
A preposition is a word that indicates the relationship between a noun and another word (e.g. He ran through the door.).
20. (outside; used with "of")
a. fuera de
We prefer to live out of town.Preferimos vivir fuera de la ciudad.
21. (from among; used with "of")
a. de cada
That is the result in two cases out of ten.Ese es el resultado en dos de cada diez casos.
22. (indicating outward movement)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(colloquial)
He ran out the door.Salió corriendo por la puerta.
She looked out the window.Miró por la ventana.
23. (from the inside to the outside)
a. por
She started a fire when she threw her cigarette out the window.Empezó un incendio cuando echó su cigarro por la ventana.
A noun is a word referring to a person, animal, place, thing, feeling or idea (e.g. man, dog, house).
24. (escape)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
She’s worried because the contract didn’t leave her an out.Está preocupada porque el contrato no la dejó una escapatoria.
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
25. (to expose as homosexual)
a. revelar como homosexual
After an argument, Ryan's sister outed him at school.Después de un pleito, la hermana de Ryan lo reveló como homosexual en la escuela.
26. (to reveal)
a. descubrir
He publicly outed the illegal activity going on at work.Públicamente descubrió la actividad ilegal que había en su trabajo.
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