Quick answer
"On" is a preposition which is often translated as "en", and "start" is a transitive verb which is often translated as "comenzar". Learn more about the difference between "on" and "start" 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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start(
start
)
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (to begin)
a. comenzar
We start classes in September.Comenzaremos las clases en septiembre.
b. empezar
They said they'll start the movie in half an hour.Dijeron que empezarán la película en media hora.
c. iniciar
We started our long trip by stopping in Montreal.Iniciamos nuestro largo viaje parando en Montreal.
2. (to cause to begin)
a. empezar
A group of students started the anti-war movement.Un grupo de estudiantes empezó el movimiento contra la guerra.
b. iniciar
The sound of the gun started the race.El sonido de la pistola inició la carrera.
c. dar comienzo
The teacher started the course with a speech.El profesor dio comienzo al curso con un discurso.
d. provocar
That cigarette started the fire.Ese cigarrillo provocó el fuego.
e. desencadenar
The conflict started a turf war.El conflicto desencadenó una guerra territorial.
3. (to cause to operate)
a. encender
You can't start the hedge cutter because the power cord is unplugged.No puedes encender el cortasetos porque el cable está desenchufado.
b. arrancar
If you cannot start your car, I will take you.Si no puedes arrancar el coche, te llevaré yo.
c. poner en marcha
I could not start the motorcycle because its tank was empty.No pude poner en marcha la moto porque el depósito estaba vacío.
4. (to found)
a. montar
My cousin started a business recently.Mi primo montó un negocio hace poco.
b. fundar
The company was started by my grandfather in 1950.Mi abuelo fundó la empresa en 1950.
c. poner
I started a clothing store last year.Puse una tienda de ropa el año pasado.
d. poner en marcha
My boss started this empire with just one store.Mi jefe puso en marcha este imperio con solo una tienda.
An intransitive verb is one that does not require a direct object (e.g. The man sneezed.).
5. (to begin)
a. empezar
The day had started badly, and did not improve.El día había empezado mal y no mejoró.
b. comenzar
Now that we are all here, we can start.Ahora que estamos todos, podemos comenzar.
6. (to originate)
a. empezar
It all started when he decided to go abroad.Todo empezó cuando decidió irse al extranjero.
7. (to set out)
a. emprender camino
They started early in the morning.Emprendieron camino temprano por la mañana.
b. partir
We started from Ponce, and now we are here.Partimos de Ponce y ahora estamos aquí.
8. (to cause to operate)
a. arrancar
My car won't start, so I had to take the bus.Mi coche no arranca, así que tuve que coger el autobús.
b. ponerse en marcha
If the lawn mower doesn't start, clean the filters.Si el cortacésped no se pone en marcha, limpia los filtros.
9. (to move suddenly)
a. sobresaltarse
The baby started at the sudden noise.El bebé se sobresaltó con el ruido repentino.
10. (to protrude)
a. salirse
His eyes started when he saw her in that red dress.Se le salían los ojos cuando la vio con ese vestido rojo.
A noun is a word referring to a person, animal, place, thing, feeling or idea (e.g. man, dog, house).
11. (beginning)
a. el comienzo
(m) means that a noun is masculine. Spanish nouns have a gender, which is either feminine (like la mujer or la luna) or masculine (like el hombre or el sol).
The start of the tournament will take place at two o'clock.El comienzo de torneo tendrá lugar a las dos en punto.
b. el principio
(m) means that a noun is masculine. Spanish nouns have a gender, which is either feminine (like la mujer or la luna) or masculine (like el hombre or el sol).
Be patient at the start of the race; save your strength.Ten paciencia al principio de la carrera; ahorra fuerzas.
12. (departure point)
a. la salida
(f) means that a noun is feminine. Spanish nouns have a gender, which is either feminine (like la mujer or la luna) or masculine (like el hombre or el sol).
The start of the race will be on my street.La salida de la carrera será en mi calle.
b. la línea de salida
(f) means that a noun is feminine. Spanish nouns have a gender, which is either feminine (like la mujer or la luna) or masculine (like el hombre or el sol).
Please, all runners go to the start.Por favor, todos los corredores acudan a la línea de salida.
c. la línea de partida
(f) means that a noun is feminine. Spanish nouns have a gender, which is either feminine (like la mujer or la luna) or masculine (like el hombre or el sol).
The runners left the start at nine o'clock.Los corredores salieron de la línea de partida a las nueve en punto.
13. (sudden movement)
a. el respingo
(m) means that a noun is masculine. Spanish nouns have a gender, which is either feminine (like la mujer or la luna) or masculine (like el hombre or el sol).
The student gave a start when the teacher called his name.El alumno dio un respingo cuando el profesor dijo su nombre.
b. el sobresalto
(m) means that a noun is masculine. Spanish nouns have a gender, which is either feminine (like la mujer or la luna) or masculine (like el hombre or el sol).
I woke up with a start because I thought I was late for work.Me levanté de un sobresalto porque pensé que iba tarde para el trabajo.
14. (sports)
a. la ventaja
(f) means that a noun is feminine. Spanish nouns have a gender, which is either feminine (like la mujer or la luna) or masculine (like el hombre or el sol).
Our team had a five-minute start over our competitors.Nuestro equipo tuvo una ventaja de cinco minutos sobre nuestros contrincantes.
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