Quick answer
"On" is a preposition which is often translated as "en", and "sit in" is an intransitive verb phrase which is often translated as "asistir". Learn more about the difference between "on" and "sit in" 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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sit in
An intransitive verb phrase is a phrase that combines a verb with a preposition or other particle and does not require a direct object (e.g. Everybody please stand up.).
intransitive verb phrase
1. (to attend; often used with "on")
a. asistir
The consultant sat it on the session to observe the company dynamics.El consultor asistió a la sesión para observar la dinámica de la empresa.
b. estar presente
The intern sat in on the doctor's morning appointments.El pasante estaban presente en las citas de la doctora por la mañana.
c. asistir de oyente (class)
The professor allowed her to sit in on a class when she visited the university.El profesor le permitió asistir a una clase de oyente cuando visitó la universidad.
A transitive verb phrase is a phrase that combines a verb with a preposition or other particle and requires a direct object (e.g. Take out the trash.).
transitive verb phrase
2. (to substitute; used with "for")
a. sustituir
Anderson asked the vice president to sit in for her at the meeting.Anderson pidió al vicepresidente que la sustituyera en la reunión.
b. reemplazar
You'll need to find someone to sit in for you while you're away.Necesitarás encontrar a alguien para reemplazarte mientras estés fuera.
3. (to be invited to play)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
Anyone who wants to sit in with the band can sign up on that sheet over there.Los que quieran tocar con la banda pueden apuntarse en aquella lista.
We went to a show last night, and the band invited me to sit in on drums.Fuimos a un concierto anoche y la banda me invitó a tocar la batería.
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