How Do You Use De in Spanish?
When to use de in Spanish?. is one of the most common prepositions in Spanish. Although it usually is translated as “of” and sometimes as “from,” its use is far more versatile than the translation might suggest. In fact, in certain contexts, can be translated not only as “of” or “from,” but as “with,” “by,” or “in,” among other words, or not translated at all.
One reason is used more often than its equivalents in English is because the rules of English grammar let us use all sorts of nouns and phrases as adjectives. In that way, Spanish isn’t quite so flexible. While in English we may say,
“a nine-year-old girl,” in Spanish that becomes or, literally, “a girl of nine years.” Similarly, in English, we may say something like “a silver ring,” using what is normally a noun, “silver,” as an adjective. But in Spanish we have to say , or “a ring of silver.”
When an object or person has characteristics (including contents or what something is made of) that are stated as a noun or infinitive, is often used to show the relationship. It generally is not possible in Spanish, as it is in English, to use nouns as adjectives.
corazón de oro (heart of gold.)
el tranvía de Boston (the Boston streetcar)
una casa de huéspedes (a guesthouse)
una canción de tres minutos (a three-minute song)
una casa de $100,000 (a $100,000 house)
una taza de leche (a cup of milk)
la mesa de escribir (the writing table)
una casa de ladrillo (a brick house)
jugo de manzana (apple juice)
una máquina de escribir, (a typewriter, literally a writing machine)
is used in many common idiomatic phrases, many of which function as adverbs.
(from time to time)
(in any case)
(from time to time)
Many verbs are followed by and often an infinitive to form expressions.
There is no logic to which verbs are followed by . The verbs need either to be memorized or learned as you come across them.
(I have just left)
He never stops eating.
(I will try to study.)
(I am happy to win.)
(He forgot to study.)
(Romeo fell in love with Juliet.)
Keep in mind also that when is followed by the article , meaning “the,” they form the contraction . Thus is the equivalent of saying (“the trees of the forest”). But no contraction is used for , which means “his.”