Con in Spanish

How Do You Use Con in Spanish?

con in Spanish


When to use Con in Spanish?. The Spanish word conpronounced much like the English word “cone,” not like “con,” is one of the most commonly used prepositions. In most uses, it is the equivalent of the English word “with.” 

The word con is more versatile than the English “with,” however, and it may be used in places where “with” might not be used in English. For example, con can be paired with certain verbs, can be used to form phrases that function like adverbs, indicate conditions and form contractions.

Con Used With Certain Verbs

Con can be used with various verbs where a different preposition or none at all would be used in English. Such usages are unpredictable and need to be learned along with the verbs.

Spanish Sentence – English Translation…Verb Combination

Es necesario acabar con el escándalo.It is necessary to put an end to the scandal…acabar con(put an end to)

Para comer, basta con cinco dólares.In order to eat, five dollars is enough…basta con(is enough)

El coche chocó con el tren.The car crashed into the train…chocó con(crashed into)

Puedo contar con mis amigos.I cancount on my friends…contar con(count on)

Tengo que enfrentarme con el problema.I have to face up to the problem…enfrentarme con(face up to)

Me espanto con las hormigas.I am frightened of ants…Me espanto con(to be frightened of)

Muchas veces sueño con la guerra.I often dream about the war…sueño con(dream about)

Quiero encontrarme con mi madre.I want to run into my mother…encontrarme con(to run into)

When used with the verbs above, con could be understood to mean “with,” but it would be awkward to translate it literally that way.

Con Used to Form Phrases That Function Like Adverbs

In English, “with” can be used to form adverbial phrases, but such phrases using con are far more common in Spanish. In some cases, such adverbial phrases are used in preference to or instead of synonymous adverbs. This list below is far from complete.

Spanish Sentence – English TranslationAdverbial Phrase(Literal Meaning)

Habla con intensidad.He speaks intensely…con intensidad(with intensity)

Me preguntó con cortesía.He asked me courteously…con cortesía(with courtesy)

Vive con felicidad.She lives happily…con felicidad(with happiness)

Anda con prisa.She walks fast…con prisa(with speed)

No reacciona con miedo.She doesn’t react fearfully…con miedo(with fear)

Nos abrazamos con cariño.We hugged affectionately…con cariño(with caring)

Comenzó las tareas con buena cara.He began his homework optimistically…con buena cara(with a good face)

Bailan con confianza.They dance confidently…con confianza(with confidence)

Hablaron con calma.They spoke calmly…con calma(with calm)

Habla español con fluidez.She speaks Spanish fluently…con fluidez(with fluency)

Se viste con humildad.He dresses humbly...con humildad(with humility)

Da su opinión con libertad.She freely gives her opinion…con libertad(with freedom

Te quiero con locura.I love you madly…con locura(with craziness)

Estamos esperando con ilusión.We are waiting hopefully...con ilusión(with hope)

Juega fútbol con ganas.He plays soccer enthusiastically…con ganas(with gusto)

El perro duerme con frecuencia.The dog sleeps often…con frecuencia(with frequency)


Con Used to Indicate a Condition

Sometimes when followed by an infinitive or a noun, con can have a variety of translations to indicate a condition being met or not. Translations for con in this case can include “if,” “despite,” and “by.”


Spanish Sentence – English Translation – Meaning of Condition

Con decirle que no tengo dinero, todo estará bien. By telling him that I don’t have money, everything will be fine…con decirle(by telling him)

Con todo, no está enferma.Despite everything, she’s not sick…con todo(despite everything)

Con correr puedes verla.If you run you can see her…con correr(if you run)


Con Used as a Contraction


When con is followed by the pronoun  or tito say “with me” or “with you,” the phrase is changed to conmigo or contigo, respectively.

Spanish Sentence – English Translation – Contraction

Ven conmigo. Come with me…conmigo(with me)

Vendré contigo. I will come with you…contigo(with you)


Key Takeaways

Although con is the usual equivalent of the English preposition “with,” it is often used in situations were “with” is not.

Con is frequently paired with numerous verbs in unpredictable ways.

Con is also frequently used with prepositional objects to form phrases that function as adverbs in situations where English would more likely simply use an adverb.

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