Translation of by in Spanish:

by

Pronunciation: /baɪ/

preposition/preposición

by often appears as the second element of certain verb structures in English ( abide by, get by, stand by, etc). For translations, see the relevant verb entry ( abide, get, stand, etc).

  • 1 1.1 (not later than) her father told her to be in by 11 el padre le dijo que volviera antes de las 11 or que a las 11 estuviera en casa they should be there by now ya deberían estar allí will it be ready by 5? ¿estará listo para las 5? by the time he arrived, most of the others had left cuando llegó, casi todos los demás se habían ido 1.2 (during, at) by day he's a bank clerk and by night a barman de día es empleado bancario y de noche barman by day the streets are deserted durante el día or de día las calles están desiertas Rome by night Roma nocturna, Roma de noche
  • 2 2.1 (at the side of, near to) al lado de, junto a she went and sat by Neil fue y se sentó al lado de Neil or junto a Neil come and sit by me ven a sentarte a mi lado or junto a mí or [criticized usage/uso criticado] al lado mío we spent the day by the sea pasamos el día en la playa or junto al mar it's right by the door está justo al lado de la puerta in the cafe by the station en el café de al lado de la estación 2.2 (to hand) (American English/inglés norteamericano) I always keep some money by me siempre llevo algo de dinero encima do you have the letter by you? ¿tiene (usted) la carta (consigo)?
  • 3 3.1 (past) I said hello, but he walked right by me lo saludé pero él pasó de largo I think we've already gone by the house creo que ya hemos pasado la casa let's go around by the canal demos la vuelta por el canal 3.2 (via, through) por I came in by the back door entré por la puerta de atrás by land/sea/air por tierra/mar/avión
  • 4 (indicating agent, cause) (with passive verbs) por The passive voice is, however, less common in Spanish than it is in English she was brought up by her grandmother la crió su abuela, fue criada por su abuela blonde hair bleached by the sun pelo rubio aclarado por el sol she was haunted by his memory su recuerdo la atormentaba we were forgotten by all our friends todos nuestros amigos se olvidaron de nosotros she was accompanied by several members of her family iba acompañada de varios familiares a play by Shakespeare una obra de Shakespeare it was written by Pinter fue escrita por Pinter
  • 5 5.1 (indicating means, method) made by hand hecho a mano to travel by car/train/plane viajar en coche/tren/avión to pay by credit card pagar* con tarjeta de crédito I sent the letter by registered mail envié la carta por correo certificado please reply by return of mail o (British English/inglés británico) return of post le rogamos nos conteste a vuelta de correo she was reading by the light of a candle leía a la luz de una vela to navigate by the stars guiarse* por las estrellas by moonlight a la luz de la luna she grabbed me by the arm me agarró del brazoby -ing you won't get anywhere by being negative no vas a conseguir nada con esa actitud tan negativa I'll begin by introducing myself empezaré por presentarme 5.2 (owing to, from) by an amazing coincidence por una de esas casualidades she is Spanish by birth es española de nacimiento he had two children by his second wife tuvo dos hijos con or de su segunda mujerby -ing by specializing, she has limited her options al especializarse, ha restringido sus posibilidades by being too extreme, they have lost public support por ser demasiado extremistas, han perdido apoyo popular
  • 6 6.1 (according to) by that clock it's almost half past según ese reloj son casi y media it's a good offer by any standards es una buena oferta se mire por donde se mire judging by what you say a juzgar por lo que dices I'm only going by what I heard solo me baso en lo que he oído by the look of things, we're too late por lo visto or al parecer hemos llegado demasiado tarde is it all right by you if I smoke? ¿te importa si fumo? that's fine by me por mí no hay problema 6.2 (in interjectional phrases/en locuciones de tipo interjección) I swear by all that's holy, I never touched a hair of her head juro por lo más sagrado que no le puse un dedo encima by God, you'll be sorry you said that! te juro que te vas a arrepentir de haber dicho eso by heck, what a fuss over nothing! [colloquial/familiar] ¡Jesús! ¡cuánto lío por nada!
  • 7 7.1 (indicating rate) por to sell/buy sth by the meter/kilo vender/comprar algo por metro(s)/kilo(s) we are paid by the hour/batch nos pagan por hora(s)/lote we gathered apples by the bagful recogimos bolsas y bolsas de manzanas they make them by the thousand hacen miles y miles de ellos 7.2 (indicating extent of difference) she broke the record by several seconds batió el récord en or por varios segundos I'm taller than you by an inch or two te llevo una pulgada o dos, soy una pulgada o dos más alto que tú we missed the train by seconds perdimos el tren por unos segundos the price has gone up by $500 in a year el precio ha subido 500 dólares en un año her popularity has fallen by three per cent su popularidad ha disminuido (en) un tres por ciento 7.3 (indicating gradual progression) one by one uno por uno they went in two by two entraron de dos en dos or (in Southern Cone also/en Cono Sur también) de a dos you have to learn step by step tienes que aprender paso a paso he grows worse day by day cada día está peor, empeora día a día little by little poco a poco, de a poco (Southern Cone/Cono Sur)
  • 8 [Mathematics/Matemáticas] por multiply two by three multiplica dos por tres divide six by three divide seis por or entre tres a room 20ft by 12ft una habitación de 20 pies por 12
  • 9 (in compass directions) north by northeast nornor(d)este
  • 10by oneself (alone, without assistance) solo I need to be by myself necesito estar solo or a solas I don't like to leave them by themselves at night no me gusta dejarlos solos de noche can you manage that case by yourself? ¿puedes tú solo con esa maleta? they do their homework by themselves hacen los deberes solos

adverb/adverbio

  • 1.1 (past) let me by! ¡déjenme pasar! she rushed by without seeing me pasó corriendo y no me vio they watched the parade march by vieron pasar el desfile 1.2 (aside, in reserve) I try and put a little money by each week trato de ahorrar un poco de dinero cada semana keep some food by, just in case aparta or reserva algo de comida por si acaso 1.3 (to sb's residence) call o stop by on your way to work pasa por casa de camino al trabajo 1.4 (in phrases/en locuciones) by and by by and by they came to the clearing al poco rato llegaron al claro it's going to rain by and by va a llover dentro de poco by and large por lo general, en general by the by see bye1

Definition of by in:

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el relevo de la guardia = the changing of the guard …
Cultural fact of the day

In Spain, a ración is a serving of food eaten in a bar or cafe, generally with a drink. Friends or relatives meet in a bar or cafe, order a number of raciones, and share them. Raciones tend to be larger and more elaborate than tapas. They may be: Spanish omelet, squid, octopus, cheese, ham, or chorizo, among others.