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by
American English: /baɪ/
British English: /bʌɪ/

Translation of by in Spanish:

preposition

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) See examples: 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) See examples: 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
    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] 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) 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) See examples: 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) 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)
    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) See examples: made by hand 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) 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 she grabbed me by the arm by -ingyou 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) See examples: 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 mujer
    by -ingby 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) See examples: 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) 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]
    ¡Jesús! ¡cuánto lío por nada!
  • 7 7.1 (indicating rate) to sell/buy something 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) See examples: 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) See examples: one by one
    uno por uno
    they went in two by two
    entraron de dos en dos or (in Southern Cone also) 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
  • 8 (Mathematics) 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) See examples: north by northeast
    nornor(d)este
  • 10by oneself (alone, without assistance) 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

  • 1.1 (past) See examples: 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) See examples: 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 somebody's residence) See examples: call o stop by on your way to work
    pasa por casa de camino al trabajo
    1.4 (in phrases) by and byby 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 by the by seebye1

Definition of by in:

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