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Invariable Adverbs of Place in Spanish

written by: djthyberg • edited by: Rebecca Scudder • updated: 8/2/2012

Adverbs in Spanish are used to modify the meaning of verbs and adjectives. Adverbs of place are used to talk about where things or people are located. They are invariable and do not show gender or number. This article covers all the basic adverbs of place as well as some common locutions.

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    Adverbs in Spanish are invariable, that is, they do not show number or gender. Their function is to modify the meaning of verbs and the meaning of adjectives and the meaning of other adverbs. Adverbs can be grouped into the following categories: Adverbs of Time, Place, Manner, Quantity, Affirmation, Negation, Doubt, Exclusion, Inclusion and Interrogation. Adverbs of Place are used to talk about the location of an action or a thing. They are particularly useful for giving directions or explaining where items or people can be found.

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    Adverbs of Place

    abajo (below, downstairs) ---*--- arriba (above, overhead, upstairs)

    aquí, acá (here, over here) ---*--- ahí, allá (there, over there)

    adentro (in) ---*--- afuera (outside)

    detrás (behind, after) ---*--- ante (before)

    lejos (far away) ---*--- cerca (close, near, nearby)

    delante (ahead) ---*--- enfrente (in front of)

    fuera (outside) ---*--- dentro (inside)

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    Adverbial Locutions

    a casa (to home) ---*--- en casa (at home)

    a la izquierda (to the left) ---*--- a la derecha (to the right)

    de abajo hacia arriba (upward) ---*--- de arriba hacia abajo (downward)

    dentro de (within, inside) ---*--- fuera de (without, outside)

    en alguna parte (somewhere) ---*--- en cualquier parte (anywhere)

    en el extranjero (abroad) ---*--- en cualquier momento (at any time, whenever)

    en ninguna parte (nowhere) ---*--- al revés (backwards)

    en todas partes (everywhere) ---*--- en otra parte (elsewhere)

    por ahí (that way, over there) ---*--- por aquí (this way, over here)

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    • Detrás de ese edificio está el banco. (The bank is behind that building.)

    • En todas partes del mundo, a la gente le gusta comer bien. (People like to eat well everywhere in the world.)

    • Me puedes llamar en cualquier momento. (You can call me at any time.)

    • Vamos para allá. Creo que el hotel está cerca. (Let's go that way. I think the hotel is nearby.)

    • Había vivido en el extranjero por dos años cuando empecé a extrañar a mi país. (I had lived abroad for two years, when I began to miss my country.)
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    Additional Notes

    Adverbial locutions of are simply particular phrasal expressions that use adverbs. These lists of adverbs of place. of course, are not comprehensive, but they should give a good idea of the general formation and usage. Adverbs of place locate the action of the verb in relation to the space within which it occurs. Think for example of the phrase "caminamos" (we walk). What we know from this is the action, the actors and the time when it occurs, when we don't know where it occurs. Adverbs of place define this location to make the action of verbs more precise and descriptive. Thus, we can say "caminamos detrás de la guía" (we walk behind the guide), which gives the verbal action a sense of spatiality.