Spanish Grammar: The Preposition [DE]

Spanish Grammar: The Preposition DE

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Spanish Grammar: The Preposition [DE]
la gramática española: la preposición [de]

  • Generally means of or from.
  • Denotes the origin, possession, or the composition of things.


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Origin: The preposition DE means “of” or “from” in Spanish! Often combined with the verb SER.

Yo soy de California.
I am from California.

Cinco de mayo.
The fifth of May.

Possession: DE can also be used to indicate possession, since Spanish doesn’t have a form like “Lucy’s shoes” or “Michael’s book”. Often combined with the verb SER.

Los zapatos de Juan.
John’s shoes.

El libro de María.
Maria’s book.

Composition: DE can identify the composition of an object, to see what material it’s made of. Often combined with the verb SER.

El anillo es de oro.
The ring is (made of) gold.

La mesa es de madera.
The table is (made of) wood.

When the preposition DE is combined with the definite article EL, they contract to create a new word – DEL.

Los libros están a la derecha del teléfono.
The books are to the right of the telephone.

El restaurante está enfrente del parque.
The restaurant is in front of the park.


¿De qué material es?
What material is it made of?

¿De qué es el arete?
What is the earring me of?

¿De dónde es usted?
Where are you (formal) from?

¿De dónde eres tú?
Where are you (familiar) from?

¿De quién es el libro?
Whose book is this?

¿Quién es de los Estados Unidos?
Who is from the United States?

¿Cuántos son de aquí?
How many are from here?

¿Cuál libro es de ella?
Which book is hers?


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