Translation of by in Spanish:

by

por, prep

Pronunciation: /baɪ//bʌɪ/

preposition

  • 1

    • 1.1(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

    • 1.2(indicating extent of difference)

      she broke the record by several seconds batió el récord en / por varios segundos
      • I'm taller than you by an inch or two 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

    • 1.3(indicating gradual progression)

      one by one uno por uno
      • they went in two by two entraron de dos en dos
      • you have to learn step by step tienes que aprender paso a paso
      • he grows worse day by day cada día está peor
      • little by little de a poco

  • 2

    • 2.1(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

    • 2.2(via, through)

      por
      I came in by the back door entré por la puerta de atrás
      • by land/sea/air por tierra/mar/avión

  • 3

    (indicating agent, cause)
    (The passive voice is, however, less common in Spanish than it is in English) por
    she was brought up by her grandmother la crió 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
  • 4

    • 4.1(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 / junto a Neil
      • come and sit by me ven a sentarte a mi lado
      • we spent the day by the sea pasamos el día en la playa / 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

    • 4.2(US) (to hand)

      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)?

  • 5

    • 5.1(not later than)

      her father told her to be in by 11 el padre le dijo que volviera antes de las 11 / 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

    • 5.2(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 / de día las calles están desiertas
      • Rome by night Roma nocturna

  • 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 / 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

      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! ¡Jesús! ¡cuánto lío por nada!

  • 7

    Mathematics
    por
    multiply two by three multiplica dos por tres
    • divide six by three divide seis por / entre tres
    • a room 20ft by 12ft una habitación de 20 pies por 12
  • 8

    (in compass directions)
    north by northeast nornor(d)este
  • 9

    • 9.1(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 / 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 al claro de luna
      • she grabbed me by the arm me agarró del brazo
      • by -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

    • 9.2(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 / de su segunda mujer
      • by -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

  • 10

    (alone, without assistance)
    by oneself solo
    • I need to be by myself necesito estar solo / 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

    (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
  • 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 / reserva algo de comida por si acaso
  • 3

    (to sb's residence)
    call / stop by on your way to work pasa por casa de camino al trabajo
  • 4

    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
    • by the by