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Por detrás, por delante, etc.

 

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  #1  
Old October 14, 2012, 01:11 PM
LearningSpanish LearningSpanish is offline
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Por detrás, por delante, etc.

I'm trying to figure out when por is required or what it actually does to change the meaning of a sentence when it's used in sentences describing location/direction.


For example - por detras, por delante; I kind of had in mind that if the por was used, there would be some kind of movement involved or it could mean 'through', 'by means of' etc so I've grabbed a few examples to try and figure it out. The trouble is I'm not sure if sometimes the por gets put in there when it's unnecessary and possibly incorrect or if sometimes it's optional.

Any insight on the role of por in these kind of constructions would be great, thank you in advance


Los cables pueden ser conectados por detras de la unidad.

Cables can be connected through the back of the unit.

También ofrece hermosos paseos por los bosques circundantes, pasando por detras de los hoteles.

You can also take a stroll out into the surrounding woods along a track, which runs up behind the hotels.

Tenemos un desafío por delante.

We have a challenge before us.

La tarea por delante es enorme.

There is a huge task ahead.

Los expertos fiscales tienen todavía mucho trabajo por delante.

Tax experts still have a lot of work ahead of them.

This one I've seen with the por and without:


El burro (por) delante, para que no se espante.

Donkey first so that it doesn't get frightened.
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  #2  
Old October 21, 2012, 12:40 PM
LearningSpanish LearningSpanish is offline
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Ok I"m going to have a go myself jeje with one example anyway:

Would it be correct to say that the difference between 'detras' and 'por detras' in this sentence would be:

Los cables pueden ser conectados por detras de la unidad.

Cables can be connected through/at the back of the unit.

but without the por it would just say 'behind' the unit which wouldn't be a good translation at all?
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Old October 21, 2012, 12:51 PM
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irmamar irmamar is offline
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The dictionary is your friend. Es una locución. Do you need anything else?
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Old October 21, 2012, 01:00 PM
LearningSpanish LearningSpanish is offline
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Thanks Irmamar, a ¿locución? and here i was thinking it was a 'preposición' jeje

What I'm really trying to get at is what does 'por' add in the kinds of examples that I've listed. It must give something extra than just using detras, delante etc.

As an update and for future reference for anyone else that may be interested here's a helpful reply that I have received from another source:

Quote:
"Por" often refers to the location through which something happens, including places to be crossed and insertions (like this sentence).

Last edited by LearningSpanish; October 21, 2012 at 01:00 PM. Reason: typo
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Old October 21, 2012, 01:14 PM
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irmamar irmamar is offline
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I meant 'la locución por delante' (there were a lot of por delante). Sorry if it was not clear enough.

And the answer you received is correct, although in sentences like "por los bosques" or "por detrás del hospital", I wouldn't say that you're crossing a place, but it would be better understood as an undefined place, which could be applied to "por delante del ordenador". Or I think so...

I hope it helps.
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Old October 21, 2012, 01:58 PM
LearningSpanish LearningSpanish is offline
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Ok thankyou
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