Place and Directions

Photo by Ylanite Koppens on

This section follows on from simply ‘pointing out’ and identifying possession to the words used to indicate location, either specifically (e.g. here or there, straight ahead, behind) or generally (over there, everywhere, always). You’ll also find useful words and phrases indicating direction and instructions you might her, or give.

Useful Instruction Verbs (imperative)

Go up  –   sube

Go down –  baja                 

Wait  – espera

Turn  –  tuerza

Reverse direction – da la vuelta

Cross –  cruce         

Take  – toma

Go in / enter – entra    

Go out / exit  – salga

Come in –  pasa

Come!  – ¡Venga!

Open   –  abre

Close  – cerrá

Stay  – quedate

Follow / carry on –  sigue

Stop  – ¡alto!

Watch out! (care!)  –¡cuidado!       


beach – la playa

building – un edificio

block (of buildings) – una manzana

car park – un parking / aparcamiento

crossroads – el cruce

market – el mercado

station (bus/train) – estación (de bus, autobús / ferrocaril)

traffic lights – el samaforo


Photo by Tim Mossholder on

Describing the location of something or someone is perhaps a little more precise in Spanish than in English. We use the adverbs ‘here’ and ‘there’ to indicate an object’s location, but also movement (e.g. ‘Come here!’) where in Spanish you would add another word for clarification (‘to here’ for example). If something is relatively far away, there are two other words, equivalents of ‘over there’ and depending on whether there’s movement. Having said that, the distinction is quite straightforward – it just makes you think about how we use these terms ourselves in English!

So you may wish to say something is ‘here’ ( aquí ) or ‘there’ ( allí ), but asking someone to ‘come here/go there’, you would use the adverb ahí . Stating something is ‘this way’ or ‘that way’ (an adjective) you would use por aquí , por allí, while an instruction to ‘go that way’ would be por ahí.

The English phrase ‘here and there’ is acá y acullá which actually translates more precisely in English using the older forms of ‘hither and yonder’.

Everywhere, Nowhere, Around, etc – general adverbs of place

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Everywhere in the sense of being everywhere is en todas partes whereas, where movement is involved everywhere translates as por todas partes. However por todas partes  can also translate as ‘around’ or ‘about’, e.g. to walk around/about (with no specific destination) – pasear por todas partes.

Nowhere by comparison is en ninguna parte  – note this is singular – ‘in no place’

Around is alrededor (e.g/ he looked around) but ‘all around’ is por todos los lados – literally on all sides.  Alrededor  is also used in the form los alrededores to describe  the surrounding area : en los alredededores de la ciudadin the area around the city.

Adverbs of position & direction

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straight on – todo recto

(in the) north – (en el) norte

opposite – en frente de

in front (of) – delante de

on top (of) – arriba

above / on – sobre

towards – hacia

(on/to the) left – a la izquierda

(to the) west – (al) oeste

close to – cerca de

inside – dentro (de)

between … and … – entre … y …

(on/to the ) right – (a la) derecha

(to the) east – (al) sur

far from – lejos de

outside – fuera (de)

next to – al lado de

(to the) south – (al) sur

behind – detrás de

below – abajo

at/on the bottom – en el fondo

away – fuera

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