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How To Say "Behind" In Spanish

In the vibrant world of language learning, exploring different words and expressions is a thrilling endeavor. If you have ever wondered how to say "behind" in Spanish, this article will guide you through its meaning, translation, and usage. Whether you are traveling to a Spanish-speaking country or simply expanding your linguistic horizons, understanding this word will enhance your communication skills. So, let us dive in!

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What is "Behind" in Spanish?

"Behind" is commonly translated to detrás (IPA: /deˈtɾas/) in Spanish. However, it is important to note that the following are other adequate translations: such as  "detrás de," "atrás de," "a la zaga," "en la parte de atrás," "trasero," and "cola."  

Meaning of "Behind" in Spanish

In Spanish, "detrás" refers to the position or location at the back of someone or something. It implies the opposite direction of movement or the posterior side of an object or individual. Understanding this term is crucial for navigating directions, describing the relative position of objects, or expressing concepts related to space. These are the definitions for the other translations of "behind" in Spanish. 

  • Detrás de (IPA: /de.ˈtɾas de/): It means "behind" or "in back of," indicating the position of something or someone in relation to another object or person.

  • Atrás de (IPA: /a.ˈtɾas de/): This phrase is similar to "detrás de" and also means "behind" or "in back of." It is commonly used in some regions as a variation of "detrás de."

  • A la zaga (IPA: /a la ˈθa.ɣa/): It means "in the rear" or "at the back," suggesting being behind or trailing something or someone.

  • En la parte de atrás (IPA: /en la ˈpaɾ.te ðe a.ˈtɾas/): It translates to "in the back" or "at the rear." It refers to the location or position of something towards the rear or back of a space or object.

  • Trasero (IPA: /tɾa.ˈse.ɾo/): It means "rear" or "back," specifically referring to the posterior part of something or someone.

  • Cola (IPA: /ˈ It has multiple meanings, including "tail" or "rear end" when referring to animals, and "queue" or "line" when referring to people waiting in order.

To decide which of these translation is the right one depends both on the context and the grammatical function of "detrás" in a sentence.  

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Regional Variations

While "detrás" is the standard translation for "behind" in Spanish, it is worth mentioning that regional variations exist. In some Latin American countries, alternative terms may be used to express this concept. For example:

  • In Mexico, you may hear "atrás" instead of "detrás."
  • In Argentina, "atrás" and "detrás" are both commonly used.
  • In Spain, you may come across "tras" or "al otro lado" as alternatives, though "detrás" remains the most widely understood term.

How to Say "Behind" in Spanish: Sample Sentences

Here are five sample sentences you can use to say "behind" in Spanish:

  • La mesa está detrás del sofá.

(The table is behind the couch.)

  • Camina detrás de mí, por favor.

(Walk behind me, please.)

  • Los libros están detrás de la estantería.

(The books are behind the bookshelf.)

  • El perro se escondió detrás del árbol.

(The dog hid behind the tree.)

  • El museo se encuentra detrás del parque central.

(The museum is located behind the central park.)

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Learning how to say "behind" in Spanish is an important step in your language journey. Being able to express spatial relationships accurately will help you communicate effectively in various situations. Remember that regional variations may exist, so it is beneficial to familiarize yourself with local terms if you plan to travel or interact with Spanish speakers from specific regions. Embrace the beauty of language and continue exploring new words and expressions. ¡Buena suerte!

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