Spanish Language Blog

Tricky prepositions case: means of transportation Posted by on Jul 19, 2011 in Spanish Grammar, Spanish Vocabulary

Hi, there! How have you been?

I’m sure you’ve learned in your Spanish class or by studying by yourself that some means of transportation are used with certain prepositions, right? Let’s refresh your memory!

en coche – by car
en ómnibus/autobús – by bus
en bicicleta – by bicycle
en barco/navío – by ship
en avión – by plane
a pie – on foot
a caballo – on horseback

Now I’m going to give you some pairs of sentences so that you’ll see that these means of transportation are used with other prepositions too. Check them out.

Salió en su coche. (He went out by car.)
Salió de su coche. (He got out of his car.)

Juan se acercaba a la chica en su moto. (Juan approached the girl by motorcycle.)
Juan se acercaba a la moto con la chica. (Juan approached the motorcycle with his girl – they were together.)

Vengo del barco. (I’m coming from the boat.)
Vengo en barco. (I’m coming by boat.)

Fuimos a caballo hasta la ciudade. (We went to the city on horseback.)
Fuimos por el caballo hasta la ciudad. (We went to the city to get the horse.)

Cruzaremos la frontera en bicicleta. (We will cross the border by bicycle.)
Quieres cruzar la frontera con la bicicleta pero ya tienes mucho equipaje. (You want to cross the border carrying/with your bicycle but you have too much luggage already.)

Prepositions are indeed tricky so I suggest you pay attention to how they’re used and try to understand and emulate the examples.

See you next time!

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About the Author: Adir

English / Spanish teacher and translator for over 20 years. I have been blogging since 2007 and I am also a professional singer in my spare time.