Mastering The Art of Saying ‘On’ in Spanish – A Comprehensive Guide

how to say on in spanish

Learning a new language can be a rewarding and intellectually stimulating experience. Spanish, one of the most widely spoken languages in the world, is no exception. To become proficient in Spanish, understanding prepositions is crucial. Among these, “on” is a commonly used preposition with various nuances. In this article, we will delve into the different ways to say “on” in Spanish and provide you with a comprehensive guide to help you navigate this linguistic terrain.


   The most direct translation for “on” in Spanish is “sobre.” It is used when referring to something physically located on top of another object. For example, “The book is on the table” translates to “El libro está sobre la mesa.” This usage is straightforward and corresponds closely to the English meaning.


   Another common way to express “on” in Spanish is to use the preposition “en.” However, “en” is often used more broadly than “sobre.” It can refer to something being “in” or “on” something, depending on the context. For instance, “I am on the bus” can be translated as “Estoy en el autobús.” While the bus is not a physical surface, “en” conveys the idea that you are inside it, on a more abstract level.

Encima de

   When you want to emphasise that something is not just on top of another thing but literally “on top of,” you can use “encima de.” For example, “The cat is on top of the roof” is “El gato está encima del tejado.”

Sobre la base de

   To express “on the basis of” or “based on” in Spanish, you can use the phrase “sobre la base de.” For instance, “The decision was made on the basis of new information” is “La decisión se tomó sobre la base de nueva información.”

Sobre todo

   “Sobre todo” is an idiom that means “above all” or “especially.” It is used to emphasise something in particular. For instance, “I love to travel, but I love food above all” can be translated as “Me encanta viajar, pero sobre todo, me encanta la comida.”

En cuanto a

   When you want to say “as for” or “concerning,” you can use the phrase “en cuanto a.” For example, “As for the project, we will discuss it tomorrow” can be expressed as “En cuanto al proyecto, lo discutiremos mañana.”

Sobre la marcha

   If you want to say “on the go” or “improvised,” you can use the expression “sobre la marcha.” For example, “I prepared the presentation on the go” translates to “Preparé la presentación sobre la marcha.”

Sobre aviso no hay engaño

   This is a common Spanish saying that means “forewarned is forearmed.” It implies that when you are informed or aware of something, you can better prepare for it. It is often used in situations where people provide a heads-up or warning.

Sobre ruedas

   To express that something is going smoothly or without problems, you can use the phrase “sobre ruedas.” For example, “The project is going smoothly” can be translated as “El proyecto va sobre ruedas.”


   If you want to say that someone is “overexcited” or “hyper,” you can use the verb “sobreexcitar.” It is often used when someone is too enthusiastic or agitated


   “Sobrepasar” is a verb that means “to exceed” or “to surpass.” It can be used when something goes beyond a limit or boundary. For example, “The speed limit is 60 mph, and you shouldn’t exceed it” can be translated as “El límite de velocidad es de 60 millas por hora, y no debes sobrepasar.”


   “Sobreaviso” means “advance notice” or “early warning.” It is used when you receive information or a warning ahead of time, allowing you to prepare for a particular situation.


What is que se yo?

Literally, the translation would be “what do I know?” as is a question. Qué = what. sé = know (present, at this moment) yo = I. Buy, as is an idiomatic expression, (near to a slang), its use is way less literal than that.

What is Tengo Una?

a. I have one. Tengo una casa en el campo y otra en la ciudad. I have one house in the country and one in the city.

In summary, saying “on” in Spanish can take on various forms and expressions, each with its own unique nuances and contexts. “Sobre” and “en” are the most commonly used translations for “on,” but the Spanish language offers a rich tapestry of options for expressing different shades of meaning. Understanding the subtleties of these expressions will enhance your ability to communicate effectively in Spanish. So, whether you’re discussing physical location, the basis for a decision, or conveying idiomatic expressions, you now have a comprehensive guide to navigate the diverse ways of saying “on” in Spanish. ¡Buena suerte en tu aprendizaje! 

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