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Table of contents Chapter 13 13.2 Adverbs of local relation

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Chapter 13: Adverbs and Comparative

   13.2 Adverbs of local relation
            I
          II

        III
         IV
           V
         VI

       VII
      VIII
         IX
           X
          XI

lejos
arriba
abajo
atrás
enfrente
detrás
delante
encima
abajo, debajo , bajo por debajo, por abajo
arriba, encima, sobre, por encima, por arriba
de cerca

  I. lejos = far (away)
Si tu mano o tu pie te arrastra al pecado, córtatelo y tíralo lejos.
= If your hand or your foot takes you to the rubbish, cut them lose and throw them far away.

  II. arriba = up, above
Mira arriba. = Look up

  III. abajo = down
Mira abajo. = Look down.

  IV. atrás = back, backwards
Vaya atrás. = Go backwards.

  V. enfrente = opposite
Ella estaba sentada enfrente de un hombre, que no dejó de mirarla.
= She sat opposite to a man that didn't stop looking at her.

  VI. detrás = behind
Todos los que iban detrás de este coche murieron al explotar la bomba.
= All that went behind this car died when the bomb exploded.

  VII. delante = ahead
Él siempre andaba delante de los otros.
= He always went ahead of the others.

  VIII. encima = above, over
Lo decidieron por encima de la voluntad del pueblo.
= They decided on top of the will of the people.
(regardless the will of the people)

  IX. abajo, debajo , bajo, por debajo, por abajo = under, below, down
abajo, debajo , bajo por debajo, por abajo
debajo = below (locally)
bajo= below (also figuratively)
abajo = down (down, absolutely speaking )

   Have a look

Voy por abajo.
= I go down.

Voy abajo.
= I come down.
Voy por debajo del puente.
= I go under the bridge (I go through the bridge, under its arches).
Voy debajo del puente.
= I go below the bridge.
Íbamos debajo de la lluvia por las calles.
= We went under the rain through the streets.
Íbamos bajo la lluvia por las calles.
= We went in the rain through the street.
Iba debajo de una sábana asi que no se sabía quién era.
= He went under a bed sheet this way nobody knew who he was.
Estoy abajo.
= I'm down here.
Bajo su presidencia la inflación iba creciendo.
= Under his presidency the inflation grew constantly.

abajo (down) is to be used absolutely and does not indicate a relation between two objects. It's actually the same in English. You do not say The book is down the table. Abajo is used in constructions like:
He goes down - Va abajo

debajo (below), por debajo (under), bajo (under, below ) are relative adverbs and relate to another object in the sentence. I go below doesn't mean much. It's always the question below what?
He goes below a bridge - Va debajo de un puente.
The difference between por debajo and debajo is not quite easy to explain: por debajo means "under something through" and debajo means "under, below".
He goes below a bridge. - Va debajo de un puente.
He goes under a bridge (through). He goes through the bridge below its arch. (how poetic!) - Va por debajo de un puente.

There is no difference in the meaning of bajo and debajo. Bajo is not used with a preposition. Bajo does also mean low therefore it's important not to mix constructions like: por bajo consumo (because of low consumption) with

El pájaro pasa por debajo del puente = The bird flew under the bridge through.

  13.2.10 arriba, encima, sobre, por encima, por arriba
arriba, encima, sobre, por encima, por arriba
sobre = on, over
encima = above, => see debajo
arriba = up (in an absolute meaning) => see abajo

   Have a look
Voy por arriba. = I go up.
Voy arriba. = I come up.
Voy encima del puente. = I go on the bridge.
Voy por encima del puente. = I go over the bridge.
Jesús andaba encima del agua. = Jesus walked above water.
Jesús andaba sobre el agua. = Jesus walked on water.
Estoy arriba. = I am up. (locally)


arriba can be compared to abajo. It has an absolute meaning and can't be used to indicate relations between objects. Actually it's again the same in English: The book lies up the table - this sentence is pure nonsense. Arriba is used in sentences like:
I go up. - Voy arriba.
He is up there. - Está arriba.

encima, encima por, sobre are relative, they indicate a relation to another object. I see over. is again nonsense.
I see over the bridge. - Ve sobre el puente.
He walks over the bridge. - Anda por encima del puente.

  XI. de cerca = from close up
Míralo de cerca. = Look at is from close up.

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