Using por (not para) to express approximate location

One of the uses of the preposition por (not para) in Spanish is to express an approximate location. Have a look at this example:

He viajado por el noroeste de España este verano.
I have travelled across the northwest of Spain this summer.

The speaker is not specific about where exactly he has been in the Northwest. We understand that he has been "over there".

Here are some more examples expressing approximate location:

¿Dónde está el pub irlandés? -Creo que está por el centro.
¿Where is the Irish pub? -I think is (somewhere) in the town centre.

¿Has visto mis gafas? - Sí, las he visto por el salón.
Have you seen my glasses? -Yes, I have seen them (somewhere) in the lounge.

The way the preposition por is used in this context is very similar to the way we use preposition en to say "in/on" a place, although when using por there is a stronger nuance of meaning "approximate place" or "around somewhere".

Have a look at these examples where por and en could be pretty much interchangable:

Hay muchos monumentos por la ciudad.
There are lots of monuments around the city.

Hay muchos monumentos en la ciudad.
There are lots of monuments in the city.

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

He viajado por el noroeste de España este verano.
I have travelled across the northwest of Spain this summer.


¿Has visto mis gafas? - Sí, las he visto por el salón.
Have you seen my glasses? -Yes, I have seen them (somewhere) in the lounge.


¿Dónde está el pub irlandés? -Creo que está por el centro.
¿Where is the Irish pub? -I think is (somewhere) in the town centre.


Hay muchos monumentos en la ciudad.
There are lots of monuments in the city.


Hay muchos monumentos por la ciudad.
There are lots of monuments around the city.


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