One of the uses of the preposition por
) in Spanish is to express an approximate location
. Have a look at this example:
He viajado por el noroeste de España este verano.I 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.Did you see my glasses? -Yes, I saw them (somewhere) in the lounge.
The way the preposition por is used in this context is very similar to the way we use the 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 are 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.
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