"Dentro de" expressing time
The preposition "dentro de" is used to express the adverb of time "in" , i.e. to say when something is going to happen:
dentro de + [length of time]
Iremos a Gran Canaria dentro de 3 días.We'll go to Gran Canaria in 3 days.
Dentro de una semana tendremos los resultados de los exámenes.In one week we'll have the exam results.
¡Nos casamos dentro de unas horas!We're getting married in a few hours!
This use of dentro de indicates the time that is left until that action occurs.
Use of "en"
Bear in mind that, probably due to the influence of English, the use of the preposition "en" instead of "dentro de" is sometimes used, but it is not recommended. For example:
I'll see you in 10 minutes.
Te veo en 10 minutos. (used but not recommended)
Te veo dentro de 10 minutos. (recommended)
We do use "en" in time phrases meaning "within":
Decoramos la tarta en media hora.We decorated the cake in half an hour.
Here we are saying that it took half an hour to decorate the cake.
"Dentro de" expressing place (abstract idea)
We use dentro de as a preposition of place meaning physically inside [something]; see Using dentro/dentro de in Spanish (inside) for this. But we also use dentro de as a preposition of place with a more abstract meaning, which is usually translated as as "within" or "among":
Dentro del género del flamenco, tenemos las bulerías, las sevillanas, o las alegrías, entre otros.Within the flamenco genre, we have "bulerías", "sevillanas" and "alegrías", among others.
Dentro de la variedad de iglesias españolas, existen muchas góticas.Among the variety of Spanish churches, there are many that are Gothic.
Dentro de la cultura andaluza, sus fiestas atraen a un gran número de turistas extranjeros.Within Andalusian culture, its festivities attract a large number of foreign turists.
See also Using dentro/dentro de in Spanish (inside)
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