Using dentro/dentro de (inside)

in Spanish, to say "inside" or "inside something" as an adverb of place,  we use "dentro" or "dentro de [algo]" respectively. For example:

Dentro = inside

¿Están los niños dentro o fuera?Are the children inside or outside?

Hace frío, vamos dentro.It's cold, let's go inside.

Dentro de [algo] = Inside [something]

El juguete está dentro de la caja.The toy is inside the box.

Tengo una piedra pequeña dentro del zapato.I have a little stone inside my shoe.

Estoy poniendo los calcetines dentro del cajón.I am putting the socks inside the drawer.

¿Está mi bikini dentro de la bolsa?Is my bikini inside the bag?

Notice how for inside something we need the preposition "de" and if the noun is singular masculine you need the contracted "del" (not de el). If the noun is feminine then you need "de la":

  • dentro del zapato (zapato = singular masculine noun)
  • dentro de la bolsa (bolsa = singular feminine noun)

It's a common mistake for English speakers to omit the preposition as you don't need it in English.

This is incorrect:

  • Dentro el zapato 
  • Dentro la bolsa

 

Like in English we also use the preposition "en" to indicate "in/inside [something]", but dentro de is more precise for "inside":

Está en la bosa. Está dentro de la bolsa.

Está en el zapato. ~ Está dentro del zapato.

Note that we sometimes use "adentro" for "inside a place" (not for inside something) and this is also correct:

Vamos adentro, hace frío.Let's go inside, it's cold.

Estamos adentro con nuestros amigos.We are inside with our friends.

See also a list of adverbs of place:

Adverbs of place

For other uses of dentro de see Using dentro de for in/within/among (time/place)

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Examples and resources

¿Están los niños dentro o fuera?Are the children inside or outside?
Estoy poniendo los calcetines dentro del cajón.I am putting the socks inside the drawer.
Tengo una piedra pequeña dentro del zapato.I have a little stone inside my shoe.
Estamos adentro con nuestros amigos.We are inside with our friends.
El juguete está dentro de la caja.The toy is inside the box.
Vamos adentro, hace frío.Let's go inside, it's cold.
Hace frío, vamos dentro.It's cold, let's go inside.
¿Está mi bikini dentro de la bolsa?Is my bikini inside the bag?
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