This is the tenth lesson in our beginner level Spanish course and we will look at Locations in Spanish.
In the previous lesson we looked at the Spanish verb Estar (Yo estoy: I am. Tú estás: You are. Él/Ella está: He/She is) and learned that Estar rather than the Spanish verb Ser (Yo soy: I am. Tú eres: You are. Él/Ella es: He/She is) is used with Locations in Spanish. Remember that both Ser and Estar mean the same thing: I am, You are, He/She is (the verb To Be in English) and in general Ser is used when describing permanent things and Estar when describing temporary things. An exception to the rule is that we always use Estar to describe location, even when something is located somewhere permanently.
“¿Dónde estás ahora?” (Where are you now?). “Estoy en la biblioteca” (I am in the library). This is a temporary location.
“¿Dónde está la biblioteca?” (Where is the library?). “La biblioteca está en el centro del pueblo” (The library is in the centre of town). This is a permanent location. The library will not move from its location, but we still use Estar.
We are going to look more closely at how to ask and explain Locations in Spanish using Estar.
First let’s see some useful vocabulary:
La calle: street
La estación de autobuses: bus station
La estación de tren: train station
La oficina de turismo: tourist information office
La iglesia: church
El cine: cinema
El hotel: hotel
El banco: bank
La biblioteca: library
El teatro: theatre
El ayuntamiento: town hall
La comisaría: police station
El museo: museum
La oficina de correos: post office
La gasolinera: petrol station
El polideportivo: sports centre
El centro comercial: shopping centre
La catedral: cathedral
El castillo: castle
If you would like to ask someone where, for example, the theatre is located you will say:
“¿Dónde está el teatro?”
Here are some examples of possible locations:
El teatro está al final de la calle: The theatre is at the end of the street
El teatro está en la esquina: The theatre is on the corner
El teatro está al lado de la catedral: The theatre is next to the cathedral
El teatro está enfrente del banco : The theatre is opposite the bank
El teatro está entre de la biblioteca y la oficina de correos: The theatre is between the library and the post office
El teatro está detrás del hotel: The theatre is behind the hotel
In the descriptions we have used these useful prepositions of place:
Al final de: At the end of
En la esquina: On the corner
Al lado de: Next to
Enfrente de: Opposite
Detrás de: Behind
You may also want to describe Locations in Spanish using Norte (North), Sur (South), Este (East), Oeste (West), Noroeste (Northwest), Noreste (Northeast), Suroeste (Southwest), Sureste (Southeast), Centro (Centre).
Madrid está en el centro de España: Madrid is in the centre of Spain
Granada está en el sur de España: Granada is in the south of Spain
Barcelona está en el noreste de España: Barcelona is in the northeast of Spain
Cadiz está en el suroeste de España: Cadiz is in the southwest of Spain
That is all for this lesson about Locations in Spanish. There was lots of very useful information in this lesson which we recommend that you practice by creating your own similar sentences. The Spanish verbs Ser and Estar are fundamental to the Spanish language and we encourage you to familiarise yourself with exactly when to use one or the other. If you have any doubts, please leave your comments below and we will try to resolve them.