Spanish “de… a…” to express starting and ending points

Welcome to our grammar lesson about the prepositions “de… a…” to talk about starting and ending points in Spanish.

We frequently use these prepositions when we talk about space or about a time period:

  • de… introduces the starting point. It means “from…”.
  • a… introduces the ending point. It means “to…”.
Two Spanish sentences with "de... a..."
Two sentences with “de… a…”

In this lesson, we will read examples of sentences that include “de… a…”

We will also learn the alternative option “desde… hasta…”

“de… a…” talking about space

When we talk about space, movement or trajectory, de… introduces the starting point and a… introduces the ending point.

Of course, we need to pay attention to the possibility that the contractions “del” and “al” may happen:

Yo viajo de Madrid a Barcelona.
I travel from Madrid to Barcelona.

Movemos la mesa del salón al dormitorio.
We move the table from the living room to the bedroom.

Ellos conducen de su casa al supermercado.
They drive from their home to the supermarket.

“de… a…” talking about time

Same as with space, when we talk about a period of time, de… introduces the starting point and a… the ending point:

La Segunda Guerra Mundial fue de 1939 a 1945.
World War II was from 1939 to 1945.

Tengo vacaciones de julio a septiembre.
I’m on vacation from July to September.

Time of day, as well as days of the week, don’t need articles when we use “de… a…”. That means the contractions del and al don’t happen:

Estoy en la oficina de nueve a cuatro.
I am in the office from nine to four.

Tú tienes clases de lunes a viernes.
You have classes from Monday to Friday.

However, days of the month are preceded by articles, and that produces the contractions del and al :

Estaremos en el hotel del 20 al 23 de diciembre.
We will be at the hotel from December 20 to 23.

Alternative option: “desde… hasta…”

The formula “desde… hasta…” has the same uses as “de… a…”.

Here are some of the sentences above, but this time using “desde… hasta…”:

La Segunda Guerra Mundial fue desde 1939 hasta 1945.

Ellos conducen desde su casa hasta el supermercado.

Estaremos en el hotel desde el 20 hasta el 23 de diciembre.

Be careful! Both time of day and days of the week, which didn’t need articles with “de… a…”, need articles with “desde… hasta…”:

Estoy en la oficina desde las nueve hasta las cuatro.

Tú tienes clases desde el lunes hasta el viernes.

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