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Beyond "During": The Preposition Durante in Spanish

As you might imagine, the Spanish preposition durante can often mean "during." However, in different contexts, it is also the equivalent of the English words "for" and "over." This lesson will explore some of the meanings and peculiarities of the Spanish preposition durante


When Durante Functions Like "During"

The Spanish preposition durante should be translated as "during" when it refers to when something took place. Let's explore two subcategories of this usage.


Throughout the Course of

Like the English preposition "during," the Spanish word durante can mean "throughout the duration or course of." Let's see an example:


el calor en Sevilla es bastante fuerte durante los meses de verano

the heat in Seville is quite intense during the summer months,

Caption 21, Viajando con Fermín Sevilla - Part 2

 Play Caption


A Specific Point 

Also like "during," durante can refer to a specific point within some time period, as this caption illustrates:


Durante nuestra visita hemos tenido la ocasión de charlar con Mikel,

During our visit, we've had the opportunity to chat with Mikel,

Captions 65-66, Viajando con Fermín Restaurante La Viña - Part 1

 Play Caption


When Durante Means "For"

When the Spanish preposition durante is used to talk about something's duration, or how long it lasted, it works like the English preposition "for." Let's see an example:


tenemos que hacer muchos ejercicios seguidos durante un minuto.

we have to do a lot of exercises in a row for a minute.

Caption 26, Ariana Crossfit - Part 1

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Notice that, unlike the English preposition "during," the Spanish preposition durante can also come before plural periods of time, as we see in the following clip:


Ay, Kevin, nosotros no podemos esperarlo durante cuatro años.

Oh, Kevin, we can't wait for you for four years.

Caption 3, Los Años Maravillosos Capítulo 13 - Part 7

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In other words, while it would be unusual to say "we can't wait for you during four years" in English, it is common to see the Spanish preposition durante used in this fashion as the equivalent of the English word "for."


When Durante Works Like "Over"

Sometimes, durante describes an action that took place gradually, repetitively, or continuously within a particular timespan, in which case it is advisable to translate it as "over." Let's take a look:


han surgido durante los últimos diez años unas cincuenta escuelas de baile de salsa

some fifty salsa dance schools have sprung up over the last ten years,

Caption 2, Región mundo Paso a paso - Part 2

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In the same vein, note that, when paired with todo/a (all/whole), the Spanish preposition durante means "throughout":


Los burros, durante toda la historia, han sido infravalorados, ¿no?

Donkeys, throughout history, have been undervalued, right?

Caption 25, Santuario para burros Santuario - Part 1

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That's all for today. We hope that this lesson has clarified many of the different meanings and translations of the Spanish preposition durante... and don't forget to write us with your suggestions and comments.


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