The Many Uses of 'Entre' in Spanish

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Muy pronto los robots estarán entre nosotros. (Very soon, the robots will be among us.).

Chris Isherwood/Flickr/Creative Commons

The Spanish preposition entre usually means "between" or "among," and it is used more broadly than its English counterparts. Entre can be used as an adverbial phrase meaning, "among themselves," or in figurative, idiomatic expressions.

Also, entre differs from most Spanish prepositions in that it is typically complemented by the subject pronouns yo and rather than the usual object pronouns. The correct way to say "between you and me," is to say entre tú y yo instead of entre ti y mí as might usually be the case with other Spanish prepositions.

Do not confuse the conjugated verb entre, derived from entrar, which is the word meaning "to enter," with the preposition entre, they are not the same.

Using Entre to Mean Between or Among

Entre can be used as an exact equivalent of the English words "between" or "among." Or, in some cases, entre is not a direct literal translation to the English words "between" or "among," but can have a similar meaning that can be understood.

Spanish Sentence English Translation
Muy pronto los robots estarán entre nosotros. Very soon, the robots will be among us.
Un total de seis pasajeros entre ellos mujeres y niños ya salieron. A total of six passengers, among them women and children, already left.
No hay buenas relaciones entre la escuela y la comunidad. There are not good relations between the school and the community.
Estamos entre los europeos menos xenófobos. We are among the less xenophobic Europeans.
Entre las clases difíciles y la falta de sueño, no puedo hacer ejercicio. Between the difficult classes and the lack of sleep, I can't exercise.
Entre la muchedumbre se encontraba un terrorista. A terrorist was found in the crowd.
Se pierden entre la nieve. They got lost in the snow.
Entre la lluvia, vio las ventanas cerradas. She saw the windows closed in the rain.

Using Entre Sí as a Phrase Meaning Among Themselves 

Entre sí can be used as an adverbial phrase to mean "among themselves," "mutually," or "with each other."

Spanish Sentence English Translation
Los periodistas compiten entre sí. The journalists compete among each other.
Ellos se aman entre sí como una madre y un hijo. They love each other like mother and son.
Cuando la obsidiana se rompe y sus fragmentos se golpean entre sí, su sonido es muy peculiar. When obsidian breaks and its fragments hit each other, its sound is very unusual.

Idiomatic Expressions Using Entre

Spanish idioms are figurative words or expressions that cannot be completely understood solely from the words used. Attempting to translate a Spanish idiom word-for-word will result in confusion. Entre has several idioms that might be best understood if remembered or memorized.

Spanish Phrase or Sentence English Translation
estar entre la vida y la muerte to be fighting for one's life
Entre tanto, las dimensiones económicas han comenzado a tomar forma. Meanwhile, the economic dimension have begun to take shape.
Entre semana, el servicio de autobuses empieza a las 05:45. Weekdays [during the week], bus service begins at 5:45 a.m.
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Erichsen, Gerald. "The Many Uses of 'Entre' in Spanish." ThoughtCo, Apr. 5, 2023, Erichsen, Gerald. (2023, April 5). The Many Uses of 'Entre' in Spanish. Retrieved from Erichsen, Gerald. "The Many Uses of 'Entre' in Spanish." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 2, 2023).