Today we talk about the Spanish adverbs DENTRO y ADENTRO. If you still do not how to use them properly, El Rincón del Tándem Spanish school will give some useful tips to master them in no time 🙂

Spanish adverbs DENTRO y ADENTRO might lead to confusion or error. In fact, they are frequently used interchangeably in colloquial Spanish.

Neverthless, once you learn their meaning and usages, you will be able to easily avoid any mistake.

To start with, dentro is a Spanish adverb of place, meaning the “inside”.
Adentro, instead, indicate the direction and means towards the inner part of something, inside.
Let’s learn more!


Dentro can be translated in English with Inside, in, within.
It is mostly used with the preposition DE or without it when the place we refer is implicit in the sentence.

  • El gato está durmiendo dentro de su casita = The cat is sleeping in his little house
  • Ana ha puesto los regalos de Navidad dentro de la maleta = Ana has put the Christmas presents in the suitcase.
  • Fuera hace mucho frío, pero dentro se está bien = It’s very cold outside, but inside it’s nice.

Dentro can be also used with other prepositions, like: desde, hacia, hasta, para o por.
The prepositions indicate different directions in regard to the place we refer to and are placed before the adverb:

  • Caminamos hasta dentro de la cueva = We walked into the cave
  • Cuando leí tu carta me alegré por dentro = When I read your letter, I was happy inside

Lastly, when dentro is followed by the preposition de +  noun with a time-related meaning, it indicates the time left until something happens.

  • La clase de español empezará dentro de diez minutos = Spanish class will start in ten minutes
  • Nos vemos dentro de dos semanas = See you in two weeks


It Indicates the movement towards the interior of something, therefore is used with verbs of movement.
It can be used with the prepositions de, desde, hacia, hasta, para o por, however that is more frequent in some South American speaking countries than in Spain.

Neverthless, it must never be preceded by the preposition A.

  • ¡Está lloviendo! Vamos adentro = It’s raining! Let’s go inside


Adentro cannot be used with possessive. In this case we should use dentro de +possessive: dentro de mi/ti/, etc

Tengo mucha esperanza dentro de mí = I have a lot of hope deep inside

Finally, adentro, in the plural form, is also used as a noun and refers to the one’s mind, thoughts. In this case, it is normally preceded by the possessive adjectives (i.e. mis adentros, tus adentros, etc.)

  • Ana guardó lo que sentía por Lucas para sus adentros = Ana kept her feelings for Lucas to herself

We really hope our post on the Spanish adverbs dentro y adentro will be helpful to you 😊

As usual, we invite you to expand your knowledge during Spanish lessons and practicing the language every day, inside and outside the school.

Finally, our Spanish school El Rincón del Tándem would be happy to provide you with Spanish courses here in Valencia.

Have a good day!