Preposition "sobre" in Spanish (on/on top of/above/about) - general use

Learn about preposition "sobre" in Spanish

The preposition "sobre" in Spanish has different meanings but the most common ones are: "on/on top of/above/about". 

Location

We use sobre to express on/on top of something. For example:

Hay unas cartas sobre la mesa.There are some letters on the table.

La manta está sobre la cama.The blanket is on/on top of the bed.

In this case, it has the same meaning as the preposition "en" (on) in Spanish, e.g. Hay unas cartas en la mesa/sobre la mesa.

We can also use sobre for "above/over":

El helicóptero está volando sobre la colina.The helicopter is flying over/above the hill.

El pájaro vuela sobre tu cabeza.The bird is flying over your head.

As a synonym of "sobre" we can also use "por encima de", meaning the same:

El pájaro vuela por encima de tu cabeza.The bird is flying over your head.

Time

When we want to say at about/around [a time] the preposition sobre can also be used. For example:

Voy a llegar sobre las doce.I'm going to arrive at about twelve.

El partido termina sobre las siete y media.The match finishes at around half past seven.

Remember to use the article after sobre if you are saying at about a certain time (sobre la una, sobre las siete...)

 

Meaning "about something/a subject"

Este documental es sobre el calentamiento global.This documentary is about global warming.

Mi abuelo siempre habla sobre su infancia en Galicia.My grandfather always talks about his childhood in Galicia.

A more frequently-used synonym for sobre in this case is "de":

Miguel y Ramón están hablando sobre política.Miguel and Ramón are talking about politics.

Miguel y Ramón están hablando de política.Miguel and Ramón are talking about politics.

Not to be confused with the masculine noun "el sobre" that means "envelope":

Necesito un sobre grande para mandar esta carta.I need a big envelope to send this letter.

Some sports use the preposition "sobre":

patinaje sobre hielo
ice skating

patinaje sobre ruedas
roller skating

hockey sobre hielo
ice hockey

hockey sobre hierba
field hockey

See also:

 

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Examples and resources

El helicóptero está volando sobre la colina.The helicopter is flying over/above the hill.
Necesito un sobre grande para mandar esta carta.I need a big envelope to send this letter.
El partido termina sobre las siete y media.The match finishes at around half past seven.
La manta está sobre la cama.The blanket is on/on top of the bed.
Miguel y Ramón están hablando de política.Miguel and Ramón are talking about politics.
Voy a llegar sobre las doce.I'm going to arrive at about twelve.
Hay unas cartas sobre la mesa.There are some letters on the table.
Miguel y Ramón están hablando sobre política.Miguel and Ramón are talking about politics.
El pájaro vuela por encima de tu cabeza.The bird is flying over your head.
Mi abuelo siempre habla sobre su infancia en Galicia.My grandfather always talks about his childhood in Galicia.
El pájaro vuela sobre tu cabeza.The bird is flying over your head.
Este documental es sobre el calentamiento global.This documentary is about global warming.
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