De vs Desde
Language Resources

"DESDE" y "DE" - How to say "FROM"

While "desde" can be translated as "since" and "de" as "of", both words can mean for. This can cause a bit of confusion for people learning Spanish, as the distinction between the two isn't always clear; in fact, in many cases the two are interchangeable. So how do you know which "from" to use?

Keep reading for a run down of the uses of each and provide a few examples.

"DESDE" - Rules, Uses & Examples

Desde tends to indicate the origin of an action, even if a destination isn't mentioned. Desde is also used with several other prepositions, creating phrases that also indicate motion. Below you can see just a few:

  • El avión vuela desde Nueva York a Los Ángeles.
    (The plane flies from New York to Los Angeles.)
  • Desde abajo
    (From below)
  • Desde arriba
    (From above)
  • Desde dentro
    (From within)
  • Me llamó desde Italia.
    (He called me from Italy.)
  • Desde aqui se ve toda la ciudad
    (From here you can see the whole city.)

"DE" - Rules, Uses & Examples

De which generally means "of", can also be translated as "from" when indicating the origin of something or someone. Even if it sounds a bit strange, one little trick to keep in mind is that if "from" can be switched out for "of", then you're likely going to be using de.

  • Soy de Francia.
    (I'm from France / I'm of France)
  • Sacó los libros de la mochila.
    (She took the books from the purse / She took the books of the purse)
  • Estoy cansado de estudiar.
    (I'm tired from studying / I'm tired of studying)
  • Recibí una carta de mi hermano.
    (I received a letter from my brother. / I received a letter of my brother.)