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"What do you have under the shoes?"

Translation:¿Qué tienes bajo los zapatos?

August 2, 2013



What is the difference between abajo and bajo?


Abajo is down bajo is under


That said, "abajo DE" also means under, as does "debajo de." When translating the word "under", Duo will accept "bajo [the noun]", "abajo de [the noun]" or "debajo de [the noun]" (as of 15 Feb 2015). Though the three have slight differences in usage, they basically all mean the same thing. If you say any of them to a native Spanish speaker, they may think the one you chose sounds weird, but they will understand you.

For anyone interested in these slight differences:

  • lazarus1907 on SpanishDict wrote a very good explanation of the difference between "Abajo" & "Debajo."

  • Angeles Fernández, BellaOnline's Spanish Language Editor, wrote a good brief summary of all 3 terms.

  • Finally, bill1111 on SpanishDict explained all three with a little bit more detail and includes several examples for each!

As always: I hope this helps, I wish you all good luck, and I hope you each are having fun learning your new languages. ;-)

  • 2356

Tony! Wow! Thanks for all the info..I wish I knew how to copy and paste this information so that I could email it to myself..full of sources and info! I don't have and option to give you a lingot but I will keep trying to do so! Thanks again! D


i just used debajo de and it didnt like it and failed me :(


(groan), abajo = below; debajo = beneath; (OK, got it!) So now this new word, "bajo" comes up meaning under (?) and ajo means garlic and ojo means eye and jo jo ja ja means LOL (ha ha ha) It's getting complicated. Tengo ajo bajo de mi ojo!


... That probably explains your madness lol


The last sentence got me laughing.


I am confused about why "Qué tiene abajo de los zapatos" is correct but "Qué tiene bajo de los zapatos"

Is there some grammatical reason that abajo can be followed by de but bajo cannot?


Translating word for word from Spanish into English is not going to work for you every time, but in this case, it does. Below is a list of the following three words, meanings, and parts of speech most closely associated with "abajo," "debajo," and "bajo":

Now, having said that, sometimes "bajo" can be used as a preposition and when it is, it often means "under." If you were to add a "de" after a word that already means under, in essence you are putting two prepositions back to back. In English, you wouldn't say "What do you have under of the shoes?" You would just say, "What do you have under the shoes?"

However, it is not uncommon to see two prepositions combined together in Spanish. You'll just have to learn which ones combine with other prepositions and which ones don't. (For the record, "bajo" typically does not, but "debajo" often does.)

The word "debajo" and the phrase "debajo de" virtually mean the same thing, but it appears the two-word phrase is used much less frequently than simply "debajo."

But don't take my word for it, regarding the chart of definitions above. Below is a composite image of how these words are defined by WordReference:

Some screenshots were cropped for illustration purposes. You can view the full entries by clicking on the following: abajo, debajo, bajo.

As for adverbial phrases with "abajo" and "bajo," with "de," WordReference does not list them. A Google search of Spanish web pages shows me evidence that the adverbial phrase "debajo de" may be more commonly used than "abajo de." The Diccionario de la Real Academia Española indicates it is a standard construct, but with a slightly different, more restrictive meaning. An excerpt from it is below:

abajo de

  1. loc. prepos. Seguido de un nombre que expresa cantidad, por debajo de ella. U. con el verbo en forma negativa. No costará abajo de mil pesos.

To be perfectly honest, I am now a bit confused myself about "abajo de" versus "debajo de," but I am going to check out the links Bratamoli included in this post here to see if that clears it up somewhat.


Final Note: I did as Bratamoli suggested and checked out the links in that post (although only the first two led to something substantial -- the last was just a list and though I did attempt to hunt down the comment bill1111 may have made on this, the closest I got was a post on "When do you use "debajo de" versus "por debajo de?" which is not the same thing). Just to let you know, though, even after reading the posts by lazarus1907 and Angeles Fernández, some questions remained for me, even though those posts did help solidify my understanding of these words. So, I started a discussion thread over at the Spanish Language Stack Exchange. At least a couple of answers have been provided for it and perhaps more will be added. You can access it by clicking on the link below:

What is the difference between “abajo,” “debajo,” and “bajo?”

For those who want to dive deep down into the meaning of these three words, hope that helps.


I don't know how long any of you have been using Duolingo, but if you're just starting out I highly recommend you stick with it, if this is something you enjoy. I also encourage you to contribute to discussion threads or start an article of your own if you get struck by a discovery you want to share or think you have a way of explaining something that might clear things up for others. That way, if you stick with Duolingo and/or the language you are studying, you will eventually stumble upon a thread you wrote months or years ago. Chances are, when this happens, you will either be rather astonished by how much more you know on the topic you wrote about or realize that some aspects of the topic are still a bit unclear to you.

Such is the case with this post here. I wrote it before I started breaking off long posts into separate discussion threads/articles from the Discussion tab and then cross-linking comment and article. So much water has passed under the bridge on this one that I'm going to let this stand as is, but it reminded me that I also wrote an article on this topic. (I just didn't include a link to it in this thread here.) I just now skimmed over it and it actually helped clear some things up for me, so maybe it will be of benefit to you as well. You can see it for yourself by clicking on the link below:

Take your Spanish upward by learning the differences between “abajo,” “debajo,” and “bajo”

Also, I want to take this opportunity to correct something I said in this posted comment. I mentioned that "debajo" was far more common than "debajo de." Reading that made me laugh because obviously I was pretty sure of that statement at that time, but since then I have realized that determining the frequency of a phrase like "debajo de" to the point where it can be confidently compared to a single word like "debajo" can be a bit tricky. One could really get into the weeds on such a topic, but that would be best left for another discussion thread. Nevertheless, after rereading that bold claim I made, I decided to take a closer look at some of the sentence examples one can find for "debajo" and "debajo de" over at Reverso. If the example sentences I found are representative of the Spanish spoken and written in the Spanish-speaking world,* then it appears that "debajo de" and its various forms (e.g., debajo del/de la/de

*This is a big "if" since they are primarily lines from U.S. films and television translated into Spanish.

los/de las) may be slightly more common than instances where "debajo" is used without the preposition "de." (The rough ratio looks to be about 49:51.) Now, having said that, I discovered that Google's Ngram (a Google tool that charts word/phrase frequencies as found in its mammoth database of books) makes it quite easy to extrapolate results like this. Reassuringly, however, the findings weren't that much different from what was found at Reverso. This time, however, the search slightly favored instances of "debajo" without the "de." The ratio for debajo:debajo de for 2008 was 53:47. You can see this reflected in the image below:

Keep in mind that "debajo" and "debajo de" are not identical in meaning. The phrase "debajo de" is a prepositional phrase; "debajo" without "de" is an adverb. By itself, without the "de," "debajo" is probably best translated as "below," as in "sigue leyendo debajo" (keep reading below). Its closest synonym is "abajo." The phrase "debajo de," on the other hand, is usually best translated as "under" or "underneath." Its closest synonym is "bajo." Most of the time, if the meaning "under" or "underneath" is intended, "de" will be said/written after "debajo" and the "de" will be followed by a noun (the thing that something is under).

I was going to tell you that you never put "de" after "debajo" if you are using it as a preposition to mean "under(neath)," but a quick Google search will show you that you will find examples where "de" does not follow "debajo" even though it is clearly being used as a preposition meaning "under(neath)." For example, in less than a minute, I came across a song whose title and lyrics clearly don't follow the rule of placing "de" after "debajo." The song I found was:

Debajo Las Estrellas

Even so, the overwhelming majority of phrases written or spoken in Spanish containing this word will include a "de" after "debajo." In the case of "under the stars," "debajo de las estrellas" is 500 times more common than simply "debajo las estrellas."

But making claims about the frequency of "debajo" versus "debajo de" is a trifling matter when I compare it to another erroneous belief I once had about the word "debajo (de)." In the first chart of this post, I mention in a caption with four arrows pointing to the row for "debajo":

Typically used as a preposition as in "under investigation," "underneath the surface," "beneath the sheets," "below the belt," ...

I now know that this is not entirely true. Spanish nouns such as "la superficie," "las sábanas," and "la cintura" pair perfectly well with "debajo de" if you are trying to say "underneath the surface," "beneath the sheets," and "below the belt" (if you mean it literally). Pairing "debajo de" with "investigación," however, is another story. But, since this is already quite long and since I've written about this elsewhere, I'm simply going to direct you to my answer in the Spanish Stack Exchange discussion thread already mentioned:

My answer to "What is the difference between “abajo,” “debajo,” and “bajo?”

It will explain why "debajo (de)" is not the word of choice in phrases such as "under investigation."

I didn't really want to make this posted comment any longer than it already was, but when possible and when it makes sense to do so, it's usually a good idea to make some sort of effort at correcting or rephrasing information that you later find to be misleading, especially when it is based off of faulty or questionable data collection. If nothing else, you're likely to learn something from the extra research you do in the process. And, as always, I hope at least some of you find this interesting.

  • 2356

Wow!!! I would really like to cut and paste this whole post and email it to myself!!! Chock full of information!!! Thank you for taking the time to do this! (It would of taken me at least an hour to type this!!!) No option to give you a lingot tho : (...bummer D Thanks again!!!


Abajo and debajo go with de, bajo does not.


look at @tonyyarbrough for a great explanation. bajo de doesn't really conjugate well.


Personally, I keep terra firma under my shoes. I am well grounded.


why is "Que tienes abajo los zapatos" not accepted?


Abajo DE is correct. Or debajo DE. Bajo hours alone.


Did you have the accent on "e" in the word "que"? That changes the meaning. I'm unsure whether or not abajo matters.


Wow, this person must trying to hide somthing from us, first the shirt then the hat and now under the shoes!


What is the difference between 'abajo' and 'bajo'?


What is the difference between "debajo de" and "bajo"? Is "bajo de" a correct Spanish expression?


Debajo de=bajo, both are interchangeable in most of situations, except, as rspreng says, as a figurative sense, then it is only used "bajo".

With temperatures the more usual form is to say "bajo cero", especially in spoken languaje, but you can use "debajo de":

  • Temperaturas por debajo de cero=temperaturas bajo cero.
  • Cuatro grados por debajo de cero=cuatro grados bajo cero

Notice that you need the "por" preposition when you use "debajo de" in this situation. This form with "debajo de" is more literary, less usual in spoken lenguaje and not odd in news.


From what I have been taught 'debajo de' and 'bajo' are petty much the same. Bajo is more likely to be used for below zero temperatures and in a figurative sense, as 'under Roman rule'


Shouldn't ¿Que tienes abajo de los zapatos? be accepted?


It is now. Must've been added after you tried it.


Can you use cual instead if que? Both translate to what,don't they?


cual is which, not what


Correct solutions: (as of 7.23.2014) • ¿Qué tienes abajo de los zapatos? • ¿Qué tienes bajo los zapatos? There is no meaning difference for a-bajo + de, versus bajo. "bajo" means 'under', "abajo de" (specifically) also means 'under' or 'beneath'. "bajo de" would (grammatically) make "bajo" to be from the verb "bajar" (to lower) => 'lower down from', because otherwise it would be two prepositions in a row, ungrammatical in this case. "abajo" without the "de" = 'down', rather than 'under'.


So is there "bajo de"?


There isn't "bajo de"


I don't think so -- none I can find


I know "Patella baja" is a disease in which the small bone of your knee is located inferior compared to normal individuals.


Isn't bajo also short?


Why is both bajo and bajos correct here?


no clue i don't believe the word "bajo" should be changed considering it's being used as a preposition. maybe it counts it as a typo


If "bajos" was considered "correct," it probably shouldn't be and should be reported. Kasshiiee's hunch that it may have been considered a typo is a likely scenario though, in which case, it isn't considered correct and no further action is necessary.


Do we have "bajo" in plural form? Bajos ?


What the reason you use abajo and not just bajo... trying to teach my self spanish... please help :/


Gotta say, this one doesn't get me as many ladies as the one about the shirt... Does get me less bruises, though.


Hopefully not gum.


I used debajo because i saw it underneath the translation of under.


Is it okay if I were to say: Què tienes bajo de sus zapatos or is that wrong?


Why does not "Bajo" agree in number as well as gender with Zapatos


usually some form of ground. lol


well, theres the word Andy under my shoen and qldo . . . THERES A SNAKE IN MA BOOT


I literally wrote Que tienes bajo los zapatos and it said I was wrong because I should've used abajo, then I click on discussion and here Duolingo says my translation was the correct one. What????


Duo: What do you have under your shoes? Me: Ground? Duo: Oops! Incorrect Me: Whatever


I wrote 'Que tiene debajo del zapatos'. I don't understand why it's wrong, can someone help me?


Bajo is suppose to mean short. Debajo is under. Wtf dulingo


why is the correct answer bajo and not debajo?


Why do you insist on saying an answer is WRONG just because it is not the same as the one you give? I don't know any language that doesn't have more than one way to say the same thing.


I used "debajo" instead of "bajo" which was wrong according to Duo. Any idea why?


I can only see the question by moving the answers up and down and peaking between the squares. Also I cannot highlight the top selection which in this case is the correct answer

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