Rincón vs Esquina – The Two Words for “Corner” in Spanish

Corner? Which corner? “La esquina” or “el rincón”?

Do you know the difference between “esquina” and “rincón”? Both are translated into English as the word, “corner” but in Spanish they are not used the same way! This is an important distinction to make if you want to talk to your students in the classroom, or if you want to meet up with your friends on the corner for a “cerveza” or beer! So let’s clear up any confusion you may have….


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We use the word “rincón” for corners inside the house or building. For example you can say, “La papelera está en el rincón. The waste bin is in the corner.” If you tell your students to throw their paper in the trash can “en la esquina,” they will be out the door in no time looking for a dumpster. That’s because we use “esquina” to talk about corners outside of buildings.

If you are looking to meet up with your friends near the bus station, you can tell them, “Nos vemos en la esquina donde está el aparcamiento de bicicletas y motocicletas.” We will meet on the corner where the bicycle and motorcycle parking area is. This corner is not indoors, so they will understand to go outside the bus station and look for the motorcycle and bike parking.

There are other ways to use these words as well. Since “rincón” comes from the Arabic “rukn” which means corner, nook, we also use this word to refer to a hidden place like a haven or retreat. You can say, “Tengo un rincón en el campo para descansar.” I have a place in the countryside to relax.

For more examples on how to use these two words “rincon” and “esquina”, watch the video and learn from a native. My name is Carmen, and I am a Spanish teacher from Spain. If you want to speak Spanish like a native and avoid “guiri” mistakes, bookmark this website and check out the other videos I’ve made.