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In Spanish, the temporal determination of utterances is expressed by means of adverbs, time clauses or noun phrases containing three types of nouns. One of them is endowed with inner temporality: nouns expressing a period of time. Their way of representing time imparts some specific characteristics to them. On the one hand, they can determine utterances without using any preposition, on the other, their determination, whether quantified or not, of the phrases of which they are the nucleus, determines its durative or non&-durative character in an immediate way. Nonetheless, these basic nuances are modified when they are part of more complex structures. What is more, telicity can only be expressed by means of these quantified nouns, which must be preceded by the preposition en. The temporal characteristics of nouns, particularly of those expressing periods of time, lead to reconsidering the role of time within categorial meanings.