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Spanish Questions and Answers | Use of the “Personal A” and other Prepositions

by Dave Clark

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October 5th, 2011

¡Hola Amigos!

Here is a great question posted this week that came from Sherry about our Visual Link Spanish Level I course:

Thanks for posting it Sherry!:

Here is her question: “With the phrase – necesito hablar con usted… I don`t understand why it would not be – necesito hablar con a usted.”

Sherry, it looks like you are probably in the Communication Section of the Visual Link Spanish Level I course. In that section, you learned that when there is a person in Group 3 (which technically is a direct object – but all you need to know is “person in Group 3″), you have to put an “a” before the person. In Spanish, that is called a “personal a”. The “a” is pronounced “ah” (“personal ah”).

So, your question is a very perceptive one – ¡muy bien! In Spanish, there is a rule that if you use a preposition in front of a “Group 3″ word or “direct object that’s a person”, like “con” (“with”), it actually takes the place of the “personal ah”, and you don’t have to use it anymore.

Spanish usually doesn’t like to have two prepositions next to each other, except with the exception para/con. Sometimes native speakers will use para/con in the same sentences next to each other. It means “for/with”. However, that’s a different topic for a different day.

Hopefully that makes sense – another preposition will take the place of the “personal ah”.

Here is a short list of Spanish prepositions:

de: of, from, about

con: with

en: in, at, on

por: because of, for

para: intended for, in order to

antes de: before

después de: after

a: to, at (used with time)

cerca de: near

I love this language!! I hope you love it too! We believe this is the best website on the internet to learn Spanish online!

¡Hasta luego!

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