Preposition a

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Spanish Prepositions with a

Hardly any other preposition has so many different meanings as the preposition a. In addition to spatial and temporal conditions, a is used to express the way it is expressed.


If a stands before the masculine article el, a and el merge to al.

The following relationships are expressed with a:

Relation Example
Direction Voy a la calle
Distance Valencia está a 170km de Alicante
Purpose Cecilia ha venido a visitarme
Point in time La cita es a las ocho de la mañana
Period A los 15 días me devolvió las deudas
Frequency Voy a clases de español dos veces a la semana
Age information A los veinte años viajé por primera vez a Chile
Manner Me encanta el pollo a la plancha
Movements Hicimos una caminata a pie
Times A las cuatro en punto
Cardinal points Chaco está al norte de Argentina
Infinitive Voy a estudiar Medicina
Indirect Object (Dative) A nosotros nos gusta la idea
Direct Object (Accusative) for the designation of persons or living beings Recojo a Linda

a is connected according to certain verbs

acostumbrarse a get accustomed (to)

dedicarse a devote oneself to something

oler a smell (after)

saber ataste (after)

In addition, there are fixed phrases “infinitive constructions” consisting of a verb followed by the preposition “a” and a second verb in the infinitive. The first verb is conjugated and can have a transferring meaning.

ir a have something planned; will do something

comenzar a / empezar a begin to

ponserse a – to start (with determination)

volver a do something again

invitar a inviting to

aprender a learning to 

enseñar a teach, show

With preposition a, adverbial expressions are also formed:

a veces sometimes

a menudo often

a lo mejor possibly

a tiempotimely

al final finally

a plazosin installments

al contado in cash

a toda prisa hurriedly

al revés inverse

a oscurasin the dark

a largo plazo/a corto plazo long-term/short-term

a favorin favour