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A in Spanish

What does the word a mean in Spanish?

a personal in spanish

Note: In Spanish, when the direct object is a person, it is preceded by the preposition "a".

Tip: This word has no English translation.


Pedro llama a Lucy- Pedro calls Lucy.

Rosa va a buscar a Lucy - Rose goes to look for Lucy

Note: The personal "a" may also be used if the direct object is a domesticated animal, especially a pet, provided that the speaker attaches some sort of personal feelings towards the animal.


La mujer ama a su perro. (amar)
The woman loves her dog.

El perro persigue a la gata. (perseguir)
The dog chases the cat.

Note: The personal "a" is not used when the direct object is not a person or is an animal for which no personal feelings are felt.


Bebo el agua. (beber)
I drink the water. — water is neither a person nor an animal

Miro la gata. (mirar)
I look at the cat. — no personal feelings are felt towards the cat

Note: The personal "a" is not used after the verb "tener", or the verb form "hay". This is true even if the direct object is a person.


Tengo tres primas. (tener)
I have three cousins.

Hay dos estudiantes. (hay)
There are two students.

Note: If the direct object is an indefinite person, the personal "a" is not used. 


Necesito doctor.
I need (any) doctor.

Necesito agua.
I need (any) “type of” water.

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