Use of the "personal a" in Spanish   By Ron Slone

Basic Spanish Grammar Use of the "personal a"
Overview

In Spanish, the preposition "a" precedes the direct object and goes after the verb which refers to people and sometimes animals.

Yo conozco a María.
I know Mary.

Because it is used before people, this is called the "personal a". We often use the personal a with:

People
Veo a Pablo todos los días.
I see Pablo every day.

Yo voy a ayudar a María.
I am going to help Mary.

Pets
Yo saco a mi perrito todos los días.
I take my puppy out every day.

Tú ves a los pájaros.
You see the birds.

Exceptions:

We don't use the personal a with the verbs tener, necesitar, buscar, and haber:

the verb tener
Tengo dos hijos.
I have two children.

forms of haber
En mi familia hay seis personas.
In my family there are six people.

non-specific things or people
Busco un trabajo facilito.
I'm looking for an easy job.


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