Spanish Grammar For Dummies
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Using the Spanish preposition a (ah) correctly in a sentence can be tricky because a (which translates to to or at in English) can show a number of things. So how exactly can you figure out what the Spanish preposition a expresses? Take a look at this list to see examples of what a can show, and you’ll soon make sense of this playful preposition.


A can be used to illustrate when something will happen. For example, using a in the sentence Te llamo a las tres (I’ll call you at 3 o’clock) means that you’ll call the person you’re talking to at 3 o’clock, not at any other time.



You can use a to indicate movement. Perhaps you want to tell your friends that your family is going to the beach. In that case, you’d say Vamos a la playa (We’re going to the beach).


Use a to tell someone where to go: Espere a la entrada. (Wait at the entrance.)



Perhaps one of the more surprising ways a can be used is to indicate the means or manner in which an activity is done. So to express It’s prepared in the Spanish way, for example, you’d say Se prepara a la española.


A can also be used to show the price of an item: Puede comprarlo a cien pesos. (You can buy it for 100 pesos.)



About This Article

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Cecie Kraynak, MA, is a Spanish teacher, ESL coordinator, and author or editor of numerous Spanish books, including Spanish For Dummies. She has taught and tutored Spanish at the junior high school and college levels for more than 25 years.

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