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In my spanish text book there is a sentence:

¿Tenéis que contestar a las preguntas de la profesora?

Since "contestar" can be followed directly by objects, why should we use a preposition "a" before the object here?

Can I just say:

¿Tenéis que contestar las preguntas de la profesora?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Yes, both phrases are equally valid, though most people I know usually omit the "a."

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