Function words such as a, de, en, por, para, sin, or sobre

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13
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2answers
524 views

What is the history of the “personal a”?

What is the historical origin of the "personal a" in Spanish? Examples of the personal a: George sees Mary. -> Jorge ve a María. I see the waitress. -> Veo a la mesera. But with the exact ...
2
votes
4answers
338 views

nuevos zapatos por/para España?

I am learning Spanish and want to post a picture of my new running shoes that I will be using in the Madrid marathon. Which is correct? nuevos zapatos por España or nuevos zapatos para ...
2
votes
1answer
586 views

Can I say “contestar las preguntas” instead of “contestar a las preguntas”?

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
215 views

Differences between “razón de,” “razón por la que,” and “razón para”

I think I've heard three ways of translating "the reason [something happened]" or "the reason [for something]": la razón para la razón de la razón por la que What is the difference between these ...
7
votes
3answers
127 views

'Se me van encoger' o 'se me van a encoger'

Me gustaría saber si alguien sabe cuál es la forma correcta de expresar algo que se encogerá: 'Se me van encoger' o 'Se me van a encoger'
9
votes
5answers
543 views

Why do oler and saber take the preposition “a”?

As an English speaker learning Spanish, I was always a little confused that it smells and tastes "to" something rather than "of" something: Huele a humo. Sabe a ajo. I would think of "a" as ...
5
votes
3answers
333 views

Preposiciones para dirección

Me encontré escribiendo esta frase: Ella comenzó a correr hacia la dirección en la que él había apuntado. Sin embargo, siento que las preposiciones son correctas de forma independiente, y no ...
5
votes
2answers
115 views

Why “fiestas de árboles” and not “árboles de fiestas”?

I encountered the expression "fiestas de árboles" in a song by a Chilean singer whose lyrics are: Tus ojos son fiestas de árboles, son mi ventana. Son estrellas que guían mi caravana. Google ...
4
votes
2answers
133 views

Should I include “a” after “conocemos”?

Which would be correct? Nosotros conocemos a los padres de nuestros amigos. Nosotros conocemos los padres de nuestros amigos.
8
votes
3answers
291 views

Two nouns in a row, or, is it OK to omit “de”?

Two or more nouns are sometimes used consecutively, with the second modifying the first. For instance, I recently received a mail whose subject was "Honorarios migración." This is, I suppose, ...
6
votes
3answers
697 views

What's the difference between “estar ansioso de” and “estar ansioso por”?

I know that both 'estar ansioso de' and 'estar ansioso por' mean to be excited for something or looking forward to it, but how do I decide which one to use? Do the two have slightly different ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

How to say instead (when at the end of a sentence)

I know how to say, Do Y instead of X using 'en vez de' or en 'lugar de' But how should I say something like Learn Spanish instead. Can I end a sentence with 'instead' or must I always ...
7
votes
1answer
7k views

When to add prepositions before an infinitive verb (por/para/a/de)?

With the infinitive form of a verb in English, (e.g. to speak), the word 'to' seems to convey a specific meaning where, in Spanish, an additional preposition is used in some cases. Examples: I ...
3
votes
2answers
161 views

Why is “por” prefered to “para” in the example within?

From Shakira's Suerte: Yo puedo escalar los Andes solo Por ir a contar tus lunares Why is por preferable to para in this case. If one translation of para is roughly "for the purpose of", ...
2
votes
1answer
146 views

Difference between some verbs and pronomial forms of the verb with the same translation

SpanishDict translates some verbs and their pronomial forms (+de, +a, etc.) as the same thing. Off the top of my head: Escapar - to escape Escaparse de - to escape Olvidar - to forget ...
3
votes
1answer
8k views

“pensando en ti” vs. “pensando de ti” vs. “pensándote”

When using the verb pensar to describe thinking about a person, there are at least three options: Estoy pensando en ti. Estoy pensando de ti. Estoy pensándote. What are the differences between ...
9
votes
2answers
7k views

Choosing between 'sobre' and 'acerca de'

Is there a significant difference between "sobre" and "acerca de", when the intent is to describe the topic of something? Where is "acerca de" a better choice than "sobre", and vice-versa?
4
votes
1answer
452 views

Cannot use adverbs + possessives: “delante de ti” v/s “delante tuyo”

In Spanish there are some adverbs followed by de: Delante de, atrás de, en frente de, etc... When these adverbs are followed in a sentence by a declined pronoun, they are often "contracted" ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Difference between 'trabajar para' and 'trabajar por'

I know the difference between por and para, but I'm confused by these particular usages. I've seen both of them in various places. 'Trabajar para' seems to mean to work for, whereas 'trabajar por' ...
9
votes
5answers
24k views

Are there any differences between “de nada” and “por nada”?

Most of the time in all the Spanish speaking countries I've been in I've heard de nada as the reply to gracias or the equivalent of English you're welcome etc. But after a while I became conscious ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

What's the difference between “debe de” y “debe”?

Is there any difference? What's their usage? When should one be used instead of the other one? Examples: El niño debe de hacer su tarea. El niño debe hacer su tarea.
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Spanish phrasal verbs

Español La característica más difícil del idioma inglés (al menos en mi caso particular) son los "Phrasal verbs". Hoy me encontré una oración en un periódico que me hizo pensar sobre la existencia ...
18
votes
6answers
1k views

“vaso de agua” or “vaso con agua”? Which is correct?

English What's the correct way to express that something "serves as a container for something else"? Example: ¿Quieres un vaso de/con agua? Should we use de or con? Are both correct? Why? If ...
7
votes
1answer
533 views

Usage of the compound preposition “para con”

Wikipedia mentions that para con is rarely used, but I hear it often enough to warrant this question. On the other hand, the Wikipedia article references the Diccionario panhispánico de dudas with ...
10
votes
2answers
194 views

Unclear why to use “A vuestros hijos” instead of “vuestros hijos”

I have the following sentence in English Do your children like to read? Which translates to Spanish: ¿ A vuestros hijos les gusta leer? To me it is unclear, why I have to use "A vuestros" ...
18
votes
4answers
1k views

Difference between “por” and “para”

Even after taking 4 years of college Spanish and living abroad, I still don't have a very firm control of when to use por or para. What are the basic rules on when to use either.