I heard the following sentence in the Narcos TV series (which takes place in Colombia):

Espere un momento, que me están tocando la puerta.

1) Isn't the idiomatic expression "tocar a la puerta" ?

2) Is there any difference in meaning between "tocar a la puerta" and "golpear la puerta" ? Could I use the latter in the above sentence?

  • 1
    I would expect this to have regional variation. Commented Dec 17, 2019 at 5:22
  • Yes, that sounds like either regional variation or more probably plain careless speech. In fact I think I've heard me están golpeando a la puerta, so maybe it's all a bit mixed up. This is anecdotical though.
    – pablodf76
    Commented Dec 17, 2019 at 20:37
  • Could a Colombian confirm if "tocar la puerta" is usual or if it is careless speech? If this is a regionalism, it would be nice if people from different countries could answer the two questions. Commented Dec 18, 2019 at 6:15
  • spanishdict.com tiene "tocar la puerta." spanishdict.com/translate/tocar%20la%20puerta Commented Jan 12, 2020 at 5:54

2 Answers 2


"Tocar a la puerta" is "to knock at the door".

He aquí, yo estoy a la puerta y llamo; si alguno oye mi voz y abre la puerta, entraré a él... -Apocalipsis 3.20 RVR1960

I stand at the door and knock... -same, KJV

"Tocar la puerta" is "to knock on the door" or simply "to touch the door"

"Golpear la puerta" sounds more forceful, like "to strike the door", or in the case of "golpear a la puerta", "to strike at the door".

  1. It is incorrect to say "a la puerta". In Spanish you only add "a" to the direct object when it is a person, not an object. For example, we say "He visto a Maria" but never "He visto Maria". Actually if you say "tocar a la puerta" I would feel like they are actually touching it, not knocking it.
  2. Both "Tocar" and "Golpear" mean the same in this context, I don't see any difference. In the northwest part of Spain they even use another verb, "Petar".
  • Where are you from? Other native speakers do not agree with you: forum.wordreference.com/threads/tocar-a-la-puerta.1016794 Commented Dec 18, 2019 at 15:38
  • I'm Spanish. As you can see in that same post people say that commonly don't use it with preposition "a".
    – Efeméride
    Commented Dec 19, 2019 at 5:31
  • In the WR thread, there is a Peruvian writer Vargas Llosa quote which uses the expression without the preposition and a Mexican user prefers that same form. A Spanish user and an Argentinian user prefer "tocar a la puerta" when it means "tocar el timbre". Therefore, the most common form depends on the region and your statement that it is incorrect to use "tocar a la puerta" is clearly wrong. Commented Jan 12, 2020 at 21:42

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