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I found the following in a level A2 Spanish book:

El viento vuelve locas a las olas...| The wind drives crazy the waves...

Is the preposition 'a' absolutely necessary here? Also, are there any other propositions that can be used, while still retaining the same meaning?

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It's not necessary. In "El viento vuelve locas a las olas", "a las olas" is the direct object. The direct object can be used with the preposition "a" in certain cases, when "a" refers to a person, an institution or a personified thing or animal. In this case, "volver loco" personifies "las olas". Sometimes, "a" is required. In this case, it's optional:

Ante nombres de cosa, el uso de la preposición depende del grado de personificación del referente: Esperó (a) la muerte con serenidad. (DPD, a2, 1.2.f)

"Volver loco" takes a direct object, and the only preposition that can be used with the direct object is "a", so the answer to the second question is no.

You would have to change the sentence quite a bit to be able to use different prepositions: "El viento causa la locura a/de/en/para las olas" (very weird phrasing, especially with "a" and "para", but not wrong as far as I can tell).

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    I think that with the adjective "locas", which is usually predicated of people rather than things, the preposition A needs to be used (as a result, "olas" can be deemed to be personified). With other adjectives, the preposition A can be eliminated: El viento vuelve blancas las olas. – Gustavson Mar 18 at 21:12
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    But you'd still say El viento vuelve blancas las locas olas, wouldn't you? Or does that only apply when the adjective that is usually applied to people acts as a complemento predicativo? According to the DPD, the only cases where "a" is mandatory when referring to things are 1.1.k and 1.1.l, which don't apply here. El viento vuelve locas las olas doesn't sound wrong to me. – OnlyThenDidIReckonMyCurse Mar 18 at 21:49
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    To be honest, I'm not sure that El viento vuelve locas las olas is wrong, but I strongly prefer for the preposition A to be included, just as I do if, instead of "volver loco/a/s", the verb "enloquecer" is used: El viento enloquece A las olas. I wouldn't say "El viento enloquece las olas", would you? – Gustavson Mar 18 at 22:01
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    No, I wouldn't (in the case of "enloquecer", but I might say "vuelve locas las olas"). But it doesn't really sound wrong, and the question asked whether it was "absolutely necessary". – OnlyThenDidIReckonMyCurse Mar 18 at 22:12
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    I wonder, if "volver loco/a/s" is synonymous with "enloquecer", why would A be possible with the former and not with the latter? – Gustavson Mar 18 at 22:55

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