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Spanish Tip. Prepositions EN and A


I thought I could tell you today about the use of "EN" and "A", as I noticed some Spanish language students find it hard whenever they try to use the right preposition. I know Spanish prepositions may sometimes be difficult, but we have some clues on how to use the right one (in this case EN and A) when necessary.

This article is focused on the use of "EN" and "A", based on the type of verb in the sentence.
And talking about verbs, when using EN and A, we have two types: verbs implying an idea of movement, and the opposite, verbs that we can name "static verbs".

  • The first type, "verbos de movimiento" are verbs like "correr" (to run), "andar" (to walk), "ir" (to go) or "conducir" (to drive).


  • The second type of verbs, those named "static", that is, verbs not implying an idea of movement: "estar" (to stay, to be), "sentarse" (to sit down), "quedarse" (to stay) or "dormir" (to sleep).
Ok, so let's start with preposition "EN".
  1. EN. This preposition means either "in" or "at". It can be even used as "on". EN is used with "static" verbs.
    Some examples:

    Estoy en la escuela.

    Estoy: First person singular, present tense, verb "Estar" (To be) = I am.
    en : In this case "at"
    la escuela : "the school"

    * Note "yo estoy" (verb "estar" ) implies a "static", "no movement" state, that's why we use "en".

    Another example:

    Ana está sentada en el sofá.
    Ana : Anne
    está sentada : is sitting (literally: "(she) is seated")
    en : In this case "on"
    el sofá : the sofa

    * Same here; "está sentada" (verb "sentarse" ) is a "static" verb, so we use the preposition "en" .


  2. And now some information about preposition "A"

  3. A. This Spanish preposition means "to", "towards" and is used with "verbs of movement". Here we have some examples:

    >Vamos a la oficina todos los días.
    Vamos : First person plural, present tense, verb "IR" (To go) = We go.
    a : "to"
    la oficina : "the office"
    todos los días : "every day"
    * As the verb "ir" (to go) implies movement, we are using preposition "a" .

    Another example:
    Juan siempre llega tarde a la escuela.
    Juan : John
    siempre : always
    llega tarde : is late (llegar tarde: "to be late")
    a : "to"
    la escuela : the school

    * As "llegar" implies movement, we'll use the preposition "a" .
So, remember:
    EN --> WITH STATIC VERBS
    A --> WITH VERBS OF MOVEMENT


Note: I, from time to time, like to recommend products related to my articles. As I am an Amazon Associate, whenever you click on any Amazon link on my articles and purchase a product, I will make a commision.
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Content copyright © 2015 by Angeles Fernández. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Angeles Fernández. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Angeles Fernández for details.

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