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).
- EN. This preposition means either "in" or "at". It can be even used as "on". EN is used with "static" verbs.
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".
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" .
- 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" .
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" .
And now some information about preposition "A"
- EN --> WITH STATIC VERBS
A --> WITH VERBS OF MOVEMENT
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