Duolingo is the most popular way to learn languages in the world. Best of all, it's 100% free!

"Él ayuda a la familia."

Translation:He helps the family.

0
5 years ago

15 Comments
This discussion is locked.


https://www.duolingo.com/spanishspeaker32

Anyone know why the 'a' is there? If it's a personal a, can you explain what a personal a is and when to use it?

83
5 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MissSpell
MissSpell
  • 20
  • 10
  • 8
  • 8
  • 7
  • 4
  • 3
  • 140

SpanishSpeaker32, here is a link about the personal A.

http://www.studyspanish.com/lessons/persa.htm

The personal A doesn't really translate into English. It's used before an object when the object is a person (with a few exceptions of course.) This can be pretty helpful because Spanish subjects and objects can go at the beginning and end of a sentence. Word order wont determine who's the subject and who's the object. The personal A helps point out who is receiving the action.

175
105 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/adam2347

The best general rules for me to follow from that website you provided was this: * In Spanish, when the direct object is a person, it is preceded by the preposition "a." The personal "a" may also be used if the direct object is a domesticated animal, especially a pet. If the direct object is not a person or pet there is no prepositional "a". Esta sección me ayudo mucho, gracias MissSpell.

62
33 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mitaine56

spanishspeaker- As family is representative of persons, you use the personal A. Another exemple, iglesia and Iglesia, the first one is the church, the building. The second, with the capital letter, is the organisation/institution of the religion. Admiro la iglesia, no personal A, I admire the church, the building. Admiro A la Iglesia, I'm telling that I admire the institution of the chuch, the religion. So, it implies that in the institution, there are people behind IT. I hope my English is ok to help you understand.

76
54 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Limbo63
Limbo63
  • 16
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 7
  • 6
  • 3
  • 2

Hi mitaine56, thanks for posting this. It's very helpful. I'm still a little confused however. In my previous question I was incorrect because i translated 'He knows women' as 'Él conoce a mujeres'. Since 'women' is representative of a group of people shouldn't this be correct by your above logic? How is that use of 'a' different from your church institution example? Muchas gracias,

3
3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mitaine56

limbo- here's a link for Personal A. there's a sentence similar as yours, but with abuelos/grandparents. http://www.drlemon.com/Grammar/personala.html

6
13 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Limbo63
Limbo63
  • 16
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 7
  • 6
  • 3
  • 2

Muchas gracias por su ayuda! :)

6
3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mitaine56

limb0- personal a is for animated nouns, women is one of those. Maybe it's because you forgot the definite article : Él conoce a las mujeres.

1
3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nano_chic

To add what other people have said, personal "a" is used with people, domesticated animals as well as geographical places. Exceptions to geographical places are places that already have "la", "el", "los", or "las" in front of them. For example, 'miro las Bahamas' has no personal "a". But 'miro a mexico' does.

4
3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/iuliavitruvia

Why didn't she say "al". Am I correct in thinking that al = a + la?

1
3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/wazzie
wazzie
  • 25
  • 11

You only contract with "el", not "la".
Therefore:
a + el = al
a + la = a la (no contraction)
de + el = del
de + la = de la (no contraction)

6
13 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/schlenkerm

Why is it "a la familia" instead of just "la familia?"

0
4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mitaine56

schlenkerm- because when the complement is about people or animals, personal A

2
3 years ago