"¿Cuándo te visitan tus padres?"
Translation:When are your parents visiting you?
please help me to see why it isn't "When are you visiting your parents?"
The verb is conjugated for the parents: they visit - visitan The te indicates whom they visit: te - you.
So "they (the parents) visit you" is "te visitan".
"Cuando visitas a tus padres?" would be "When do you visit your parents?"
The verb "visitan" is third person plural. Therefore, you can identify the subject of this Spanish sentence as the third person plural "padres." Also, it is customary to place the subject after the predicate in a Spanish sentence, and to place the objects before (the object moves to after the verb when the sentence is translated into English). Thus, starting the translation with the adverb "when," using "are visiting" or "do visit" as the verb, using the English syntax of putting the subject (parents/padres) after the helping verb of the question, and placing the object after the verb as per English syntax, you then translate the Spanish words in English syntax: When (cuándo) are your parents visiting (visitan sus padres) you (te)?. Another way to translate: When (cuándo) do your parents visit (visitan sus padres) you (tú)?
The "personal a" is used before nouns naming people (and pets) only to show that they're the direct objects of the sentence.
Here, tus padres is the subject of the sentence (the ones doing the visiting), and so won't have a "personal a".
The direct object (what is being visited) is the pronoun "te."
I have a tendency to think in French - Quand visiteras-tu tes parents- In Spanish it is different.
I think this is my most difficult lesson yet. The word or trips me up! Gracias