Hope this helps others. That 'a' was driving me crazy. https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.fluentu.com/blog/spanish/personal-a-in-spanish/&ved=2ahUKEwij8uiIkpPcAhUQq1kKHX5qDLwQFjAAegQIBBAB&usg=AOvVaw1724f02dys_TtlLShWpjSL
Don't worry, most of us don't understand it too, we only use it because... we know that it has to be there.
The personal a is a vestige from older languages on which Spanish is based. Using it shows caring/concern/respect for the human (or pet) it's referencing. And not using it is considered disrespectful.
Does anyone know why there is a z in the i form? It's yo conozco but tú conoces.
AGAIN...why is the "a" so important? When I am speaking to my Mexican friends, you can't even hear it, pronounced, and they still (sort of) understand me with or without it.
It's a fair question since English has no analogous construct to the personal a. Here are some conclusions I have drawn so far:
It shows respect---or at the minimum, acknowledgment that the direct object is a living being.
It can differentiate the subject from the direct object in sentences like The boy sees the girl. In English, word order here is critical. But in Spanish it can be rearranged multiple ways---even A la niña ve el niño.
If you suddenly announced I take car to work, we would all understand you---but wonder why you are talking like a caveman! Like it or not, English language syntax expects an article in front of car. Perhaps that is similar to how Spanish speakers perceive the omission of their personal a. It immediately pegs you as someone who does not know the language.
Thanks D.....I agree. But for now, living here in a Mexican town my main objective is to communicate.....though it be flawed.....as long as we understand each other. I'll get it eventually .....I hope.
We can understand you, but I have a question for you, do you want to learn Spanish or not?
Yes, and I am....but I want to communicate first, and learn the nuances as I progress. Then everyone wins and understands...you and I.
OK, you are right, I understand, part of learning a language is follow its rules, and it is very difficult for everyone.