1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Spanish
  4. >
  5. "Él visita al doctor."

"Él visita al doctor."

Translation:He visits the doctor.

July 7, 2013



I assume that the a here (a + el = al) is the personal a? And not the a = to?


but then what is the regular 'a' doing in the sentence at all. I don't understand why it's there.


In Spanish if there is an a before the direct object it is a human being. This a is not translated. Apparently you cannot see old comments but k3nd0 had: He visits the doctor and he visits the bank. Él visita al doctor y él visita el banco. In this way the Spaniards know that the doctor is a human being and that the bank is something else.


I do not understand the "al," which I thought meant "to the." The sentence that "he visits to the doctor" seems incorrect. Where am I going wrong? This "al" seems to crop all the time, with no explanation.


Margo - there are some explanation above on this page :). The "a" here is not a "to", but something that is commonly called "the personal 'a'" which has no corresponding English equivalent but is grammatically required in Spanish before any specific person/group of people or animal when they are a direct object.


And, building upon tessbee, the "a" is combined with the "el" from "the doctor". It's a sort of contraction, like "del" ("de" and "el"). When repeatedly saying the two together, the noises eventually combine, making another word.


WE see the doctor far more than we visit the doctor.


is the al necessary?


The "al" (a + el) is necessary because you are referring to the person who is a doctor as the direct object, not his office, so you need the personal "a". If you said "Él visita la oficina del doctor." the personal "a" is not necessary, as the direct object is not a person, but the office. I wonder if there is a way to say in Spanish what we say in English: "He visits the doctor's." where the office is implied by the possessive, because possessive, to my knowledge, in Spanish can't be demonstrated by just adding an 's?


there is not "direct" translation for the possesive.... "the doctor's" .You can translate it as "la del doctor") with "la" as pronom instead of "la oficina" (article + noun) but it's not very usual in spoken Spanis but it's completely correct gramatically


Gracias por tu respuesta


I put he visits with the doctor. It seems perfectly acceptable english since youre visiting with the doctor himself, not just his office.


I think your answer should have been accepted. Hope you reported it. (Don't understand why you were being downvoted).


Impossible! The Doctor must visit us, in his TARDIS.


To the course-makers: "Él visita al doctor." = "He sees the doctor." (because of lack of coffee and cake when he came to visit him! ;-) This - absolutamente - has to be an accepted correct answer. --- Thanks to all you guys for explaining all the a-stuff. That really helped.


Can anyone please explain me why the translation " he is visiting the doctor" is not admissible? Latin languages do not have the continuous aspect of a tense, like English does, but since the verb "visita" describes an action that is either general or happening (both) at the moment of speaking, I wonder why the above mentioned translation is not admissible. Thank you.


Thank you, gentlemen, for your clear and edifying answers. Mr. Lajoeiro, the gerund slipped my mind indeed, I will give it a serious amount of time to analyse it properly. This had been a lesson for me of think three times before speaking once :) Thank you again.


“He is visiting the doctor.” is a correct translation of ‘Él visita al doctor.’, because “to visit” is an action verb, and in English, the progressive aspect is always used for present-tense actions except when describing habitual actions or for the narrative present. In Spanish, in contrast, the progressive aspect is only used to emphasize the ongoing nature of an action.


shouldn't it say el doctor not al doctor???


A + El = Al

The personal a is required in this sentence


It's ‘al doctor’ because ‘doctor’ here is a definite animate direct object.


the normal speed voice made me think of Penelope Cruz.


I think that what bothers me about this particular sentence is that I originally interpreted it as "He visits the doctor." But I am still on unsteady ground regarding the "a". So I hit the "al" interpretation below the word "al" before I submitted my answer and it read, "to the." So then I typed in, "He visits to the doctor" and it was marked wrong. Go figure.


In Spanish the direct object has an "a" before it if this object is a human being while English does not use to. Do not translate the Spanish "a"

él visita el burro/ al doctor he visits the donkey/ the doctor,

you do not use "to" with the donkey so why should you do it with the man


So how would you translate, "The dog (perro) chases the cat (gato)." Would you use the "el" or "al" form?


According to my Spanish book, the personal 'a' is required before the direct object of a verb if : the direct object is a definite person or persons, a domestic animal, a pronoun referring to a person, or a geographic name (unless the geographic name is preceded by the definite article). Therefore 'al' should be used in your sentence - unless it is referring to a wild dog and a wild cat.


Starting to get it -- don't know why this turned into such a stumbling block. Thanks for your input!


Thanks! Will keep at it!


I did it correctly Dane this people are just.....ugh


Hi, Why here does not use "to the"? I am learnig, excuse me. Thanks


Because the Spanish "a" (in this case, the personal "a" -- not a "to") is not translated in English.


Okey and thank you, this happens in all cases or just here?


De nada.

This so-called Spanish "personal 'a'" has no English equivalent and, therefore, never translated.
"Veo a mi amigo" = I see my friend. ("a is not translated)


is doctor not the same as medic?


why do you say the doctor instead of a doctor? I put "a" instead of the and was marked wrong?


Because it is the/el not a/un in Duo's sentence. A + EL is contracted to AL


thanks,heres a lingot and a like


I did it ha ha herro


This question is so rigging!


'Al' is a contraction for 'a' + 'el' .


Yet again. visits = is visiting.


how come the drop down sector for al says that it equals to the, yet this is the 2nd question i put to the doctors and it marks it as incorrect..?


The drop section gives what something can signify. In this case it should include that a can mean nothing. NAMELY: Al is a contraction of a+el. The preposition a is used because the doctor is a direct object which in Spanish must be preceeded by a if it is a person. It is best to leave this a, the so called personal a, untranslated because it is an unknown phenomen in English


Why is it a personal a, when the direct object is indefinite?


why is al in this sentence? I don't get it


He visits the doc ?? Why it's wrong


'Doc' is not a word.


You shouldn't have to click on the word to know what it means Chris.


You could look it up in a Spanish dictionary, but that would take longer.


just as a DL test, I tried "He visits the physician" no va


Why is spanish so complicated?

You have to use "al" instead of "el" after a PERSONAL "a" word? Really?

In English it's "THE" all the way across, no matter where. Yes "Proper" english has some dumb rules, but it doesn't have anything on Spanish. Now, before I get a ton of hate, why don't the educated people please tell me all the wonderful reasons spanish is so much better, being more complicated than English.


its kind of replacement for conjugating whole nouns as it is in few languages i think


Why is "he visits with the doctor" not accepted?


The Spanish word for 'with' (con) is not in the sentence.


I learn so much from the comments. Wow!




Weird. He visits the doctor? With flowers and a little piece of cake? Shouldn't "He sees the doctor." be accepted at least? Not my language, so I'm not completely sure, but it sounds strange to me.


Visits is a perfectly normal thing to say about going to a doctor. The term 'doctor visit' is commonly used,


Maybe. As I said, not my language. But the question is: Is "He sees the doctor." wrong?


Yes - "he sees the doctor" is not the correct translation.

Learn Spanish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.