"El perro va hacia el gato."
Shouldn't this be "El perro va hacia al gato." ? I mean, shouldn't the personal "a" + el = al be used because a cat is a domestic animal?
The pesonal "a" is used when you are using and direct object. In this case "Hacia el gato" is a place object (I don't the exact word in English in Spanish is called "complemento de lugar"). "to go" is an intransitive verb, it doesn't have D.O. because the verb has a full meaning.
You can't have two prepositions next to each other. It would either have to be "el perro va al gato" (but NOT because it's being treated as a personal 'a' – see caiser's reply – since this means "the dog goes to the cat") or "el perro va hacia el gato". Same as in English you can't say "the dog goes towards to the cat".
"The dog goes towards to the cat" doesn't really make good sense in English -- it's barely intelligible. Nevertheless, it is the correct English translation according to Duolingo(!)
It makes sense, the dog goes towards (or approaches) the cat.
It sounds menacing actually lol..
The dog is going toward the cat is equivalent to the dog goes toward the cat.
If I heard this in conversation, I would think they were saying "vacia" instead of "va hacia", and I'd be totally confused - separating the words in spoken Spanish has always been EXTREMELY DIFFICULT for me.
Interesting how "va hacia el" when spoken in the sentence comes out more like "vaciel".