Personal A preposition is used in Spanish when a direct object pronoun is a person. Follow me to see how it works.
1. Although normally prepositions are not used in front of direct objects, in Spanish preposition “A” precedes direct objects that refer to people, personified nouns, and pets: it is called personal A preposition. Look and compare how it works.
Veo a mi hermano (I see my brother).
¿Quieres a Cristina? (Do you love Cristina?)
Conozco a un mexicano (I know a Mexican man).
Doy de comer a mi gato (I feed my cat).
Todo el mundo teme a la muerte (Everyone fears death).
Veo el coche de mi hermano (I see my brother’s car).
¿Quieres una cerveza? (Do you want a beer?).
Conozco México muy bien (I know Mexico quite well).
Encontramos un perro herido en parque (We found an injured dog in the park).
2. We also use the personal A preposition in front of pronouns that replace people.
¿Ves a alguien? (Do you see anyone?).
No conozco a nadie en esta fiesta (I don’t know anyone at this party).
3. The personal “A” is used in front of interrogative words like quién and cuánto when the answer to the question would require the personal “a”.
– ¿A quién llamaste? (Who did you call?).
– Llamé a mi hermano (I called my brother).
4. Nevertheless, the personal “A” is usually not used after the verb tener (to have) and with nouns referring to unspecified people.
Tengo un amigo en Alemania (I have a friend in Germany).
Estamos buscando un asistente personal (We’re looking for a personal assistant).
Now you can practice with some quizzes. Apart from the personal A preposition, you can also see my list of Spanish verbs with “A”. Remember to contact your tutor with any questions you have or to ask for more homework. Don’t you have a Spanish personal tutor yet?