Spanish language learning forums

Spanish language learning forums (
-   Grammar (
-   -   Conocer al (

kej92 July 19, 2015 01:15 PM

Conocer al

Please can someone explain to me the exact meanings of, and correct conjugations to 'conocer'.

I first came across it on my duolingo app where it showed the phrase 'Yo conozco al enfermero', to mean 'I know the nurse'. I don't understand the use of 'al' instead of 'el'?? I've been trying to use this but its still not clear. :(

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

PS: If anyone wants to add me on Duolingo, my name is KateJones19 :) I like a bit of healthy competition to keep me motivated

AngelicaDeAlquezar July 19, 2015 01:37 PM

Any time that you are talking about people, you must use the preposition a.

- Conozco a la enfermera. / Conozco al enfermero.
- ¿Conoces a María?
- Mi familia no conoce a mi novio.
- No conocemos a nadie aquí.
- ¿Ustedes conocen a alguien que pueda ayudarme?
- Los nuevos estudiantes no conocen a los maestros.

- ¿Conoces este restorán?
- Juan conoce muchos trucos de magia.
- Los ciudadanos conocen sus derechos.

And we use the contraction "al" every time that there we have "a el".

- Fui al campo. (Not "a el campo".)
- Llamé al doctor (Not "a el doctor".)
- Entré al coche. (Not "a el coche".)

amyeme6414 July 19, 2015 04:33 PM

Yes, it is what is called the "a personal" but what is always interesting to me is to hear that a lot of people also use this with pets but not animals in general. Something about how these animals in particular are personified makes this happen, giving us a clue that it is not just a grammatical rule but carries semantic meaning for individuals as well!

wrholt July 19, 2015 07:19 PM

"Personal a" refers specifically to the phenomenon of using the preposition "a" to mark the direct object of a transitive verb.

A good general rule for beginning students is: if the direct object is an identifiable person or an identifiable set of people (or a being or beings one thinks of as being "people", such as pets, supernatural beings, and so on), using "personal a" is almost always required. Otherwise, one almost never uses "personal a" to mark the direct object.

Rusty July 19, 2015 07:57 PM

The "personal a" is what a Spanish teacher calls the preposition 'a' when it precedes a direct object that is a person (or a personified pet).
The preposition 'a' also accompanies the direct object when it needs to be distinguished from the subject, even if the direct object is not a person (or a personified pet). In this case, a Spanish teacher won't call it a "personal a."

In both of these cases, the Spanish just call it the preposition 'a'.

See this post for an explanation of how the 'a' must be used to differentiate the subject from the direct object.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:20 AM.

Forum powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.