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  #1  
Old August 10, 2011, 05:29 AM
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Quick Simple Question

Hi all,

I was just wondering why we say "Juego AL futból" as opposed to "juego el futból" but when using the verb Practicar, we say "el"?

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  #2  
Old August 10, 2011, 06:45 AM
languagelover languagelover is offline
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We say "juego al fútbol" because the verb "jugar" is generally [there are always exceptions] followed by "a" when you're referring to a sport or game. Jugar + a + sport.

The verb "practicar" is not followed by "a". That is the difference.

It's simply one of those things. Certain verbs use certain prepositions for certain meanings. And just because a verb uses/does not use a preposition in English, does not mean that it will use the same preposition in English (if it uses one at all).

Another example of English to Spanish differences:
"Escuchamos la radio" (we listen to the radio) but
"Escucha a tu madre" (listen to your mother).

Sorry to say, there are no rules - you simply have to learn them.
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Old August 10, 2011, 06:47 AM
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I think this comes under the heading of collocations, that is, pairs or words that go together without any particular reason. Many verbs are used in conjunction with a specific preposition to mean something specific, so jugar + a = to play something. This is probably because jugar is used with other prepositions to mean something else, for example jugar + con = to play with in the sense of treating without respect:

estás jugando con tu futuro = you are putting your future at risk

Does that help?

Edit: cross-posting. Damn
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Old August 10, 2011, 08:26 AM
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A) jugar + a + sport (with article) ---> jugar is intransitive
juego al fútbol (result: I end up habiendo jugado)

B) jugar + sport (without article) ---> jugar is transitive
juego fútbol (result: football (soccer, US) ends up jugado)

A is almost the only way in Spain. A and B alternate in América. B comes probably from English via USA and some fierce spirit of competence.

In my neck of the woods A is the common way
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Old August 10, 2011, 09:18 AM
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Thank you!
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