Ask a Question

(Create a thread)
Go Back   Spanish language learning forums > Spanish & English Languages > Grammar

Conocer al


This is the place for questions about conjugations, verb tenses, adverbs, adjectives, word order, syntax and other grammar questions for English or Spanish.

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old July 19, 2015, 01:15 PM
kej92 kej92 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 2
kej92 is on a distinguished road
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

Last edited by kej92; July 19, 2015 at 01:18 PM.
Reply With Quote
Get rid of these ads by registering for a free Tomísimo account.
Old July 19, 2015, 01:37 PM
AngelicaDeAlquezar's Avatar
AngelicaDeAlquezar AngelicaDeAlquezar is offline
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Mexico City
Posts: 9,046
Native Language: Mexican Spanish
AngelicaDeAlquezar is on a distinguished road
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".)
Ain't it wonderful to be alive when the Rock'n'Roll plays...
Reply With Quote
Old July 19, 2015, 04:33 PM
amyeme6414 amyeme6414 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 16
amyeme6414 is on a distinguished road
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!
Reply With Quote
Old July 19, 2015, 07:19 PM
wrholt's Avatar
wrholt wrholt is offline
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Posts: 1,401
Native Language: US English
wrholt is on a distinguished road
"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.
Reply With Quote
Old July 19, 2015, 07:57 PM
Rusty's Avatar
Rusty Rusty is offline
Señor Speedy
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 11,313
Native Language: American English
Rusty has a spectacular aura aboutRusty has a spectacular aura about
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.
Reply With Quote

al, conjugation, conocer, el, grammar


Link to this thread
HTML Link: 
BB Code: 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Site Rules

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Saber / conocer tetsuo Vocabulary 4 October 09, 2014 06:16 PM
Conocer vs saber fglorca Grammar 2 January 28, 2014 09:26 AM
Aprendió a conocer ... Perikles Translations 23 August 09, 2011 05:53 PM
Conocer el percal poli Idioms & Sayings 5 August 18, 2010 09:46 PM
Conocer irmamar Vocabulary 13 May 13, 2010 11:17 AM

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:21 AM.

Forum powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2024, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.