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When to use "a" or "en" for places

 

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  #1  
Old August 18, 2017, 06:17 AM
dupond dupond is offline
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When to use "a" or "en" for places

Hi there

Could someone please help me with the following sentence?

"Ir de vinos" quiere decir ir con algunos amigos a tomar algo a un bar o a un cafetería."

Would the meaning be the same if it read "en un bar" and "en un cafetería?"

If not, what's the difference? Does the use of "a" as the preposition have anything to do with "ir" being in the sentence?


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  #2  
Old August 18, 2017, 06:40 AM
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A good rule to know is that the verb ir is always followed by aexcluding adverbs as your example displays. You would always say ir a la cafetería.
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Old August 18, 2017, 06:50 AM
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"Ir a" is used for going to a place and "ir en" is used for going somewhere in a means of transport.
- Voy en bicicleta al trabajo.
- Vamos en auto a la playa.
- Fuimos en patines a la cafetería.
- Mis amigos van en avión a Francia.


"Ir de", although not used in all Spanish-speaking regions, is used for activities like wandering from one place to another.
I suppose here, "ir de vinos" means that you are going to visit places where a variety of wines are served, and you're tasting several of them. (I'm not sure about the complement for that sentence. I suppose someone would just say something like "hoy vamos de vinos". And then tell whether they're going to one bar or to several places.)
"Ir de" is also found in "ir de tiendas" (to go shopping), which implies wandering from one store to another.
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Old August 18, 2017, 11:25 AM
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In "de vinos" is announced the mood and theme of the outing.

There's a well known expression, "salir/irse de p****" meaning going out to pick up some ladies of the red district.

It's pretty informal, and it has regional variations.

"De (algo)" also is by extension used to describe a way or cause. For instance, "irse de boca" can both mean "to be indiscreet" or "to be cheeky or extremely rude", that is, saying what would have much better remained unsaid.
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Old August 21, 2017, 01:42 AM
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Thanks for the replies. I only just got the email notification about the thread.
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