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Why does this sentence use the preposition "a"?

 

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  #1  
Old August 23, 2017, 03:48 AM
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Why does this sentence use the preposition "a"?

Why does the below sentence use "al" instead of "el"?

Me colacaron en la misma mesa que al abogado.

How would the sentence be different with "el" instead of "al"? Or would it just be incorrect?


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  #2  
Old August 23, 2017, 12:56 PM
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It looks like al in this case is a mistake. Following the rule of the personal a, if abogado was the direct object in the sentence, then al would be correct. This isn't the case and the use of al in this sentence is incorrect.
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Old August 23, 2017, 02:20 PM
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Hmm, in spite of what poli said, it seems to me that in the phrase "...que al abodado", native speakers of Spanish could perceive abogado as an additional direct object of colocaron in conjunction with me. It might be functioning as a shorthand way to say something like "...al que le colocaron al abogado". (I'm looking forward to reading what our most-knowledgeable companions have to say about this!)
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Old August 23, 2017, 02:38 PM
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I agree with wrholt.

It appears that the author of the sentence and the lawyer seated earlier were both colocaron en la misma mesa, so both would be objects. And if the object is a person, the "personal 'a'" is pressed into service.
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Old August 23, 2017, 07:11 PM
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If the lawyer is a direct object in this sentence, then certainly al is correct. It doesn't sound right to me, though.
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Old August 23, 2017, 07:59 PM
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Thanks. It makes sense now.
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Old August 23, 2017, 11:26 PM
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Me colocaron en la misma mesa en la que colocaron al abogado.
Me colocaron en la misma mesa que el abogado.

Me ubicaron en la misma mesa
Me pusieron en la misma mesa
Me asignaron la misma mesa
Me colocaron en la misma mesa (not widely used for people, except when a position -job- is involved)

It sounds a text from Spain.
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Old August 24, 2017, 01:17 AM
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Yeah, I'm pretty sure it is. Whenever the book mentions a location, it's somewhere in Spain.
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Old August 24, 2017, 10:09 AM
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I suppose it's local to Spain, but everyone else understands it. You can colocar things (colocar el cuadro en la pared) but when people is involved it's somehow figurative (me colocaron de camarero en el hotel -I was given that job and not placed like a flowerpot-; me colocó en aprietos con sus mentiras).

Just by taking a look to the uses of its opposite, descolocar: No funciona porque el conector está descolocado -in the wrong slot, or loose- ; su reacción me descolocó -it baffled me-)
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Old August 25, 2017, 03:01 AM
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Thanks. The book doesn't mention stuff like that. I think the only thing it said about Latin American Spanish had to do with the letters z and c.
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