Ask a Question

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


Preposition "a" with infinitives

 

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


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old December 28, 2009, 07:09 AM
bricks bricks is offline
Ruby
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 31
bricks is on a distinguished road
Preposition "a" with infinitives

Hello friends.

I would like to as a very simple question. When using the preposition "a" before an infinitive to indicate the start of an action, can I only do this for the present tense, or can it work for past and future too?

"Voy a jugar contigo."

The above example is "I am going to play to you". "I am going" can be used for present and future in English so I am confused.

So would this work:

"Yo sere a jugar contigo."

Thanks
Reply With Quote
   
Get rid of these ads by registering for a free Tomísimo account.
  #2  
Old December 28, 2009, 07:36 AM
Perikles's Avatar
Perikles Perikles is offline
Diamond
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Tenerife
Posts: 4,814
Native Language: Inglés
Perikles is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by bricks View Post
When using the preposition "a" before an infinitive to indicate the start of an action, can I only do this for the present tense, or can it work for past and future too?

"Voy a jugar contigo."

The above example is "I am going to play to you".
The above example is "I am going to play with you."
Quote:
Originally Posted by bricks View Post
"I am going" can be used for present and future in English so I am confused.

So would this work:

"Yo sere a jugar contigo."

Thanks
No, it wouldn't work. "I am going" in the present is a different construction to "I am going to" as a future. (I am going to town = I am doing it right now. I am going + infinitive = a future action) The expression ir a indicates something in the future, but works in all tenses. I'll leave it to a Spanish speaker for examples.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old December 28, 2009, 07:37 AM
chileno's Avatar
chileno chileno is offline
Diamond
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Las Vegas, USA
Posts: 7,863
Native Language: Castellano
chileno is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by bricks View Post
Hello friends.

I would like to as a very simple question. When using the preposition "a" before an infinitive to indicate the start of an action, can I only do this for the present tense, or can it work for past and future too?

"Voy a jugar contigo."

The above example is "I am going to play to you". "I am going" can be used for present and future in English so I am confused.

So would this work:

"Yo sere a jugar contigo."

Thanks
I am going to play to you - I will play with you
Yo voy a jugar contigo - Yo jugaré contigo
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old December 28, 2009, 08:04 AM
Perikles's Avatar
Perikles Perikles is offline
Diamond
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Tenerife
Posts: 4,814
Native Language: Inglés
Perikles is on a distinguished road
This use of a + infinitive to express a future only works with the verb ir. There are other verbs which use a + infinitive:

comenzar a + infinitive to begin to
empezar a + infinitive to begin to
volver a + infinitive to do again

But the preposition a can mean all sorts of other things, and this expression ir a + infinitive is the only one to express a future action.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old December 28, 2009, 08:21 AM
bricks bricks is offline
Ruby
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 31
bricks is on a distinguished road
Perikles, do you actually speak Spanish? You always manage to confuse me further lol
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old December 28, 2009, 08:32 AM
Perikles's Avatar
Perikles Perikles is offline
Diamond
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Tenerife
Posts: 4,814
Native Language: Inglés
Perikles is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by bricks View Post
Perikles, do you actually speak Spanish? You always manage to confuse me further lol
Well, it's all relative. I never know on which level somebody wants an explanation. Why the confusion? What I said above is perfectly correct, but it might not be answering your question.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old December 28, 2009, 08:35 AM
laepelba's Avatar
laepelba laepelba is offline
Diamond
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Suburbs of Washington, DC (Northern Virginia)
Posts: 4,683
Native Language: American English (Northeastern US)
laepelba is on a distinguished road
While we're talking about "a + infinitive", can someone answer the more general question about when to use that construction? For example, sometimes I write "conjugated verb + a + infinitive" and am corrected to remove the "a". Other times I write "conjugated verb + infinitive" and am corrected TO USE an "a" inbetween. I can never figure out when TO and when NOT TO use the "a" between a conjugated verb and an infinitive.
__________________
- Lou Ann, de Washington, DC, USA
Específicamente quiero recibir ayuda con el español de latinoamerica. ¡Muchísimas gracias!
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old December 28, 2009, 08:37 AM
chileno's Avatar
chileno chileno is offline
Diamond
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Las Vegas, USA
Posts: 7,863
Native Language: Castellano
chileno is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by bricks View Post
Perikles, do you actually speak Spanish? You always manage to confuse me further lol
Actually, that is why I act the way I do.

Please do not take me wrong. As I really think we have talented and well versed people in the forums in the matter of grammar.

However, I do think that most people do not know their grammar in their own language, and why should they start taking grammar in a foreign language, no less?

So, sometimes just by reading grammar stuff makes people cringe and shy away on whatever effort they put out to "learn" another language.

As far as I know this problem, of not knowing proper grammar, is present in native speakers of each language and most likely is going to persist. Should these people desist in their efforts to learn another language. I know that the ideal would be to learn grammar and speak properly, but what are the odds of that happening?

I am not sure of how to "cure" this, and at the same time I do not want to lose the input that these knowledgeable people have to contribute in the forums.

I hope that more people will be encouraged to speak up their fears and what not when confronted with this "problem"

And maybe we will get more people involved in the forums.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old December 28, 2009, 08:50 AM
Perikles's Avatar
Perikles Perikles is offline
Diamond
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Tenerife
Posts: 4,814
Native Language: Inglés
Perikles is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by chileno View Post
However, I do think that most people do not know their grammar in their own language, and why should they start taking grammar in a foreign language, no less?

So, sometimes just by reading grammar stuff makes people cringe and shy away on whatever effort they put out to "learn" another language.
I hear what you say, but he asked a question about grammar, so I answered it by using grammar. I hardly think this is unreasonable. What do you suggest?

Actually, my experience is that almost nobody manages to learn a second language without a concept of grammar.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old December 28, 2009, 09:24 AM
chileno's Avatar
chileno chileno is offline
Diamond
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Las Vegas, USA
Posts: 7,863
Native Language: Castellano
chileno is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by Perikles View Post
I hear what you say, but he asked a question about grammar, so I answered it by using grammar. I hardly think this is unreasonable. What do you suggest?

Actually, my experience is that almost nobody manages to learn a second language without a concept of grammar.
I know, and it is crazy.

Actually some of us think we know grammar just because we can recognize (or recognise, just to make you feel homey ) parts of grammar such as tenses and words such as prepositions, etc... what sometimes most of usdo not even recall those and only when we start dwelling with them when taking a language course is when we start to "sport" them.

So again, it is difficult not to answer as you did, but there should be a middle point in all of this. Maybe if some of the readers would dare to post their apprehensions concerning the language we could try to help them better.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmark this thread at:

 

Link to this thread
URL: 
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
Question about a couple sentences. "la compro"..."te espero".. ItsThaMonsta Grammar 2 November 09, 2009 06:59 PM
Una oración de un partido de fútbol ("el fraseo" y "para que" bobjenkins Translations 2 September 30, 2009 01:01 PM
Quick question about the "-aron"/"-ieron" ending chanman Grammar 6 May 30, 2009 11:20 PM
Verbs like "lavar", "cepillar", y "despertar" laepelba Grammar 9 February 02, 2009 03:01 AM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:44 AM.

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

X