Easy Learning Spanish

Prepositions after verbs - Easy Learning Grammar Spanish

  • In English, there are some phrases which are made up of verbs and prepositions, for example, to accuse somebody of something, to look forward to something and to rely on something.
  • In Spanish there are also lots of set phrases made up of verbs and prepositions. Often the prepositions in Spanish are not the same as they are in English, so you will need to learn them. Listed below are phrases using verbs and some common Spanish prepositions.
  • For more information on verbs used with a preposition and the infinitive, see The infinitive.

1   Verbs followed by a

  • a is often the equivalent of the English word to when it is used with an indirect object after verbs like enviar (meaning to send), dar (meaning to give) and decir (meaning to say).
dar algo a alguiento give something to someone
decir algo a alguiento say something to someone
enviar algo a alguiento send something to someone
escribir algo a alguiento write something to someone
mostrar algo a alguiento show something to someone
TipThere is an important difference between Spanish and English with this type of verb. In English, you can say either to give something to someone or to give someone something.You can NEVER miss out a in Spanish in the way that you can sometimes miss out to in English.
  • Here are some verbs taking a in Spanish that have a different construction in English.
asistir a algoto attend something, to be at something
dirigirse a (un lugar)to head for (a place)
dirigirse a alguiento address somebody
jugar a algoto play something (sports/games)
llegar a (un lugar)to arrive at (a place)
oler a algoto smell of something
parecerse a alguien/algoto look like somebody/something
subir(se) a un autobús/un cocheto get on a bus/into a car
subir(se) a un árbolto climb a tree
tener miedo a alguiento be afraid of somebody
Este perfume huele a jazmín.This perfume smells of jasmine.
¡De prisa, sube al coche!Get into the car, quick!
Nunca tuvieron miedo a su padre.They were never afraid of their father.
  • For verbs such as gustar, encantar and faltar, see Verbal idioms on Verbal Idioms.

2   Verbs followed by de

  • Here are some verbs taking de in Spanish that have a different construction in English:
acordarse de algo/alguiento remember something/somebody
alegrarse de algoto be glad about something
bajarse de un autobús/un cocheto get off a bus/out of a car
darse cuenta de algoto realize something
depender de algo/alguiento depend on something/somebody
despedirse de alguiento say goodbye to somebody
preocuparse de algo/alguiento worry about something/somebody
quejarse de algoto complain about something
reírse de algo/alguiento laugh at something/somebody
salir de (un cuarto/un edificio)to leave (a room/a building)
tener ganas de algoto want something
tener miedo de algoto be afraid of something
trabajar de (camarero/secretario)to work as (a waiter/secretary)
tratarse de algo/alguiento be a question of something/to be about somebody
Nos acordamos muy bien de aquellas vacaciones.We remember that holiday very well.
Se bajó deI coche.He got out of the car.
No depende de mí.It doesn’t depend on me.
Se preocupa mucho de su apariencia.He worries a lot about his appearance.

3   Verbs followed by con

  • Here are some verbs taking con in Spanish that have a different construction in English:
comparar algo/a alguien con algo/alguiento compare something/somebody with something/somebody
contar con alguien/algoto rely on somebody/something
encontrarse con alguiento meet somebody (by chance)
enfadarse con alguiento get annoyed with somebody
estar de acuerdo con alguien/algoto agree with somebody/something
hablar con alguiento talk to somebody
soñar con alguien/algoto dream about somebody/something
Cuento contigo.I’m relying on you.
Me encontré con ella al entrar en el banco.I met her as I was going into the bank.
¿Puedo hablar con usted un momento?May I talk to you for a moment?

4   Verbs followed by en

  • Here are some verbs taking en in Spanish that have a different construction in English:
entrar en (un edificio/ un cuarto)to enter, go into (a building/a room)
pensar en algo/alguiento think about something/somebody
trabajar en (una oficina/ una fábrica)to work in (an office/a factory)
No quiero pensar en eso.I don’t want to think about that.

5   Verbs followed by por

  • Here are some verbs taking por in Spanish that have a different construction in English:
interesarse por algo/alguiento ask about something/somebody
preguntar por alguiento ask for/about somebody
preocuparse por algo/alguiento worry about something/somebody
Me interesaba mucho por la arqueología.I was very interested in archaeology.
Se preocupa mucho por su apariencia.He worries a lot about his appearance.

6   Verbs taking a direct object in Spanish but not in English

  • In English there are a few verbs that are followed by at, for or to which, in Spanish, are not followed by any preposition other than the personal a.
mirar algo/a alguiento look at something/somebody
escuchar algo/a alguiento listen to something/somebody
buscar algo/a alguiento look for something/somebody
pedir algoto ask for something
esperar algo/a alguiento wait for something/somebody
pagar algoto pay for something
Mira esta foto.Look at this photo.
Me gusta escuchar música.I like listening to music.
Estoy buscando las gafas.I’m looking for my glasses.
Pidió una taza de té.He asked for a cup of tea.
Estamos esperando el tren.We’re waiting for the train.
Ya he pagado el billete.I’ve already paid for my ticket.
Estoy buscando a mi hermano.I’m looking for my brother.
Key points
  • The prepositions used with Spanish verbs are often very different from those used in English, so make sure you learn common expressions involving prepositions in Spanish.
  • The most common prepositions used with verbs in Spanish are a, de, con, en and por.
  • Some Spanish verbs are not followed by a preposition, but are used with a preposition in English.

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