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 alguien||to give something to someone|
|decir algo a alguien||to say something to someone|
|enviar algo a alguien||to send something to someone|
|escribir algo a alguien||to write something to someone|
|mostrar algo a alguien||to show something to someone|
- For more information on Indirect objects, see Personal pronouns: indirect object.
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 algo||to attend something, to be at something|
|dirigirse a (un lugar)||to head for (a place)|
|dirigirse a alguien||to address somebody|
|jugar a algo||to play something (sports/games)|
|llegar a (un lugar)||to arrive at (a place)|
|oler a algo||to smell of something|
|parecerse a alguien/algo||to look like somebody/something|
|subir(se) a un autobús/un coche||to get on a bus/into a car|
|subir(se) a un árbol||to climb a tree|
|tener miedo a alguien||to 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/alguien||to remember something/somebody|
|alegrarse de algo||to be glad about something|
|bajarse de un autobús/un coche||to get off a bus/out of a car|
|darse cuenta de algo||to realize something|
|depender de algo/alguien||to depend on something/somebody|
|despedirse de alguien||to say goodbye to somebody|
|preocuparse de algo/alguien||to worry about something/somebody|
|quejarse de algo||to complain about something|
|reírse de algo/alguien||to laugh at something/somebody|
|salir de (un cuarto/un edificio)||to leave (a room/a building)|
|tener ganas de algo||to want something|
|tener miedo de algo||to be afraid of something|
|trabajar de (camarero/secretario)||to work as (a waiter/secretary)|
|tratarse de algo/alguien||to 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/alguien||to compare something/somebody with something/somebody|
|contar con alguien/algo||to rely on somebody/something|
|encontrarse con alguien||to meet somebody (by chance)|
|enfadarse con alguien||to get annoyed with somebody|
|estar de acuerdo con alguien/algo||to agree with somebody/something|
|hablar con alguien||to talk to somebody|
|soñar con alguien/algo||to 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/alguien||to 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/alguien||to ask about something/somebody|
|preguntar por alguien||to ask for/about somebody|
|preocuparse por algo/alguien||to 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.
- For more information on Personal a, see Prepositions.
|mirar algo/a alguien||to look at something/somebody|
|escuchar algo/a alguien||to listen to something/somebody|
|buscar algo/a alguien||to look for something/somebody|
|pedir algo||to ask for something|
|esperar algo/a alguien||to wait for something/somebody|
|pagar algo||to 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.|
- 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.