Aprender a trabajar - learn to work

Ir a comer - go to eat

Me acostumbro a dormir - I am used to sleeping

Does this "A" follow anything else or is it just infinitives that follow this rule.

Voy a la playa - I'm going for bread. Here I suppose it isn't the same rule, as it means "TO"

3 Answers



The "a" in ir a comer is different than the "a" in aprender a+infinitive, just as you noted that the "a" in voy a la playa is different than the other two.

Ir+a+verb infinitive is a special periphrasis like tener que, etc. It is used to denote future time. I am going to...whatever the verb is.

The "a" in aprender a+verb infinitive is there because aprender is a verb that is normally accompanied by "a" before a verb infinitive. See this list of verbs used with the preposition "a".

verbs used with preposition "a" Make sure you notice that there are 2 conditions: verbs that use "a" followed by a verb infinitive and verbs that use "a" followed by an object.

It is a subset of verbs that are used with other prepositions. See this article.

I think the only "a" that you didn't mention was Spanish's personal "a" used with direct objects.

I can see how it is confusing.



What a coincidence I just made a flashcard set on words like this because it came up in the book I'm studying Spanish from at the moment. I've edited it now to highlight what gfreed said about "ir a"

Edit: I realize now that it wasn't a coincidence at all and that you saw my flashcards! smile

Edit 2: There was mistake in one of the flashcards, it should be "el telón va a subir a las ocho" but I forgot the a

  • haha, I know I completed the set of flashcards and then was confooseled so had to ask the question. - dewclaw Mar 20, 2011


Prepositions are a painful form of torture. . .I'm glad I learned English first, since it seems to be the worst in this regard.

  • Mar 20, 2011
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