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connecting two verbs


There was a question a while ago about the general rule on having 2 verbs follow each other. I understand that the first one follows the rule on conjugation and the second one takes the infinitive form. However, sometimes I see the preposition "a" appear between the 2 verbs. What is the rule for determining if an "a" should be placed between 2 verbs? Thanks!

updated ABR 8, 2010
posted by Rikko

4 Answers


examples of verbs followed by prepositions

If you look at the verbs that are followed by "a" you will see that an infinitive commonly follows the conjugated verb.

empiezo a verlo.

comienzo a hacerlo.

updated ABR 8, 2010
edited by 0074b507
posted by 0074b507
Thank you for that link, Qfreed. The "rule" would be to check with those lists and situations. I see that the use of the other prepositions are explained there too. Muchas gracias! - Rikko, ABR 8, 2010
wow there are quite a few which need no preposition! nice link gracias :) - galsally, ABR 8, 2010

I wish Vince knew a rule since this often confuses me, too. I know that if the first verb is a conjugation of "ir", it will be followed by "a". Sometimes there are other prepositions (en, de).

updated ABR 7, 2010
posted by CalvoViejo
OK, thanks! I'll remember it with "ir". These tiny prepositions are my "enemies" for now. I'm trying to befriend them one at a time. Dealing with "a" first. :-) - Rikko, ABR 7, 2010
Great plan! I think I'll try to do the same. :) - CalvoViejo, ABR 7, 2010

I don't know if there is a rule. I'm fluent in spanish, so whatever sounds best to me, I go with. That's how I judge things and that's how I pass spanish class.

updated ABR 7, 2010
posted by Vince_Peña
Thanks for that, but would it mean that there is no right or wrong about using the "a" even in writing? - Rikko, ABR 7, 2010

I think that you would need "a" when the second verb needs direction or purpose, for example:

-ir a correr

you should ask yourself why do you need to go? TO run.

-comienzo a hacerlo

what are you starting? I'm starting TO do it.

I hope I'm making myself clear, it's just my own way of seeing it.

updated ABR 8, 2010
posted by dolce_vita7
Thanks for this. It may not work easily that way since the 2nd verb "correr" in "voy a correr" is already an infinitive. So direct translation makes that "I am going TO to run". That's how I was getting confused earlier. - Rikko, ABR 8, 2010
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