When to use the "a" in infinitive phrases?

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When do you use "a" in verbs that are followed with the infinitive? For example, would you say, "Los usamos ** a ** analizar" or "Los usamos analizar" or "Los usamos para analizar"? Any help would be appreciated!

2378 views
updated JUN 8, 2009
posted by Alicia2919

9 Answers

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A ver cuándo vienes a visitarnos (come and see us soon)
Ve a ver que está pasando (go and see what is happening)
(Vamos) a ver, ¿cuál es el problema? (Let's see now, what is the problem?
(Vete) a saber dónde está él (One never knows where he is)
Voy a pasear (I am going to walk)
A ver si me entienden (I hope you understand)
A ver si cerráis la puerta (I hope you shut the door). También es parecido a una orden o un consejo dependiendo del tono de voz (shut the door!) o (you should shut the door).
Ella empezó a estudiar temprano (she began to study early)
Cállate, a ver si alguien te oye (shup up, somebody might hear you). 'A ver si? también significa 'es probable que'.

updated JUN 8, 2009
posted by nila45
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Otra frase que se me ocurre es:

Estamos dispuestos a luchar hasta el final.

Con "dispuestos a" puedes poner cualquier verbo.
We're prepared/ready to fight to/until the finish.

updated JUN 7, 2009
posted by samdie
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Otra frase que se me ocurre es:

Estamos dispuestos a luchar hasta el final.

Con "dispuestos a" puedes poner cualquier verbo.

updated JUN 6, 2009
posted by nila45
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Hay una frase que se me ocurre:

"Puestos a escoger, prefiero hacer lo que tú me dices". En realidad, no se me ocurre cuál puede ser la traducción en inglés.

El sentido es: "como tengo que escoger, prefiero hacer lo que tú me dices".
"Puestos"? I'd have thought "Puesto". "(If) forced to choose, I'd prefer to do as you say/suggest." seems to me to be a reasonable approximation.

updated JUN 5, 2009
posted by samdie
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Hay una frase que se me ocurre:

"Puestos a escoger, prefiero hacer lo que tú me dices". En realidad, no se me ocurre cuál puede ser la traducción en inglés.

El sentido es: "como tengo que escoger, prefiero hacer lo que tú me dices".

updated JUN 5, 2009
posted by nila45
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Also note that in English, the "to" in "I want/wish/hope/expect/etc. to go ..." is not a preposition. The infinitive is "to go". There are a few (rarely used) constructions in English that involve what is sometimes called "the 'bare' infinitive" [because it's not conjugated]) but, under normal circumstances, something like "to go" should be considered as a single/indivisible unit (as it is in Spanish). "a" (in Spanish), on the other hand is a real preposition and is (almost) always there because it is required by the verb that precedes it.

updated JUN 4, 2009
posted by samdie
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Let's try again: the presence of the preposition has nothing to do with the infinitive. You don't use the preposition "a" in infinitive phrases, but infinitives (or other words) in phrases starting with "a". Infinitives can function as verbs, and they can replace any noun in the sentence, so the question is "Is there any other situation where you can put a noun after 'a''". Surely in no less than 30 or 40 different situations. Actually, it is hard to think of a situation where grammatically you cannot put an infinitive after "a".

updated JUN 4, 2009
posted by lazarus1907
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Thanks! Aside from the personal "a" are there any times when "a" is used in an infinitive phrase'

updated JUN 4, 2009
posted by Alicia2919
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Your question cannot be answered in detail without using at least 100 lines, possibly.

However, in your sentence, you are describing the purpose of using whatever you mentioned. In Spanish, purpose in general is expressed with "para", whether you want to use an infinitive, or any other kind of word; the presence of the infinitive is not the key to choosing prepositions. Your other two sentences, without preposition, and with "a" are simply nonsensical. In other cases, the choice of preposition may vary.

updated JUN 3, 2009
posted by lazarus1907