I have gotten confused by a specific use of the personal a. As I understand it, if you are mentioning a person or group of people, you need a personal a infront of the person. For example if I am talking about a reporter mentioning Juan, I might say El reportero mencionó a Juan. It also looks like if I want to say that the reporter mentioned Juan to Ana, I should say El reportero mencionó Juan a Ana. Is this correct? Is this also a general pattern - i.e. when I would normally use a personal a, but there is an indirect object (Ana), should I always drop the personal a and use the a for the indirect object?Thanks
Generally, when you have two uses of "a" you drop the first one, but this is only allowed when it's more generic, i.e, you are not mentioning the actual name of the person. For example:
El reportero mencionó los chicos a Ana.
The reporters mentioned the boys to Ana.
You can use the first "a" or drop it. We generally drop it to avoid confusion about what/who the object is in the sentence.
However if the object is a proper noun, e.g. Juan, the rule says you have to use the "a", you can't drop it, so the correct sentence would be:
El reportero mencionó a Juan a Ana.
The reporter mentioned Juan to Ana.
This is typically used with the verb "presentar" (to introduce someone to someone), for example:
Ella presentó a Ricardo a sus padres. ( not "presentó Ricardo")
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