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Robert asking for Angela’s phone number

Daniel JA0Kwiziq community member

Robert asking for Angela’s phone number

When asking for Angela’s phone number why is it “a Angela” and not “de Angela”

Asked 8 months ago
InmaKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hola Daniel and John

The personal a, as you say, John, is when we have a transitive verb and we have a "person" being the direct object, for example: "Yo vi a Luisa en el parque" - Ver here is a transitive verb and the direct object is Luisa, a person, therefore we need "a Luisa".

In this sentence, though, it is different:

Roberto pide el número de teléfono a Ángela. 

Here we have a transitive verb "pide", a direct object "el número de teléfono" (what does he ask for? a telephone number) and an indirect object "a Ángela".

Think of this other sentence with the same structure:

Roberto dio flores a Ángela. 

(a Ángela is an indirect object here too)

Now, Daniel was saying why it is not "de Ángela"; You could say this as well:

Roberto pide el número de teléfono de Ángela.

but this means "Roberto asks for Angela's telephone number" - he is not asking her for her telephone number. It'd be simply saying he is asking for her number. This "de" would be a "possessive de". (Angela's number).

I hope this clarified it.

Saludos

Inma

JohnC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Hello Daniel,

This is called "the personal a" and it doesn't really translate. There is no equivalent in English but it is an important rule in Spanish. 

When the direct object of the sentence is a human being - or a pet, you have to insert an "a" between the verb and the person's name. The same applies if you are talking about more than one person (yo escucho a ellos- I hear them). 

Saludos. John

LukeA0Kwiziq community member

Robert asking for Angela’s phone number

When asking for Angela’s phone number why is it “a Angela” and not “de Angela”

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