I got this sentence in a quiz
No puedo ver _____ en la muchedumbre.
The answer was "a Paula y Cristina".
I notice that sometimes you put an a before every name, like "a Paula y a Cristina". Is this optional, or are there certain circumstances when the a is required before each person?
this happens with transitive verbs that have direct objects that are people or implies people. So, with transitive verbs like "ver", "conocer", "visitar", "buscar"... you can easily have this type of direct object because you can talk about "seeing someone", "visiting someone", "knowing someone", or "looking for someone" - the function of that "someone" in the sentence is a direct object. Here we will always need the preposition "a" in front:
Ayer vi a Lidia.
I saw Lidia yesterday.
Estoy buscando a mis hijos.
I am looking for my children.
Quiero visitar a mi abuela mañana.
I want to visit my grandma tomorrow.
Yo no conozco a Miguel Sánchez.
I don't know Miguel Sánchez.
If the direct object is not a person, then you don't put "a" in front:
He visto la iglesia.
I've seen the church.
Estoy buscando vasos para la fiesta.
I am looking for glasses for the party.
There are lots of verbs using the personal a. We have chosen for this lesson 4 common verbs to illustrate this, but we offer a list at the bottom of the lesson with common verbs that take the "a".
I hope this clarified it.
I understand that the personal a is used when the direct object is a person, I'm just wondering when you put a before each person when there is more than one person as a direct object. I know I've seen the a placed before each person, not just the first person listed.
"A Juan y a Roberto" vs. "A Juan y Roberto".
The 1st sentence has a before both names. The 2nd sentence uses a only before the first name. Is this optional to put a before each person when there are 2 or more people as the direct object??
In each of your examples, you only have 1 person. When there are 2 or more people, is the a placed before each person in the sentence??
Sorry, yes, I misunderstood before.
When you have more than one person it is optional to put a in the second person (or third) because it is implicit. Both options are correct:
No puedo ver a Paula y a Cristina.
No puedo ver a Paula y Cristina.
No puedo ver a Paula, a Cristina y a María.
No puedo ver a Paula, Cristina y María.
Thanks so much Inma! This is what I thought but I just wanted to make sure.
I really enjoy reading your responses to all these posts. Sometimes they're interesting and I often get a chuckle every once in awhile! Thanks so much for the time you devote to this site! Much appreciation!!
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