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meaning of "a"
- to, at, in
- expresses direction toward a point in space or a moment in time
1st use of "a"
- to indicate the time (hour) of day
- A las cinco salimos para Lima (at five we leave for Lima)
2nd use of "a"
- after verbs of motion, when followed by an infinitive, a noun, or a pronoun
- siempre vengo a comprar aquí (I always come to buy here)
3rd use of "a"
- after the verbs empezar, comenzar, enseñar, and aprender, when followed by an infinitive
- Ellos empezaron a salir. (They began to go out)
- Te enseñé a bailar el tango. (I taught you to dance the tango)
4th use of "a"
after the verb llegar
5th use of "a"
- before a direct object noun that refers to a specific person. It may also be used to personify an animal or a thing
- Yo no conozco a ese médico. (I don't know that doctor)
- Bañé a mi perro. (I bathed my dog)
meaning of "de"
- of, from, about , with, in
- indicates possession, material, and origin
1st use of "de"
- to refer to a specific period of the day or night when telling time
- El sábado pasado trabajamos hasta las ocho de la noche. (Last saturday we worked until 8pm)
2nd use of "de"
- after the superlative to express "in" or "of"
- Orlando es el más simpático de la familia. (Orlando is the nicest in the family)
3rd use of "de"
- to describe personal physical characteristics
- Es morena, de ojos negros (She is brunette with dark eyes)
4th use of "de"
- as a synonym for sobre or acerca de (about)
- Hablaban de todo menos del viaje. (they were talking about everything except about the trip)
meaning of "en"
- at, in, on, inside, over
- in general situates someone or something within an area of time or space.
1st use of "en"
- to refer to a definite place
- Él siempre se queda en casa. (He always stays at home)
2nd use of "en"
- as a synonym for sobre (on)
- Está sentada en la silla (She is sitting on the chair)
3rd use of "en"
- to indicate means of transportation
- Nunca he viajado en ómnibus. (I have never traveled by bus)