haroelant June 10, 2008, 4:41 pm
I have a question on the following sentence found in the Advanced Spanish Book, "Quise aprender a tocar el piano". As I understand it, tocar means to play. I remember from the Beginning Spanish course, one must put "a" before addressing people. Tocar though is a verb, so why would one need to put "a" before tocar since tocar itself has a "to" as part of its definition?

Thank you,

Henk Roelant
The use of "a" before a verb
nohablo June 11, 2008, 1:54 am
The "a" is there not because of tocar but because *aprender* is followed by "a" when it means to learn to do something. You can say "aprender español" (no "a"), but when you say you're learning to _do_ something, such as learning _to play_ the piano or learning _to read_ Spanish, then aprender is followed by "a," as in the sentence you quoted.

There are lots of books that can offer you lists of verbs that sometimes or always take a preposition (the usual prepositions they take are a, con, de, en, para, and por). One useful book that provides great information about verb tenses and also a list of verbs that take a preposition is _Spanish Verb Tenses_ by Dorothy Richmond.
The use of "a" before a verb
haroelant June 12, 2008, 8:39 pm
Thank you.

Henk Roelant
The use of "a" before a verb

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