Can't find your question?

The use of "a" before a verb

haroelantSpanish NoviceTue, 10 Jun 2008 16:41:14 +0000
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
nohabloSpanish NoviceWed, 11 Jun 2008 01:54:36 +0000
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 todosomething, such as learningto playthe piano or learningto readSpanish, 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 isSpanish Verb Tensesby Dorothy Richmond.
The use of "a" before a verb
haroelantSpanish NoviceThu, 12 Jun 2008 20:39:24 +0000
Thank you.

Henk Roelant
The use of "a" before a verb
Total posts 29598 • Total topics 6236 • Total members 611822 • Our newest member Leslie 84

How the forum works

If you want to ask a question or post a response you need to be a member.

  • If you are already a member login here.

  • If you are not a member you can become one by taking the free Rocket Spanish 6 Day trial here.

Over 1,200,000 people love Rocket Languages

Here's what Rocket Languages members have to say:


Pennsylvania, USA




Pennsylvania, USA


Chicago, USA


Auckland, NZ


Florida, USA

Probably the best language tool I've come across. Actually love it more than Rosetta Stone and Duolingo

Try our award-winning Spanish language software for FREE

(And see how easy it actually is to learn Spanish... even if you've tried and failed before)