Jugar "al" ?



“Juego futbol” vs. “Juego al futbol” (or other sports/activities). Is there a time when either is correct or incorrect? Is it regional?

I have been told that the “al” is necessary because it is describing football, in general, but it is not used here, at least in 5.8.



¡Hola ULCardFan!

Thank you very much for your question!

This is a little detail that often causes some confusion for Spanish learners! We have a brief explanation on using jugar "to play" with or without the preposition a and a definite article in Level 2, Lesson 9.7, which I will copy here: 

Note that using jugar "to play" with the preposition a "at / to" and the definite article ("the") when talking about games and sports is standard Spanish. However, you'll hear many Spanish speakers in Latin America drop the a and the article before the game/sport when speaking colloquially.

The conversation in Level 1, Lesson 5.3 is very colloquial, and so it uses jugar without a and a preposition. Literal translations are provided in our courses where jugar is used with a and a preposition to try to make this clear in the Reinforcement activities, but I will ask the Spanish team if they can look into making this difference more obvious in some way. 

I hope that this is helpful! Do let me know if you still have any questions.



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