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There are only two contractions
(contracciones) in Spanish: al and del: al is a
contraction of the preposition a + el (a means: to, for, at, by), and the masculine
singular definite article el: voy al rio. (I'm going to
the river). So al means to the, but also means upon: al salir de la casa, abro mis paraguas. (Upon
leaving the house, I open my umbrella.)
Don't confuse between contracting a+ el (definite article) and a+ él (personal pronoun ‘he”) because a and él cannot be contracted, hablo a él (I talk to him).
So in short, the contractions in Spanish are two:
Conjunctions (conjunciones) join words, phrases and clauses together. In other words, conjunctions provide a link between similar words or groups of words, such as nouns, verbs, people, etc. The most commonly used conjunction in Spanish is “y” (and): salgo con Mario y José (I go out with Mario and José).
Other commonly used conjunctions are: o (or), ni (nor), pero (but), entonces (then):
Mi amigo es alto, pero es muy delgado.(my friend is tall, but very skinny).
¿sale ella a las nueve o las diez? (is she going out at 9 or 10).
Ni a favor ni en contra , Sino todo lo contrario!!! (Not for, nor against, but quite the opposite).
So in short this are some conjunctions in Spanish:
Spanish Personal "a"
Ví el accidente (I saw the
accident), but ví a la
hermana de Juan (I saw Juan’s sitster). la policía busca a la niña perdida (the police are looking for
the missing girl).
Saber vs Conocer
At a first glance, saber and conocer both mean the same thing, and that is "to know". So choosing the right verb depends on the context in which it is used. We use saber to express knowledge or ignorance of a fact or information about something or to know how to do something. It is often followed by an infinitive or a subordinate clause. ¿Sabes Alemán? (do you know German?) él sabe donde está su perro (he knows where his dog is). Also used to say that you know something by heart, el sabe las capitales de todo el mundo (he knows the capitals of the world “by hear”t). Also used For skills: Ella sabe cocinar (she knows how to cook). sabes nadar ¿verdad? (you know how to swim, right?)
We use conocer to say that one is familiar with a person, a place, or an object. It can only be followed by a direct object, never by an infinitive or a subordinate clause. Remember that if the direct object is a person, the preposition "a" must be used. no conozco a nadie en la escuela (I don't know anyone at school). Jose conoce Marruecos (José knows Morocco).
You can also use both in some cases, for examples use saber or conocer to express knowledge or ignorance of a subject or learning discipline: pienso que él no sabe nada de ruso. (I think he doesn’t know a thing about Russian), no conoce/ sabe nada de la geografia (he doesn’t know anything about geography).
So in short these are some reasons which help you decide which to choose:
Note that the preterit of saber means to find out: Supe la realidad la semana pasada. (I found out the reality last week).
Pedir vs Preguntar
The two Spanish verbs pedir and preguntar both mean "to ask", but saber & conocer are not interchangeable, their rules are easy to learn however:
In short: pedir: to ask (for an object or a service), preguntar: to ask (a question, request information).
Spanish sometimes places the subject after the verb, which is the case with the verb gustar:
Me gusta la playa (I like the beach). Nos gustan los pescados (we like fish) Le gustan las verduras (he likes salad).
Note: Nos gusta el fútbol (we like soccer) and not: nos gustan el fútbol, which is a common mistake Spanish learners make. In other words, gustar follows what comes after it, and not what comes before, same thing when using the pronoun le or les: A Juán le gusta el carne (John like meat). A Miguel le gustan las verduras (Miguel likes salad). Note that it’s incorrect to say: A Miguel les gustan las verduras. the -an of gustan refers to the plural verduras.
Contractions: There are only two contractions (contracciones) in Spanish: al and del, al is a contraction of the preposition a + el, and del is the one of: de+ el.
Conjunctions: they provide a link between similar words or groups of words, such as nouns, verbs, people, etc. The most common are y (and).o (or) ni (nor) pero (but) entonces (then)
Personal "a": used when the direct object of a verb is a person or a domestic animal: no conozco a nadie aquí (I don’t know anyone here) except with tener, the “a” shouldn’t be used in that case: Tengo un hermano (I have a brother)
Saber vs Conocer: saber: to know (facts, information, how to do something, something by heart). conocer: to know (to be familiar with a person, places, things)
Pedir vs Conocer: pedir: to ask (for an object or a service), preguntar: to ask (a question, request information)
The verb Gustar: gustar is one of the exceptions where the subject is placed after the vebs, Me gusta la playa (I like the beach) me gustan las frutas (I like fruits).
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