Grammar Tip – Spanish Verbs With Prepositions

Spanish Grammar Tip

In Spanish there are verbs that need to be followed by other words to complete their meaning such as “me he enamorado locamente de Ana” (I’ve fallen madly in love with Ana), “el otro día Miguel preguntó por ti” (the other day Miguel asked about you) or “Isa no se lleva bien con Marcos” (Isa doesn’t get along well with Marcos).

These verbs always go with a preposition and resemblance, in a way, phrasal verbs in English. They can be easily identified by replacing the element that follows the preposition with a tonic pronoun (e.g. mi, ti, él, nosotros) or a demonstrative one (e.g. eso, esto, aquello) while the sentence still makes sense, but never with a direct complement pronoun (lo, la, los, las).

 

En el cuento, la calabaza se transforma en un carruaje.En el cuento, la calabaza se transforma en eso.
In the tale, the pumpkin turns into a coach.In the tale, the pumpkin turns into that.

 

Confío en Laura porque me quiere mucho.Confío en ella porque me quiere mucho.
I trust Laura because she really loves me.I trust her because she really loves me.

 

Here is a list of the most common Spanish verbs with prepositions categorised by the preposition they are accompanied by.

Preposición A

acostumbrarse ato get used to
acudir ato attend
aspirar ato aspire to
atreverse ato dare
ayudar ato help to (do something)
despedir ato fire/dismiss (someone)
dirigirse a to address (someone)
enfrentarse a to face (someone or something)
jugar a to play (a sport)
negarse a to refuse to (do something)
volver a to (do something) again

Preposición CON

amenazar conTo threaten to
casarse conto marry (someone)
coincidir conto agree with (someone)/to run into (someone)
colaborar conto cooperate with
comparar conto compare to
conectar conto get along well with/to connect with (someone)
conformarse conto settle for (something)
contar conto count on (someone)
enfadarse conto get angry with (someone)
llevarse bien/mal conto get on/not get on with (someone)
soñar conto dream of/about

Preposición DE

abusar deto abuse (something or someone)
acabar deto have just (done something)
acordarse deto remember
acusar deto accuse of
alegrarse deto be happy about/that
arrepentirse deto regret
avergonzarse deto be ashamed of
cansarse deto get tired of
cuidar deto look after (someone)
depender deto depend on
desconfiar deto not trust
dejar deto stop (doing something)
despedirse deto say goodbye to (someone)
disfrutar deto enjoy (something)
enamorarse deto fall in love with
escapar deto escape from
hablar deto talk about (something)
olvidarse deto forget
preocuparse deto worry about
quejarse deto complain about
tratar deto attempt to

Preposición EN

confiar ento trust (someone)
convertir ento turn into
creer ento believe in
fijarse ento pay attention to/notice
insistir ento insist on
interesarse ento be interested in
participar ento take part in
pensar ento think about (doing something)
tardar ento take time in (doing something)

Preposición POR

acabar porto finish by (doing something)
caracterizarse por to be characterised by
empezar porto begin by (doing something)
luchar porto fight for
preguntar porto ask about (someone or something)
preocuparse porto worry about (someone)

 

Let’s look at some examples:

Estoy cansado de ver siempre la misma peli. → I’m tired of always watching the same movie.

Pili y Paco juegan al baloncesto todas las tardes. → Pili and Paco play basketball every afternoon.

Mi abuela se preocupaba muchísimo por mí. → My Granma used to worry a lot about me.

Dani puede por fin disfrutar de sus vacaciones. → Dani can finally enjoy his holidays.

A Blanca le encanta fijarse en los pequeños detalles. → Blanca loves paying attention to small details.

He coincidido con mi profe en el metro. → I’ve run into my teacher on the tube.

Be aware that the preposition cannot be omitted with some of these verbs as the sentence would make no sense, whereas with others their meanings may change if accompanied by a preposition or not, as in the following examples:

– Puedo contar hasta veinte en chino. → I can count up to 20 in Chinese.

– Cuento contigo para la fiesta sorpresa de Carlos. → I count on you for Carlos’s surprise party.

– Llévate el paraguas por si llueve. → Take the umbrella with you in case it rains.

– Igor se lleva estupendamente bien con su hermana. → Igor gets on extremely well with his sister.


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