How to say ‘To The’ in Spanish: A la or Al ?

Hola!

 

In my last post I talked about VOY (I GO or I’M GOING).

In the examples I used there, I chose FEMININE nouns to accompany the verb IR (TO GO).

I did this deliberately because, over the years I have been teaching Spanish, I have seen that FEMININE nouns and adjectives tend to be mentioned as a aside, an add-on, and sometimes not even written out for students to learn effectively.

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Voy A LA plaza (I’m going to the square)

I’m determined to change that, by introducing FEMININE forms in Spanish grammar first!

Australian (AUS) fans in green and gold cheering 2000 Sydney PG

Feminine nouns first!

Some examples from that post nouns considered FEMININE in Spanish grammar…

 

LA CLASE = THE CLASS                A LA CLASE  = TO THE CLASS

VOY ……A LA CLASE DE ESPAÑOL          I go to the Spanish class

VOY …. A LA PELUQUERÍA                       I go to the hairdresser’s

VOY …. A LA TIENDA                                 I’m going to the shop

VOY …. A LA CASA                                      I’m going to the house

VOY …. A LA ESTACIÓN                            I’m going to the station

VOY …. A LA PLAZA                                   I’m going to the square

A LA =TO THE (with FEMININE nouns)

However, there are lots of other places you need to talk about, which are considered MASCULINE in Spanish grammar…

 For MASCULINE nouns: EL = THE  

El trabajo The work

(El trabajo (Pronunciation: trabaHo, with strong emphasis on the H sound)

El colegio          The school

El bar               The bar

El mercado     The market

El pueblo         The town

El museo          The museum

In a sentence where you want to talk about going TO one of those places, things change slightly!  You might think you could say ‘A EL MERCADO’ for TO THE MARKET. 

But  in Spanish it just doesn’t work like that!

The two vowel sounds of ‘A’ and ‘E’ just don’t go together. They’re difficult to pronounce, so Spanish has just contracted them together to get rid of the problem. SIMPLE REALLY!

“A EL” doesn’t exist. “A EL” is contracted into ONE WORD, by dropping the E, and, HEY PRESTO… the A and L become = AL.

Very clever!

A EL TRABAJO = AL MERCADO = TO THE MARKET

AL = TO THE  (with MASCULINE nouns)

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Voy al trabajo en un tejado (I go to work …on a roof! Photo Credit

VOY  AL TRABAJO    I go to (the) work

VOY AL COLELGIO    I’m going to the school

VOY AL BAR            I’m going to the bar

VOY AL MERCADO  I go to the market

 

 

VOY AL PUEBLO    I’m going to the town

VOY AL MUSEO    I’m going to the museum

For a review of VOY and its different meanings, see my previous post VOY.

 

Repeat the sentences aloud. Get used to hearing yourself saying the differents words. It really does help fix the patterns in your mind.

See a previous post about the benefits of repetition in language learning

Make up several  sentences, relevant to your OWN life, using VOY and A LA or AL.

IF YOU NEED ANY HELP, OR JUST MORE CLARIFICATION, LEAVE A COMMENT IN THE BOX BELOW.

I really hope this helps. Let me know if it does.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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‘VOY’ : Spanish for Beginners

Sometimes I just can’t believe how cool Spanish is.

Here’s another amazing Spanish word that doubles up for two words in English.

VOY

 

 

 

(The other great word was in a previous post was  Hay: “There’s”  )

long_braid1

I’m going …to the shop now! ¡VOY a la tienda ahora!  Photo Credit

VOY is so useful because it ‘doubles up’ for two concepts in English. That has to be useful, right?

NOTE on pronounciation: VOY ….The ‘V’ letter in Spanish is pronounced as a soft ‘B’ making the Spanish word ‘VOY’ sound more like ‘BOY’ in English!

VOY can mean two things in English:

VOY   = I GO … as in “I go” to Spanish classes on Mondays.

VOY = I’M GOING ...as in “I’m going” to the shop now.

Tell me that this is not going to be one of the most useful words you can learn in Spanish!

It is so worth committing to memory right now!

 

The word VOY in grammar is ‘First Person Singular of the verb’ IR =  “TO GO“.

This verb IR is considered an IRREGULAR VERB , which might sound a bit scary but it’s okay…  it’s so easy to use that it’s a great idea just to learn it as it stands.

You have to trust me on this one!

 

IT MUST LOOK REALLY FUNNY!

IR

(Pronounciation: IR as in the English word EAR, with a strong emphasis on ‘e’  and a bit of a roll on the final ‘r’ as in EEarrr)

There are a few IRREGULAR VERBS in Spanish and IR is one of them.

I would like to give you MY OWN personal definition of what the term “IRREGULAR VERB” means exactly.

‘Irregular verb’ :  a grammatical term denoting the fact that no one, not even the native speakers of the language,  have any  idea how to explain this to anybody because it makes no sense, NOT EVEN TO THEM,  so don’t try to work any pattern or logic into it.

JUST ACCEPT IT!

(More about irregular verbs in a previous post: Tener- TENGO: I’ve got…)

I can imagine it’s hard to get your head around the idea that a verb (an ‘infinitive’ ) is IR morph into VOY, but then our own lovely verb TO GO is quite irregular in the PAST TENSE, when it  changes to ‘WENT’ . 

‘WENT’ bears very little relationship to “TO GO” when you think about it!

HOW WE CAN USE THIS TO OUR GREAT ADVANTAGE IN SPANISH

One way of using this great (albeit irregular) verb (IR) is to talk about something that you do on a habitual, frequent basis:

  • VOY a la clase de español los lunes.     I GO to Spanish classes on Mondays.
  • VOY a la peluquería cada semana.      I GO to the hairdresser’s every week.

Another of using this same  VOY would be when expressing where you are going NOW…..

  • VOY a la tienda                                   I’M GOING to the shop
  • VOY a la casa de Jane                         I’M GOING to the house of Jane (Jane’s house)

 

OR

when you want to talk about somewhere you are going to in the future, e.g.,  tomorrow: (MAÑANA)

  •  VOY a la estación mañana.             I’M GOING to the station tomorrow.
  •  VOY a la plaza mañana.                   I’M GOING to the square tomorrow

NOTE: pronounciation: mañana = manyana

(More about irregular verbs in a previous post: Tener- TENGO: I’ve got…)

                              CALL TO ACTION  (THIS MEANS HOMEWORK!)

Read aloud these few basic sentences for a day or two, then invent your own sentences that are real in your life.

Research now is saying that the more language connections we make to our own private lives, the stronger the connections will be.

GET A LIFE…YOUR OWN LIFE!

Find the words you need to create your own true-to-your-life  sentences.

 

You can use a great on-line resource like SpanishDict.com

or

you can jot down some sentences you would like to speak using this construction in the comments box below and I could help you out with that.

If you know anyone who might be interested in learning how to use VOY, you could share it using the button below.

I really do hope this helps!