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 a to get used to
acudir a to attend
aspirar a to aspire to
atreverse a to dare
ayudar a to help to (do something)
despedir a to 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 con To threaten to
casarse con to marry (someone)
coincidir con to agree with (someone)/to run into (someone)
colaborar con to cooperate with
comparar con to compare to
conectar con to get along well with/to connect with (someone)
conformarse con to settle for (something)
contar con to count on (someone)
enfadarse con to get angry with (someone)
llevarse bien/mal con to get on/not get on with (someone)
soñar con to dream of/about

Preposición DE

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

Preposición EN

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

Preposición POR

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