In Spanish, the Personal A is a preposition that is used before a direct object that refers to a person or an animal with a certain level of personal significance. It is not translatable into English and is a unique feature of the Spanish language. The Personal A is used to indicate that the direct object is the recipient of the action, emphasizing the human element in the sentence.
“Voy a ver a mi abuela” (I am going to see my grandmother)
“Compré una casa nueva para mi perro” (I bought a new house for my dog),
“Necesito llamar a mi amigo” (I need to call my friend).
In all these examples, the direct object is a person or an animal that is considered part of the family or has a personal connection to the speaker, hence the use of the Personal A.
Before introducing the Personal A, student should have a grasp of the following concepts:
- Direct and indirect objects: In Spanish, the “personal a” is used before the direct object of a sentence when it refers to a person, animal, or other animate object. Therefore, students should have a clear understanding of what direct objects are and how they function in a sentence.
- Subject-verb agreement: Students should be familiar with the concept of subject-verb agreement, which is essential in constructing grammatically correct sentences.
- Gender and number agreement: In Spanish, nouns and adjectives must agree in gender and number with the nouns they modify. Therefore, students should have a basic understanding of how gender and number work in Spanish.
- Pronouns: Pronouns are essential in Spanish, and students should be familiar with the different types of pronouns, including subject pronouns, object pronouns, and possessive pronouns.
- Verb conjugation: Students should be comfortable with conjugating regular and irregular verbs in the present tense. The “personal a” is often used with verbs that require a direct object, so it’s crucial to have a good grasp of verb conjugation.
Personal A Spanish Lesson Plan and Resource Sheet
Personal A Lesson Plan for Spanish 1
- By the end of this activity, students will have effectively taught the rules for using personal ‘a.’
- Also, students will have reviewed and applied the rules in practice.
- Students can write basic sentences containing expressions that use the personal a.
- Students can identify when the personal a is being used in certain expressions (e.g. querer a X)
- Students can understand the nuances of the personal a
Through a guided lesson and video, the students will review the rules of using personal ‘a’ and will teach the concept to classmates by creating a brief educational video.