Common prepositions in Spanish include a, de, en, and con. There are many verbs that require the use of prepositions. There aren’t really any patterns to when you would use prepositions. Sometimes common sense works, sometimes not.

Below there are sets of verbs that require prepositions and they are divided by preposition. Also, only the infinitive form of the verb may be used after verbs.

Verbs that are followed by a

acercarse a to draw near to empezar a to begin to
acertar a to happen to (by chance) invitar a to invite to
acostumbrarse a to become accustomed to ir a to go to
aprender a to learn to llegar a to succeed in
apresurarse a to hurry up negarse a to refuse to
aspirar a to aspire to obligar a to force
atreverse a to dare to ponerse a to begin to
ayudar a to help to oponerse a to oppose
comenzar a to begin regresar a to ___ again
decidirse a to decide to resignarse a to resign oneself to
dedicarse a to dedicate oneself to volver a to ___ again
disponerse a to get ready to

Me dedico a los estudios. → I am dedicated to my studies.
Te opones al racismo. → You are opposed to racism.

Verbs that are followed by de

acabar de to have just dejar de to fail to, to stop
acordarse de to remember to encargarse de to take charge of
alegrarse de to be glad to olvidarse de to forget to
cesar de to stop tratar de to try to

Acabo de comer. → I just ate.
Tratamos de hablar mejor. →  We try to speak better.

Verbs followed by en

consentir en to agree to
consistir en to consist of
convenir en to agree to
empeñarse en to be determined to
insistir en to insist on
tardar en to delay in
pensar en to think about (someone)


Ella tardó en llegar. → She arrived late.
Yo insisto en hablar contigo. → I insist on speaking with you.

Verbs followed by con

amenazar con to threaten to
chocar con to crash into
contar con to count on
contentarse con to be content with
soñar con to dream of
tropezar con to run into

Tropecé con ella ayer. → I ran into her yesterday.
Sueño con ser astronauta. → I dream of being an astronaut.

Verbs used without a preposition before the infinitive

The following are verbs that seem like they should use prepositions, but they don’t.

deber should
dejar to allow
desear to wish, to desire
esperar to hope
hacer to make
lograr to succeed in
necesitar to need
oír to hear
poder to be able to
preferir to prefer
pretender to attempt
prometer to promise
querer to want
saber to know
soler to tend to
ver to see

Yo sé cantar. → I know how to sing.
Debes ir a la tienda. → You should go to the store.
Debes de ir a la tienda → You must be (gotta be) going to the store.
Tú puedes bailar bien. → You can dance well.

Personal A

Use the preposition a when the direct object of the verb is a specific person, a pet, or a pronoun referring to a person (alguien, nadie). It is not used with the verb tener.

Conozco a José. →  I know Jose.
Conozco Madrid. →  I am familiar with Madrid.
Veo la tele. → I watch TV.
No veo a nadie. →  I don’t see anyone.



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