The Preposition "A"

A is a very important and versatile preposition. It can correspond to many different English words, depending on the context:
Vou a Espanha no próximo ano I will go to Spain in the next year
Ela foi para lá a She went there on foot
Isto sabe a morango This tastes like strawberry

A… or A?

It’s easy to mistake the preposition a with the definite article a. They both look the same, but they serve different functions in the sentence. As you hear or read a Portuguese sentence, think about whether “a” would make more sense as:

  • the word the (in which case it’s serving as an article for a feminine noun), or
  • something else! (in which case it is likely working as a preposition).


Let’s see how we combine the preposition “a” with definite articles (a, as, o, os) to form contractions:

a + a = à
a + as = às
a + o = ao
a + os = aos

Here are a couple examples of these contractions in context:

Vou a + a cidade = Vou à cidade I'm going to the city

Eles vão a + os Jogos Olímpicos = Eles vão aos Jogos Olímpicos They're going to the Olympic Games


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