John obtained the gift from Mary


Senior Member
English U.S.
English: John obtained the gift from Mary. She will obtain something else from him.

In the translation, should I use "a" or "de," or are both acceptable?

John obtuvo el regalo a Mary. Ella obtendrá algo a él.


John obtuvo el regalo de Mary. Ella obtendrá algo de él.
  • Artifacs

    Senior Member
    Spanish - España
    Since we are talking about the source of the gift, not the destination, we say it with «de»:

    X obtuvo el regalo de Y = X got a present from Y.

    Y le dio un regalo a X = Y gave X a present.


    Senior Member
    Castellano (variedad chilensis)
    So "obtener" is different from "comprar"? X compró el regalo a Y.

    They're absolutely different. Obtener is more or less to obtain, never to buy, so you always obtienes algo de alguien/algo, never a. As to comprar, both prepositions can be used depending on what you want to say: Él compró este reloj a/para Ana (she'll receive it)/Él compró este reloj de Ana (Ana sold her watch, or maybe there's a shop called Ana where he bought tha watch).