Te amo más que a la sal

horsewishr

Senior Member
English (Generic Midwest Variety)
Can someone tell me why the personal a is used in the children’s statements below? Is it necessary? Thank you


Érase una vez un rey orgulloso que vivía con sus tres hermosas hijas. Un día les preguntó cuánto lo amaban. La hija mayor respondió:
—Te amo más que al oro y la plata.
La segunda hija respondió:
—Te amo más que a los diamantes, rubíes y perlas.
La hija menor respondió:
—Te amo más que a la sal.
 
  • The cub

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    Yes. That "a" is necessary. Otherwise, you mean salt loves the king, but the girl loves him more than salt does (something weird, very weird). And that's not the point. The point is the girl loves salt (or gold, diamonds...) but she loves the king even more than she loves salt (or gold, diamonds...)
     

    gvergara

    Senior Member
    Castellano (variedad chilensis)
    Hi,

    Exactly. In comparisons the preposition a is obligatory when you need ambiguity/confusion might arise. Another example:

    Yo te doy más cuidados que tu madre (=que los cuidados que tu madre te da, o sea tu madre te cuida menos que yo lo que yo te cuido)
    Yo te doy más cuidados que a tu madre (=te cuido más a ti que a tu madre)
     

    gengo

    Senior Member
    American English
    —Te amo más que a la sal.

    Just to illustrate the point in the other direction, in English if we wanted to eliminate the inherent ambiguity of the sentence (which is eliminated only through logic, not grammar), and wanted to say that the salt loves the king, but the girl loves the king more, we would add a verb: I love you more than salt does.

    Obviously, that is unnecessary in your context, but there are situations in which the ambiguity would be a problem.

    Ex.
    I love you more than my brother.

    This could mean two things: A) the speaker loves the other party more than the speaker loves his or her brother, and B) the speaker loves the other party more than the brother loves the other party. To specify meaning B, we would add "does."

    That's the purpose of the "a" in the Spanish.
     

    Rocko!

    Senior Member
    Español - México
    La “a” es necesaria pero no ponerla no genera ambigüedad; su ausencia lo que hace es cambiar completamente el significado de las frases, y es por eso que de forma natural la ponemos.
    Creo que solamente con “nada” y “todo” podríamos a veces omitir la “a” (aunque hacer esto sería incorrecto). “Tú sabes bien que te amo más que nada en la vida”. :warning: debe llevar la “a” pero su ausencia en este ejemplo no cambiaría el significado.
     
    Last edited:

    horsewishr

    Senior Member
    English (Generic Midwest Variety)
    Just to illustrate the point in the other direction, in English if we wanted to eliminate the inherent ambiguity of the sentence (which is eliminated only through logic, not grammar), and wanted to say that the salt loves the king, but the girl loves the king more, we would add a verb: I love you more than salt does.

    Obviously, that is unnecessary in your context, but there are situations in which the ambiguity would be a problem.

    Ex.
    I love you more than my brother.

    This could mean two things: A) the speaker loves the other party more than the speaker loves his or her brother, and B) the speaker loves the other party more than the brother loves the other party. To specify meaning B, we would add "does."

    That's the purpose of the "a" in the Spanish.
    Thanks, everyone. Gengo, your explanation helped a ton!
     
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