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A is a preposition, Ha is the verb to have conjugated and ah is an interjection. They are homophone words, that is, they sound the same but are written differently and their meaning is not the same.
Prepositions are words that relate the elements of a sentence. Verbs are the words we use to express actions. And interjections are words that express emotions such as admiration, surprise, joy, pain, disgust, greeting, etc. How to teach children to use a, ha and ah correctly?
The a is the first vowel letter and the first letter of the Spanish alphabet, in addition, It is a preposition that indicates direction, situation or mode of an action. Whenever it goes before a verb it must be in the infinitive. For example:
- Pablo is going to play in the park.
- Jaime will eat at 3:00 p.m.
- I like to go bowling.
The preposition 'a' also can go to a question. For example:
- What time does Carlos leave class?
A particular case and that leads to many mistakes is that of the expression will see (to look) and there will be (from the verb to have). For example:
- Carlos is going to see the Cathedral of Segovia (he is going to look, to visit).
- Today there is going to be a big party in the town square (from the verb to have).
Ha is a form of the verb have and is written with hache provided that it is followed by a participle. For example:
- Pablo has gone to the park.
- Jaime has eaten very well.
- Carlos left class at 2:00 p.m.
In case of doubt we can appeal to this simple trick: If we can substitute ha for he or han without altering the meaning of the sentence, it is written with hache. For example:
- He has gone to the cinema / I have gone to the cinema / They have gone to the cinema.
In this example, the correct thing is to write it with an ax because it is a verb and it goes before a participle, in addition, with our trick the sentence still has meaning. Quite the opposite happens with this other:
- I'm going to eat at the restaurant / I'm going to eat at the restaurant / I'm going to eat at the restaurant.
In this case, the correct thing to do is to write it without hache because it is a preposition and it goes before the infinitive, in addition, it cannot be replaced without altering the meaning of the sentence.
Ah is an interjection that conveys admiration, surprise or sorrow. For example:
- Ah, how sad.
- Ah, I know who you say.
- Ah! how beautiful.
I leave you some exercises for children to fill in the blanks and clarify ideas.
1. ... what time does the plane arrive?
2. Carlos .... late to the party.
3. Today we go .... climb the mountain.
4. There is ... ... a storm.
5. Tonight we go .... .... a movie to the cinema.
6. what a pretty doll.
7. When I go ... I will call you out.
8. Did ... Jaime call you on the phone?
9. Pablo .... written a beautiful story.
10. I'm going .... study because I have an exam.
11. Come on .... the hairdresser walking.
12. what a shame it was broken.
13. I'm going .... an exhibition at the Esteban Vicente museum.
14. They announce that there is going to ... an earthquake.
To finish, I leave you a phrase from Voltaire (1694-1778): 'Writing is the painting of the voice'.
You can read more articles similar to How to teach children to write a, ha and ah, in the On-site Learning category.