Commonly Confused Verbs

Wednesday, August 8 : Miercoles, 8 de Agosto

Buenos Dias ,

We have had several requests for some clarification on certain verbs, so I am going to take the time in this letter to explain three of them that are commonly confused.

Preguntar vs. Pedir

Preguntar means to ask a question or ask for information. Always use a person as the object for this verb, since you can only ask people for information. This verb always takes an indirect object pronoun because we “ask of someone”.

Necesito preguntarle a mi esposo. = I need to ask my husband.

Le pregunté a José. = I asked Jose.

Él me preguntó. = He asked me.

Pedir means to ask for something. It comes from petition. Always request something with this verb. This verb always takes a direct object pronoun because we “ask for something”.

Necesito pedir la cuenta. = I need to ask for the bill.

Pedí el postre. = I asked for the dessert.

Ya pedí. = I already ordered.

Preguntar = To ask someone.

Pedir = To request something.

Conocer vs. Saber

Conocer means to know or be acquainted with a person or a place. It can also translate as to meet someone.

Conozco a José. = I know Jose.

Conocí a José el año pasado. = I met Jose last year.

Mucho gusto en conocerle. = Much pleasure in meeting you. (The le here is a use of leismo.)

Saber means to know information. It can also translate as to find out something.

Yo no sé. = I don´t know.

Sé la dirección. = I know the address.

Supe anoche. = I found out last night.

Necesito saber la verdad. = I need to know the truth.

Conocer = to know or be acquanted with a person or place or to meet someone.

Saber = to know or find our information.

Salir vs. Dejar

Salir means to leave or go out.

Necesito salir mañana. = I need to leave tomorrow.

María sale con José. = Maria goes out with Jose.

José salió ayer. = Jose left yesterday.

Dejar means to leave something or someone behind or to quit something.

Necesito dejar me maleta aquí. = I need to leave my suitcase here.

Dejé mi niño en la escuela. = I left my child at the school.

Dejé mi departamento. = I vacated my apartment.

Dejé mi trabajo. = I quit my job.

Dejar de = to quit an activity. The “de” is always followed by an infinitive and the infinitive will translate as “ing.”

Dejé de fumar. = I quit smoking.

Salir = to leave or go out.

Dejar = to leave something or someone behind or quit doing something.

Salud y abrazos,


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