Cruzar versus Atravesar

0
votes

Hello,

I was wondering whether there was a difference between the verbs Cruzar and Atravesar and which is more commonly used.

Thanks.

9126 views
updated SEP 3, 2009
posted by Mark-Baker
Cruzar la calle. Atravesar el puente.
Cross the street or road. Go over the bridge.

3 Answers

0
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Although they can be exchanged in many contexts, "cruzar" implies a "cross", like two sticks at right angles, if you think of it ("to cross" has the same roots). So, its original meaning implied to go through something long in a straight line, so your path and the thing you go through form a cross, more or less, like a street. It is also used for fields or flat extensions when you go from one end to the other. That's why we don't say "Cruzando tiempos difíciles", "La bala cruzó el pecho", but you can say "cruzar la isla/el desierto/...". It has some other meanings, of course, and its pronominal counterpart ("cruzarse") is used when things or people go in different directions.

"Atravesar" (from "a través") means to go through, going from one end to the other, often from within, and including non-material things, such as circumstances, relationships, periods of time,... You cannot say, for example, "atravesarte en mi vida".

updated JUN 28, 2009
posted by lazarus1907
0
votes

Here some example phrases:

Hay que tener cuidado al cruzar la calle.
Cruzar la frontera/ la cordillera/un río.
Cristobal Colón cruzó el Atlántico.
Voy a cruzar a mi perro con la perra de Jaime.
Iba a toda velocidad y se me atravesó un perro.
¿Porqué tenías que cruzarte en mi vida?

Estamos atravesando por tiempos difíciles.
Los manifestantes atravesaron troncos en la vía.
La bala le atravesó el pecho.
Tuve que atravesar la casa.
Tuvimos que atravesar la isla.
Atravesar el desierto/mar.

Well, in some situations both are equivalent.

updated JUN 27, 2009
posted by Pablo_
0
votes

Hello,

I was wondering whether there was a difference between the verbs Cruzar and Atravesar and which is more commonly used.

Thanks.

Well, whilst they both mean to cross, they can also have other meanings

Atravesar - To put across - Atravesamos un tronco en el camino - We put a tree trunk across the road.

Cruzar - to exchange - no cruzaron ni una palabra - They didn't exchange a single word.

These may well be interchangeable but it looks like we have to learn the different meanings if they are not.

updated JUN 27, 2009
posted by Eddy