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Quick answer
"Burn" is a transitive verb which is often translated as "quemar", and "sear" is a transitive verb which is often translated as "chamuscar". Learn more about the difference between "burn" and "sear" below.
burn(
buhrn
)
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (to set on fire)
a. quemar
He made a fire and burned all her letters.Hizo una hoguera y quemó todas sus cartas.
b. incendiar
They burned our houses and there was nothing we could do to stop them.Incendiaron nuestras casas y no pudimos hacer nada para evitarlo.
c. reducir
The fire burned the church to ashes.El fuego redujo la iglesia a cenizas.
2. (to scorch or to scald)
a. quemar
I burned my feet on the sand.Me quemé los pies en la arena.
b. abrasar (the sun)
Water the plants late in the evening; otherwise the sun burns them.Riega las plantas casi entrada la noche; si no, el sol las abrasa.
c. escaldar (liquid)
The soup was so hot it burned my tongue.La sopa estaba tan caliente que me escaldó la lengua.
3. (to overcook)
a. quemarse
I got distracted and burned the potatoes.Me distraje y se me quemaron las patatas.
4. (to consume)
a. consumir
I must have burned 100 calories running.He debido de consumir 100 calorías corriendo.
b. funcionar con
The cooker burns gas.La cocina funciona con gas.
5. (to record on a CD or DVD)
a. grabar
I'm going to burn a CD with my summer photos.Voy a grabar un CD con mis fotos del verano.
An intransitive verb is one that does not require a direct object (e.g. The man sneezed.).
6. (to be on fire)
a. arder
The theater is burning!¡El cine está ardiendo!
b. quemarse
It smells as if something is burning.Huele como si algo se quemara.
7. (to be very hot)
a. arder
Be very careful, the plate is burning!¡Ten mucho cuidado, el plato está ardiendo!
8. (to get sunburned)
a. quemarse
Put some cream on or you'll burn.Ponte crema o te quemarás.
9. (to get overcooked)
a. quemarse
That looks to me like the pie burned.A mí me parece que el pastel se ha quemado.
10. (to be illuminated)
a. estar encendido
The lights are burning in the Christmas tree.Las luces del árbol de Navidad están encendidas.
b. estar prendido
Regionalism used in Latin America: all the countries in South America, Central America, and the Caribbean. Does not include Spain.
(Latin America)
The lights are burning although there is nobody at home.Las luces están prendidas aunque no hay nadie en casa.
11. (to sting)
a. escocer
My eyes burn when I open them in the ocean.Me escuecen los ojos cuando los abro debajo del mar.
b. arder
My throat was burning when I woke up.Al despertarme me ardía la garganta.
12. (to be consumed by)
a. arder
She was burning with desire.Ardía de deseo.
b. consumir
She was burning with hatred.La consumía el odio.
A noun is a word referring to a person, animal, place, thing, feeling or idea (e.g. man, dog, house).
13. (medicine)
a. la quemadura
(f) means that a noun is feminine. Spanish nouns have a gender, which is either feminine (like la mujer or la luna) or masculine (like el hombre or el sol).
The burn is healing slowly.La quemadura se va curando poco a poco.
14. (mark on a surface)
a. la quemadura
(f) means that a noun is feminine. Spanish nouns have a gender, which is either feminine (like la mujer or la luna) or masculine (like el hombre or el sol).
A cigarette fell and now there is a burn in my carpet.Se cayó un cigarrilllo y ahora hay una quemadura en la alfombra.
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sear
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (to scorch)
a. chamuscar
The boiler exploded and the flames seared my nose and hands.El boiler explotó y las llamas me chamuscaron la nariz y las manos.
b. quemar
The hot iron had seared his hand, causing thick, red welts to appear.La plancha caliente le había quemado la mano hasta producirle verdugones rojos gruesos.
c. abrasar
The flames seared my face as I tried to escape the building.Las llamas me abrasaron la cara cuando trataba de escapar del edificio.
2. (culinary)
a. dorar a fuego vivo
Cut the meat into cubes and sear it in batches to seal in the juices.Corta la carne en cubos y dórala por tandas para sellarla y conservar el jugo.
b. sellar
You need to sear the meat before cooking.Hay que sellar la carne antes de cocinarla.
3.
A word or phrase that is seldom used in contemporary language and is recognized as being from another decade, (e.g. cat, groovy).
(old-fashioned)
(medicine)
a. cauterizar
The surgeon seared the stump of the amputated leg.El cirujano cauterizó el muñón de la pierna amputada.
4. (to wither)
a. secar
The hard frost had seared the crops.La helada severa había secado los cultivos.
An intransitive verb is one that does not require a direct object (e.g. The man sneezed.).
5. (to experience a sudden pain)
a. atrevesar
He stopped abruptly as a terrible pain seared through his chest.Se detuvo en seco cuando un dolor tremendo le atravesó el pecho.
b. recorrer
Pain seared across her skin, and she teared up.Un dolor ardiente recorrió su piel, y le brotaron lágrimas.
A noun is a word referring to a person, animal, place, thing, feeling or idea (e.g. man, dog, house).
6. (culinary)
a. el sellado
(m) means that a noun is masculine. Spanish nouns have a gender, which is either feminine (like la mujer or la luna) or masculine (like el hombre or el sol).
For a good sear, you need a really hot pan.Para conseguir un buen sellado, hace falta una buena sartén.
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