Quick answer
"Choose" is an intransitive verb which is often translated as "escoger", and "pick up" is a transitive verb phrase which is often translated as "recoger". Learn more about the difference between "choose" and "pick up" below.
choose(
chuz
)
An intransitive verb is one that does not require a direct object (e.g. The man sneezed.).
1. (to make a selection)
a. escoger
You have to choose between the two job offers.Tienes que escoger entre las dos ofertas de trabajo.
b. elegir
There are many options to choose from.Hay muchas opciones entre las que elegir.
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
2. (to select)
a. elegir
I chose the red dress for my big night.Elegí el vestido rojo para mi gran noche.
b. escoger
Choose whatever you prefer, it's on the house.Escoja lo que prefiera, invita la casa.
3. (to decide to; used with "to")
a. decidir
We could have moved to New York, but we chose to stay here.Podríamos habernos ido a vivir a Nueva York, pero decidimos quedarnos aquí.
b. optar por
I chose to be self-employed instead of working for a firm.Opté por trabajar por mi cuenta en lugar de trabajar para una empresa.
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pick up(
pihk
 
uhp
)
A transitive verb phrase is a phrase that combines a verb with a preposition or other particle and requires a direct object (e.g. Take out the trash.).
transitive verb phrase
1. (to collect)
a. recoger
Can you pick up your suit from the dry cleaner?¿Puedes recoger tu traje de la tintorería?
I'll pick Mom up from the airport.Yo recojo a mamá del aeropuerto.
2. (to take from the floor)
a. recoger
Pick up your litter!¡Recoge la basura!
b. levantar
She picked the chair up off the floor.Levantó la silla del suelo.
3. (to answer)
a. contestar
I never pick up the phone before 7 am.Nunca contesto el teléfono antes de las 7 am.
b. coger
Pick up the phone, will you?¡Vamos, coge el teléfono!
4. (to learn)
a. aprender
My sister picks up languages very easily.Mi hermana aprende idiomas muy fácilmente.
b. agarrar
Regionalism used in Latin America: all the countries in South America, Central America, and the Caribbean. Does not include Spain.
(Latin America)
It was easy for her to pick up knitting.Le fue fácil agarrar el tejido.
c. coger
She picked up the native accent immediately.Cogió el acento nativo enseguida.
5. (to arrest)
a. detener
The thief was hiding nearby until the police came and picked him up.El ladrón estaba escondiendo por aquí cerca hasta que vino la policía y lo detuvo.
b. agarrar
After a massive search, they finally picked up the criminals.Tras una búsqueda exhaustiva, finalmente agarraron a los criminales.
6. (telecomunications)
a. recibir
The radio isn't picking up a signal.Mi radio no recibe una señal.
b. agarrar
Regionalism used in Latin America: all the countries in South America, Central America, and the Caribbean. Does not include Spain.
(Latin America)
My computer doesn't pick up your wifi.My computadora no agarra tu red inalámbrica.
c. coger
In this area my phone doesn't pick up the signal.En esta zona mi móvil no coge la señal.
7. (to restart)
a. retomar
Can we pick up the conversation where we left off?¿Podemos retomar la conversación donde nos quedamos?
8. (illness)
a. pillar
You're more likely to pick up that disease in hot places.Es más probable que pilles la enfermedad en lugares calurosos.
9. (to understand)
a. captar
I didn't pick up the hint.No capté la indirecta.
10.
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(colloquial)
(to seduce)
a. ligar con
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(colloquial)
He picked up a girl at the bar last night.Ligó con una chica en el bar anoche.
An intransitive verb phrase is a phrase that combines a verb with a preposition or other particle and does not require a direct object (e.g. Everybody please stand up.).
intransitive verb phrase
11. (to improve)
a. mejorar
Things at home are finally picking up.Por fin las cosas están mejorando en casa.
b. recuperarse
Sales are picking up.Las ventas se van recuperando.
12. (to strengthen)
a. levantarse
The wind's picking up; it's going to be a rough crossing.El viento se levanta; la travesía será dura.
13. (telecommunications)
a. contestar
I tried ringing my aunt several times, but she didn't pick up.Traté varias veces de llamar a mi tía, pero no contestó.
14. (to continue)
a. continuar
I found it impossible to pick up where I was before the interruption; I was too upset.Me fue imposible continuar por donde iba antes de la interrupción; estaba muy alterado.
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