Quick answer
"Clean" is a transitive verb which is often translated as "limpiar", and "clean up" is a transitive verb phrase which is also often translated as "limpiar". Learn more about the difference between "clean" and "clean up" below.
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (to wash)
a. limpiar
I usually clean my house on Saturday.Suelo limpiar la casa los sábados.
b. lavar
You should clean the fruit before eating it.Deberías lavar la fruta antes de comerla.
c. borrar
Clean the chalkboard with a wet wipe.Borra la pizarra con una bayeta mojada.
An adjective is a word that describes a noun (e.g. the big dog).
2. (not dirty)
a. limpio
I gave my son a clean T-shirt after the game.Le di a mi hijo una camiseta limpia después del partido.
3. (pure)
a. limpio
The water from the stream may seem clean enough to the eye, but it is not drinkable.El agua del arroyo puede parecer limpia a simple vista, pero no es potable.
b. puro
I love the clean air of the mountains.Me encanta el aire puro de las montañas.
c. refrescante
The clean taste of the lemon juice brings out all the other flavors of the salad.El sabor refrescante del jugo de limón hace resaltar todos los demás sabores de la ensalada.
d. no contaminante
We should use clean energy to protect the environment.Deberíamos utilizar energía no contaminante para proteger el medioambiente.
4. (not indecent)
a. decente
No swearwords, only clean language is allowed during our meetings.Ningún taco, solo se permite lenguaje decente en nuestras reuniones.
b. inocente
We should only crack clean jokes when children are around.Solo deberíamos contar chistes inocentes cuando anden los niños por aquí.
5. (even)
a. nítido
The clean strokes are constant in the artist's work.Los trazos nítidos son una constante en la obra del artista.
b. bien definido
The boundaries must be clean to avoid any confusion.Los límites deben estar bien definidos para evitar toda confusión.
6. (untarnished)
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
He avoided the prison sentence because his criminal record was clean.Evitó la pena de cárcel porque no tenía antecedentes penales.
My son is a great student and has a clean reputation.Mi hijo es gran estudiante y tiene una reputación impecable.
7. (religious)
a. puro
According to some religions, the pig is not a clean animal.Según algunas religiones, el cerdo no es un animal puro.
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(not possessing or doing anything illegal)
a. limpio
After a month in rehab, he was clean.Tras un mes desintoxicándose, estaba limpio.
9. (without interferences)
a. sin problemas
It was a clean operation and everything went as expected.Fue una operación sin problemas y todo ocurrió como estaba previsto.
An adverb is a word that describes a verb, an adjective, or other adverbs (e.g. to run quickly, very tired).
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
a. por completo
She clean forgot her appointment with the doctor.Se le olvidó por completo su cita con el médico.
11. (fairly)
a. limpio
This team always plays clean.Este equipo siempre juega limpio.
A noun is a word referring to a person, animal, place, thing, feeling or idea (e.g. man, dog, house).
12. (act of cleaning)
a. la limpieza
(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).
Give the bathroom a good clean with bleach.Dale una buena limpieza al baño con lejía.
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clean up(
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 straighten up)
a. limpiar
You'd better clean up this mess before your father gets home.Tienes que limpiar este lío antes de que llegue tu papá.
2. (to purge)
a. limpiar
Ismael was elected on his promise to clean up city hall.Ismael fue elegido por su promesa de limpiar el ayuntamiento.
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
3. (to tidy up)
a. limpiar
Cleaning up after a party is the worst job ever!Limpiar después de una fiesta es la peor de las tareas.
4. (to make a huge profit)
a. barrer con todo
Juan Manuel cleaned up in the contest. He took away $25 million dollars.Juan Manuel barrió con todo en el concurso. Se llevó $25 millones de dólares.
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