Quick answer
"Clear up" is an intransitive verb phrase which is often translated as "despejarse", and "clean up" is a transitive verb phrase which is often translated as "limpiar". Learn more about the difference between "clear up" and "clean up" below.
clear up
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
1. (to improve)
a. despejarse
It rained all night and all morning and finally cleared up in the afternoon.Llovió toda la noche y la mañana y por fin se despejó en la tarde.
2. (to tidy up) (United Kingdom)
a. ordenar
Frank, go help your sister clear up in the kitchen.Frank, ve a ayudarle a tu hermana a ordenar la cocina.
3. (to get better)
a. mejorarse
My cold cleared up after a good hot shower.Mi resfriado se mejoró después de una buena ducha caliente.
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
4. (to tidy up) (United Kingdom)
a. ordenar
You have to clear up this mess before you can go out and play.Tienes que ordenar este lío antes de salir a jugar.
5. (to heal)
a. mejorar
This cream will clear up your wound.Esta crema mejorará tu herida.
6. (to resolve)
a. resolver
The detective cleared up the mystery.La detective resolvió el misterio.
b. aclarar
Please, clear this up for me - I can't see what you meant.Por favor, aclárame esto: no entiendo qué quisiste decir.
c. esclarecer
When Rodney watched the video, it cleared up the confusion he'd had.Cuando Rodney vio el video, esclareció la confusión que había tenido.
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clean up(
klin
 
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 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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