Quick answer
"Clinging" is an adjective which is often translated as "pegajoso", and "cling" is an intransitive verb which is often translated as "pegarse". Learn more about the difference between "clinging" and "cling" below.
An adjective is a word that describes a noun (e.g. the big dog).
1. (too dependent)
a. pegajoso
Jessica was very clinging until she started school.Jessica era muy pegajosa hasta que empezó a ir a la escuela.
b. dependiente
As soon as I discovered this guy was the clinging type, I ditched him.En cuanto me di cuenta de que este tipo era de los dependientes, lo planté.
2. (closely fitting)
a. ceñido
The dancers were all clad in clinging silver lamé costumes.Todos los bailarines estaban vestidos con trajes ceñidos de lamé plateado.
b. ajustado
The clinging sweater she was wearing showed off her curves.El suéter ajustado que tenía puesto realzaba sus curvas.
3. (that does not dissipate)
a. tenaz
The smell of boiled cauliflower is particularly clinging.El olor a coliflor hervido es particularmente tenaz.
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An intransitive verb is one that does not require a direct object (e.g. The man sneezed.).
1. (to stick; often used with "to")
a. pegarse
My clothes cling to my skin when I take them out of the dryer.La ropa se me pega a la piel cuando la saco de la secadora.
b. adherirse
I took my black sweater out of the dryer to find that white lint had clung to it.Saqué el suéter negro de la secadora y encontré que la pelusa blanca se le había adherido.
2. (to linger; used with "to")
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
The smell of formaldehyde clung to her skin weeks after her last day working in the morgue.Su piel seguía impregnada del olor a formol semanas después de su último día de trabajo en la morgue.
The smell of smoke clung to my clothes after leaving the nightclub.Mi ropa quedó impregnada de olor a humo después de salir de la discoteca.
3. (to hold tightly; used with "to")
a. aferrarse a
Eric clung to his father as they walked through the crowd at the market.Eric se aferró a su papá mientras caminaban entre la multitud en el mercado.
b. no separarse de
Fernanda clings to her mother when they meet new people.Fernanda no se separa de su mamá cuando conocen a gente nueva.
A phrase used as a figure of speech or a word that is symbolic in meaning; metaphorical (e.g. carrot, bean).
(to hold tightly; used with "to")
a. aferrarse a
Despite all evidence to the contrary, she continues to cling to her son's innocence.A pesar de todas las pruebas demostrando lo contrario, continúa aferrándose a la inocencia de su hijo.
5. (to be emotionally attached; often used with "to")
a. pegarse a
Lisa has been clinging to her older sister all her life and cannot bear to see her go away to college.Lisa se ha pegado mucho a su hermana mayor y no puede soportar ver que se vaya a la universidad.
b. agarrarse de
Stop clinging so much to your boyfriend; he is going to feel suffocated.Deja de agarrarte tanto de tu novio; se va a sentir sofocado.
c. aferrarse a
Jake's friends tease him because of how much he clings to his girlfriend.Los amigos de Jake se burlan de él debido a lo mucho que se aferra a su novia.
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