Quick answer
"Complain" is an intransitive verb which is often translated as "quejarse", and "explain" is a transitive verb which is often translated as "explicar". Learn more about the difference between "complain" and "explain" below.
complain(
kuhm
-
pleyn
)
An intransitive verb is one that does not require a direct object (e.g. The man sneezed.).
1. (to grumble)
a. quejarse
Pessimists complain about everything.Los pesimistas se quejan de todo.
b. protestar
Stop complaining and do something!¡Deja de protestar y haz algo!
2. (to make a complaint)
a. reclamar
Clients were continuously complaining to the manager.Los clientes reclamaban continuamente al encargado.
b. presentar una reclamación
You need to complain in writing.Tienes que presentar una reclamación por escrito.
c. elevar una queja
The attorney complained to the judge.El abogado elevó una queja al juez.
3. (medicine)
a. quejarse
He complained of back pain.Se quejaba de dolor de espalda.
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
4. (to grumble about)
a. quejarse
She complained that nobody ever called her.Se quejó de que nadie la llamaba nunca.
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explain(
ehk
-
spleyn
)
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (to make clear)
a. explicar
Please explain to me the reasoning behind your argument.Por favor, explícame el razonamiento detrás de tu argumento.
b. aclarar
I don't understand this concept. Could you explain it to me?No entiendo este concepto. ¿Me lo podrías aclarar?
2. (to be the cause of)
a. explicar
Is there any traumatic experience from his past that explains his reaction?¿Existe alguna experiencia traumática de su pasado que explica su reacción?
b. justificar
Her upbringing explains her rebellious behavior.Su crianza justifica su comportamiento rebelde.
An intransitive verb is one that does not require a direct object (e.g. The man sneezed.).
3. (to make clear)
a. explicar
I know you're angry, but if you would just let me explain you'd understand everything.Sé que estás enojada, pero si me dejarías explicar entenderías todo.
A pronominal verb always uses a reflexive pronoun. (e.g. Te ves cansado.).
4. (to make oneself clear)
a. explicarse
If you allow me to explain myself, you'll see that I'm innocent.Si permites que me explique, verás que soy inocente.
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