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Quick answer
"Dar las gracias" is a transitive verb phrase which is often translated as "to thank", and "agradecer" is a transitive verb which is also often translated as "to thank". Learn more about the difference between "dar las gracias" and "agradecer" below.
dar las gracias(
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. (used with "a")
a. to thank
Quiero dar las gracias a todos quienes hicieron posible este evento.I want to thank everyone who has made this event possible.
b. to say thanks
Me gustaría dar las gracias a mi familia, por su inmensa paciencia y apoyo.I'd like to say thanks to my family, for their infinite patience and support.
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
2. (general)
a. to say thanks
No es fácil enseñarles a los niños a dar las gracias.Teaching your kids to say thanks is not easy.
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A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (to show gratitude)
a. to thank
Solo quería agradecerte por todo lo que has hecho por nosotros.I just wanted to thank you for everything you've done for us.
Hay que mandarle una tarjeta a tu abuela para agradecerle por el regalo que nos mandó.We need to send your grandmother a card to thank her for the present she sent us.
2. (to feel gratitude)
a. to be grateful
Agradecemos que nos hayan dado esta tremenda oportunidad.We're grateful to be given this tremendous opportunity.
A pronominal verb always uses a reflexive pronoun. (e.g. Te ves cansado.).
3. (to be pleasant)
a. to be welcome
El sol siempre se agradece tras muchos días de lluvia.The sun is always welcome after many days of rain.
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