Quick answer
"Darle de comer" is an intransitive verb phrase which is often translated as "to feed", and "alimentar" is a transitive verb which is also often translated as "to feed". Learn more about the difference between "darle de comer" and "alimentar" below.
darle de comer(
dahr
-
leh
 
deh
 
koh
-
mehr
)
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. (general)
a. to feed
A un pajarito, puedes darle de comer con una jeringuilla.You can feed a baby bird with a syringe.
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alimentar(
ah
-
lee
-
mehn
-
tahr
)
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (to give food)
a. to feed
¿Alimentaste al bebé?Did you feed the baby?
2. (to give nutrition)
a. to nourish
Nuestro champú nuevo alimentará tu cabello.Our new shampoo will nourish your hair.
3. (to feed)
a. to fire (figurative)
La lectura alimenta la imaginación.Reading fires the imagination.
b. to fuel (figurative)
Ver el documental alimentó su deseo de ayudar a los animales maltratados.Seeing the documentary fueled her desire to help mistreated animals.
4. (to give fuel to)
a. to feed
Sigue alimentado el motor o el tren se detendrá.Keep feeding the engine or the train will stop.
alimentarse
A pronominal verb always uses a reflexive pronoun. (e.g. Te ves cansado.).
5. (to eat)
a. to feed on
Muchos murciélagos se alimentan de frutas.Many bats feed on fruit.
b. to eat
¿De qué te alimentas cuando estás en el bosque?What do you eat when you're in the forest?
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