Quick answer
"Deber" is a transitive verb which is often translated as "to owe", and "leer" is a transitive verb which is often translated as "to read". Learn more about the difference between "deber" and "leer" below.
deber(
deh
-
behr
)
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (to reciprocate)
a. to owe
El dinero que me debe cubriría mis facturas.The money he owes me would cover my bills.
An auxiliary verb, or helper verb, is a conjugated verb that comes before a main verb and determines the main verb's tense, mood, or aspect (e.g. I have gone.).
2. (used to express obligation)
a. must (used with an infinitive)
Debo ser responsable.I must be responsible.
b. have to
Ya sabes que debes ponerte la corbata para ir al colegio.You know you have to wear your tie to go to school.
c. should
Los culpables de delitos viales deben ser sancionados.Traffic offenders should be punished.
d. ought to
Deberías ser más amable con los vecinos.You ought to be more polite with our neighbors.
3. (used to express possibility)
a. must (used with an infinitive)
¿Cuántos años tiene tu profesora de francés? - Debe tener unos cuarenta.How old is your French teacher? - She must be around forty.
A masculine noun is used with masculine articles and adjectives (e.g. el hombre guapo, el sol amarillo).
4. (responsibility)
a. duty
Es mi deber proteger mi país.It's my duty to protect my country.
b. obligation
Es tu deber como madre cuidar a tus hijos.It's your obligation as a mother to take care of your children.
deberes
A plural noun indicates that there is more than one person, place, thing, or idea.
plural noun
5. (education)
a. homework
Tengo un montón de deberes que hacer este fin de semana.I have a ton of homework to do this weekend.
deberse
A pronominal verb always uses a reflexive pronoun. (e.g. Te ves cansado.).
6. (to be the result of; used with "a")
a. to be due to
Esta situación se debe a la falta de información.This situation is due to a lack of information.
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leer(
leh
-
ehr
)
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (to look through)
a. to read
Deberías leer las obras completas de Shakespeare.You should read the complete works of Shakespeare.
2. (to guess the thoughts of)
a. to read
A ese jugador de póker es imposible leerle la cara.It's impossible to read that poker player's face.
3. (computing)
a. to read
Se produjo un error al leer el documento.An error occurred while reading the document.
4. (education)
a. to defend
Leyó su tesis doctoral frente a un panel de profesores.She defended her doctoral thesis in front of a panel of professors.
An intransitive verb is one that does not require a direct object (e.g. The man sneezed.).
5. (to look through text)
a. to read
Leo antes de acostarme para relajarme.I read before going to bed to relax.
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