Quick answer
"Decir" is a transitive verb which is often translated as "to say", and "llegar" is an intransitive verb which is often translated as "to arrive". Learn more about the difference between "decir" and "llegar" below.
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (to speak)
a. to say
¿Qué dijiste? No te escuché.What did you say? I couldn't hear you.
b. to tell
¿Jura decir la verdad?Do you swear to tell the truth?
2. (to give an opinion)
a. to say
¿Qué dices de la nueva ley de transporte?What do you say about the new law on transportation?
b. to think
¿Y qué dices tú del asunto?What do you think about the whole issue?
c. to believe
¿Quién hubiera dicho que Juliana y Gustavo acabarían juntos?Who would have believed that Juliana and Gustavo would end up together?
3. (to be rumored)
a. to say
Dicen que va a nevar mañana.They say it's going to snow tomorrow.
4. (to transmit orders)
a. to tell
Dile a tu hermano que haga sus tareas.Tell your brother to do his homework.
b. to say
Mamá dijo que nos teníamos que acostar.Mom said we had to go to sleep.
5. (to narrate)
a. to recite
Ahora voy a decir un poema nuevo que escribí sobre el amor perdido.Now I will recite a poem I wrote about lost love.
6. (to signify)
a. to tell
El que no lo interese planear la boda me dice que Jorge no está listo para casarse.The fact that he's not interested in planning the wedding tells me Jorge's not ready to get married.
7. (to be indicated in text)
a. to say
La Biblia dice que uno debe amar al prójimo.The Bible says we should love our neighbor.
8. (religious)
a. to say (mass)
Después de decir la homilía, el sacerdote reparte la comunión.After the priest says the homily, he hands out Communion.
9. (to invite to speak)
a. to go ahead
¿Le puedo pedir un favor? - ¡Claro! Dime, ¿en qué lo puedo ayudar?Can I ask a favor of you? - Of course! Go ahead, how can I help you?
An intransitive verb is one that does not require a direct object (e.g. The man sneezed.).
10. (used to answer the phone)
Regionalism used in Spain
a. hello (interjection)
A masculine noun is used with masculine articles and adjectives (e.g. el hombre guapo, el sol amarillo).
11. (proverb)
a. saying
"De tal palo, tal astilla" es un decir popular."Like father, like son" is a popular saying.
12. (form of expression)
a. manner of speaking
¡No te enfades, mujer! Es solo un decir.Come on, don't get annoyed! It's just a manner of speaking.
A reflexive verb is a verb that indicates that the subject performs an action on itself (e.g. Miguel se lava.).
13. (to promise oneself)
a. to tell oneself
Me dije que no volvería a empezar a fumar.I told myself that I wouldn't start smoking again.
b. to say to oneself
Me dije a mí misma, esto no sienta bien.I said to myself, this doesn't feel right.
c. to think to oneself
Me sigo diciendo, ¿qué hubiera pasado si hubiera aceptado ese trabajo?I keep thinking to myself, what would have happened had I taken that job?
A pronominal verb always uses a reflexive pronoun. (e.g. Te ves cansado.).
14. (to label)
a. to call
En Puerto Rico a la basura se le dice "zafacón".In Puerto Rico, the trash is called "zafacón."
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An intransitive verb is one that does not require a direct object (e.g. The man sneezed.).
1. (to reach a place; often used with "a")
a. to arrive
¿Sabes si ya llegó Miguel?Do you know if Miguel has arrived yet?
b. to get
Voy a llegar al restaurante un poco atrasado.I am going to get to the restaurant a little late.
2. (to be the time for)
a. to come
El fin de semana llegó rápido.The weekend came quickly.
b. to arrive
Este año el otoño ha sido lento en llegar.Autumn has been slow to arrive this year.
3. (to be sufficient)
a. to be enough
No me llega el sueldo, así que voy a pedir un aumento.My salary is not enough, so I'm going to ask for a raise.
4. (to extend; often used with "a")
a. to reach
¿Llegas al teléfono desde la cama?Can you reach the telephone from the bed?
5. (to get to; often used with "a")
a. to become
No llegarás a rico haciendo el vago.You won't become rich by slacking off.
b. to go
Con esa persistencia llegarás lejos.You'll go far with that persistence.
c. to make it
Mi sueño es llegar a los cien años.My dream is to make it to a hundred.
d. to come to
Con la información provista, demuestra cómo llegaste a tu conclusión.With the information provided, please show how you came to your conclusion.
6. (to total; used with "a")
a. to reach
El precio del barril de Brent llegó a los 100 dólares.The price of a barrel of Brent reached 100 dollars.
7. (to extend; used with "a" or "hasta")
a. to stretch
Nuestras tierras llegan hasta el río.Our lands stretch to the river.
8. (to get to a place; used with "a")
a. to come to
Obama llegó a la Casa Blanca a principios de 2009.Obama came to the White House at the beginning of 2009.
9. (to be able to; used with "a" and the infinitive)
a. to manage to
¿Llegaste a ver el eclipse?Did you manage to see the eclipse?
10. (used to indicate distance or level; used with "a" or "hasta")
a. to come up to
Después del aguacero, el agua me llegaba a la rodilla.The water came up to my knees after the downpour.
b. to reach
No llego a la bombilla para cambiarla.I can't reach the bulb to change it.
c. to touch
No me gustan las faldas que llegan hasta el piso.I don't like skirts that touch the floor.
11. (road or route; used with "a" or "hasta")
a. to go as far as
El Camino de Santiago llega hasta el extremo oeste de España.The Camino de Santiago goes as far as the far west of Spain.
b. to go to
Esta ruta no llega al mar.This route doesn't go to the sea.
12. (to hold up)
a. to last
Ojalá estas llantas me lleguen otras cien mil millas.Hopefully, these tires will last me another hundred thousand miles.
13. (to amount to; used with "a")
a. to come to
Esperemos que no llegue a eso.Let's hope it doesn't come to that.
b. to reach
Un jumbo puede llegar a una velocidad de 614 millas por hora.A jumbo jet can reach speeds of 614 miles per hour.
c. to be
Los arreglos a una bicicleta pueden llegar a más de mil dólares.Repairs to bicycles can be as much as a thousand dollars.
14. (in conditional phrases; used with "a")
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
Si llego a saber que tendrían nuevos episodios, no hubiera cancelado mi membresía.Had I known that they were going to have new episodes, I never would have cancelled my membership.
Si llegaras a ir al restaurante, tienes que probar la tarta de fresa.If you end up going to the restaurant, you must try the strawberry tart.
A pronominal verb always uses a reflexive pronoun. (e.g. Te ves cansado.).
15. (to pay a visit to; used with "a")
a. to go over to
Llégate a casa de Rosa y pídele una taza de azúcar.Go over to Rosa's house and ask her for a cup of sugar.
b. to go round to (United Kingdom)
Llégate a la tienda y cómprame leche, por favor.Go round to the shop and buy me some milk, please.
16. (to approach; used with "a")
a. to go up to
Me llegué a ella y le pedí un autógrafo.I went up to her and asked her for an autograph.
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