Quick answer
"Decir" is a transitive verb which is often translated as "to say", and "oír" is a transitive verb which is often translated as "to hear". Learn more about the difference between "decir" and "oír" below.
decir(
deh
-
seer
)
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
(Spain)
a. hello (interjection)
¿Diga?Hello!
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.
decirse
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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oír(
oh
-
eer
)
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (to perceive with the ear)
a. to hear
Las paredes son tan finas que oigo a los vecinos hablar.The walls are so thin I can hear the neighbors talking.
2. (to actively hear)
a. to listen to
Se pasa las tardes oyendo música.He spends all afternoon listening to music.
3. (to be informed of)
a. to hear
Oí la noticia del motín en la radio.I heard the news of the riot on the radio.
4. (to pay attention to)
a. to hear
Me quejé a mucha gente, pero nadie quiso oírme.I complained to many people, but nobody wanted to hear me.
5. (to understand)
a. to get
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(colloquial)
“No lo vuelvas a hacer, ¿me oyes?” dijo el maestro."Don't do it again, got it?" said the teacher.
oírse
A pronominal verb always uses a reflexive pronoun. (e.g. Te ves cansado.).
6.
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(colloquial)
(to perceive sounds)
a. to sound
¿Qué tal se oye ahí atrás?How does it sound back there?
b. to hear
No se oía nada por el ruido del avión.Nothing could be heard over the noise of the airplane.
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