Quick answer
"Decir" is a transitive verb which is often translated as "to say", and "poder" is an auxiliary verb which is often translated as "to be able to". Learn more about the difference between "decir" and "poder" 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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poder(
poh
-
dehr
)
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.).
1. (used to indicate capability)
a. can
Mi novia puede bailar salsa.My girlfriend can dance the salsa.
b. to be able to
Necesito mis gafas para poder ver.I need my glasses to be able to see.
2. (used to ask for something or permission)
a. can
¿Me puedes pasar ese lápiz?Can you pass me that pencil?
¿Podría ver un menú, por favor?Could I see a menu, please?
b. may
¿Puedo usar el baño?May I use the bathroom?
c. to be allowed to
¿Podemos traer alcohol al concierto?Are we allowed to bring alcohol to the concert?
3. (to be possible)
a. may
Puede que Aurora haya pensado que nos encontraríamos en el cine.Aurora may have thought we were going to meet at the movies.
b. can
No se puede fumar en la sala.You cannot smoke inside the theater.
4. (used to indicate moral obligation)
a. can
No podemos rechazar a los refugiados de la guerra.We cannot turn away war refugees.
5. (in reproaches)
a. can
¿Cómo podrías decirme cosas tan crueles?How could you say such cruel things to me?
b. may
Podrías haberme dicho que tu hermana se quedaría con nosotros.You might have told me your sister was going to stay with us.
6. (in suggestions)
a. can
No sé si comer una sopa o un sándwich. - Podrías pedir el combo que trae mitad de un sándwich y una sopa.I don't know if I should have soup or a sandwich. - You could get the half-sandwich and soup combo.
b. may
Podrías llamar de nuevo al hotel a ver si tienen tu bufanda.You may want to call the hotel again to see if they found your scarf.
An intransitive verb is one that does not require a direct object (e.g. The man sneezed.).
7. (to tolerate; used with "con")
a. to stand
No puedo más con mi jefe.I can't stand my boss.
b. to put up with
No puedo más contigo. Me estás volviendo loca.I can't put up with you any longer. You're driving me crazy.
8. (to be capable of; used with "con")
a. to manage
Él no puede con tanto trabajo.He can't manage so much work.
9. (to hurt)
Regionalism used in Mexico
(Mexico)
a. to upset
Me pudo mucho lo que me dijiste.What you said really upset me.
An impersonal verb is a verb with no apparent subject (e.g. Llueve en España.).
10. (used to indicate possibility)
a. may
Puede que no venga a la fiesta.He may not come to the party.
A masculine noun is used with masculine articles and adjectives (e.g. el hombre guapo, el sol amarillo).
11. (ability)
a. power
Mi hermanita cree que tiene poderes mágicos.My little sister thinks she has magic powers.
12. (control)
a. power
Él tiene todo el poder en esa relación.He has all the power in that relationship.
b. influence
Ella es la que tiene todo el poder, así que mejor habla con ella.She's the one with all the influence, so you'd better talk to her.
13. (political)
a. power
El poder del presidente incluye vetar cualquier legislación pasada por el Congreso.Among the president's powers is the ability to veto any legislation passed by Congress.
14. (in someone's care)
a. possession
Tengo en mi poder un certificado que prueba la autenticidad de la pintura.I have in my possession a letter that proves the painting's authenticity.
15. (mechanical)
a. power
¿Cuánto poder tiene el motor de este carro?How much power does this car's engine have?
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
16.
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(colloquial)
(to defeat)
a. to beat
¡Vamos! ¡Tú le puedes!Come on! You can beat him!
b. to be stronger than
El forzudo retó a cualquiera a ver si le pueden.The strongman challenged anyone to prove they're stronger than him.
poderes
A plural noun indicates that there is more than one person, place, thing, or idea.
plural noun
17. (legal authority)
a. powers
A Daniel le confirieron los poderes para gestionar la empresa tras la muerte de su padre.After the death of his father, all the business' powers were passed to Daniel.
b. authority
El comité no tiene los poderes para confirmar el nombramiento.The committee doesn't have the authority to confirm the appointment.
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