Quick answer
"Decorar" is a transitive verb which is often translated as "to decorate", and "preparar" is a transitive verb which is often translated as "to prepare". Learn more about the difference between "decorar" and "preparar" below.
decorar(
deh
-
koh
-
rahr
)
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (to adorn)
a. to decorate
Me gustaría decorar la sala de estar con más pinturas.I would like to decorate the living room with more paintings.
Vamos a decorar el altar con flores, fotos y la comida preferida del difunto.We're going to decorate the altar with flowers, pictures, and the deceased's favorite food.
b. to dress (a store window)
Siempre decoran el escaparate de los grandes almacenes para la Navidad.They always dress the store window of the department store for Christmas.
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preparar(
preh
-
pah
-
rahr
)
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (to organize)
a. to prepare
Prepara las cosas para ir mañana al colegio.Prepare your things for school tomorrow.
2. (to be ready)
a. to prepare
Nunca estamos preparados para la vida.We are never prepared for life.
3. (to make)
a. to prepare
Estoy preparando una gran fiesta para tu regreso.I'm preparing a big party for your return.
prepararse
A pronominal verb always uses a reflexive pronoun. (e.g. Te ves cansado.).
4. (to study)
a. to prepare
Me he estado preparando para un examen.I've been preparing for an exam.
A reflexive verb is a verb that indicates that the subject performs an action on itself (e.g. Miguel se lava.).
5. (to groom)
a. to get ready
Me estoy preparando para la fiesta de esta noche.I'm getting ready for a party tonight.
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