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Quick answer
"Derribar" is a transitive verb which is often translated as "to demolish", and "abatir" is a transitive verb which is often translated as "to shoot down". Learn more about the difference between "derribar" and "abatir" below.
derribar(
deh
-
rree
-
bahr
)
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (to destroy)
a. to demolish
El año pasado decidieron derribar el hospital antiguo.Last year they decided to demolish the former hospital.
2. (boxing)
a. to knock down
El boxeador fue derribado fácilmente.The boxer was knocked down very easily.
3. (to shoot down)
a. to bring down
Las fuerzas enemigas derribaron el avión.The plane was brought down by the enemy aircraft.
4. (to depose)
a. to overthrow
No hay manera de derribar el gobierno actual.There is no way to overthrow the current government.
5. (to make fall down)
a. to make collapse
El golpe en la rodilla me derribó.The blow to my knee made me collapse.
6. (to fell)
a. to cut down
Se están derribando centenares de árboles.Hundreds of trees are being cut down.
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abatir(
ah
-
bah
-
teer
)
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (to down)
a. to shoot down
Las baterías antiaéreas abatieron al caza.The anti-aircraft guns shot down the fighter.
b. to bring down
El Spitfire abatió dos bombarderos alemanes.The Spitfire brought down two German bombers.
2. (to knock to the ground)
a. to knock down (construction)
La casa fue abatida con una bola de demolición.The house was knocked down with a demolition ball.
b. to demolish (construction)
El viejo edificio fue abatido con explosivos.The old building was demolished with explosives.
c. to take down (a tent)
Los boy scouts abatieron la tienda de campaña y comenzaron a desayunar.The boy scouts took down the tent and started eating breakfast.
d. to cut down (a tree)
Si necesitas hacer más leña, puedes abatir ese árbol.If you need more firewood, you can cut down that tree.
e. to fell (a tree)
El leñador abatió los pinos con su hacha.The lumberjack felled the pines with an axe.
3.
A phrase used as a figure of speech or a word that is symbolic in meaning; metaphorical (e.g. carrot, bean).
(figurative)
(to defeat)
a. to take down
Un francotirador de la policía abatió al hombre que tenía al rehén.A police sniper took down the man holding the hostage.
4. (to dishearten)
a. to depress
La derrota frente a Inglaterra abatió al equipo.Their defeat against England depressed the team.
b. to get down
¡Ánimo! No te dejes abatir por una mala noticia.Cheer up! Don't let bad news get you down.
5. (to weaken)
a. to lay low
La infección pulmonar lo abatió y tuvo que guardar cama.The pulmonary infection laid him low and he had to say in bed.
abatirse
A pronominal verb always uses a reflexive pronoun. (e.g. Te ves cansado.).
6. (to become dispirited)
a. to get depressed
Ana es una mujer fuerte y no va a abatirse por la pérdida de su casa.Ana is a strong woman and won't get depressed over losing her house.
7. (to plunge)
a. to swoop down
El Stuka se abatió y largó una bomba sobre el barco.The Stuka swooped down and dropped a bomb on the ship.
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