Quick answer
"Derribar" is a transitive verb which is often translated as "to demolish", and "tumbar" is a transitive verb which is often translated as "to knock down". Learn more about the difference between "derribar" and "tumbar" 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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tumbar(
toom
-
bahr
)
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (to topple)
a. to knock down
Él tumbó al matón con un puñetazo rápido en la mandíbula.He knocked the bully down with a quick punch to the jaw.
b. to kick down
Como sus hijos no le permitían entrar en casa, tumbó la puerta.Because his children wouldn't let him into the house, he kicked down the door.
c. to knock over
El hedor de la comida podrida casi me tumbó.The stench of the rotting food almost knocked me over.
d. to demolish
Tumbaron el teatro abandonado para construir un aparcamiento para el restaurante de al lado.They demolished the abandoned theater to build a parking lot for the restaurant next door.
2. (to chop down a tree)
Regionalism used in Latin America: all the countries in South America, Central America, and the Caribbean. Does not include Spain.
(Latin America)
a. to fell
Los leñadores pasaron la tarde entera tumbando árboles para la papelera.The lumberjacks spent the entire afternoon felling trees for the paper mill.
3.
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(colloquial)
(to kill)
Regionalism used in Colombia
(Colombia)
a. to waste
A very informal word or phrase used by a particular group or community as a substitute for standard language (e.g. joint, john).
(slang)
La policía tumbó a dos miembros de la pandilla en el tiroteo de anoche.The police wasted two gang members in the shootout last night.
b. to bump off
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(colloquial)
La mafia lo tumbó por no pagar sus deudas.The mob bumped him off for not paying his debts.
c. to do in
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(colloquial)
A phrase used as a figure of speech or a word that is symbolic in meaning; metaphorical (e.g. carrot, bean).
(figurative)
Seguro que tu padre te va a tumbar si llegas tarde de nuevo a casa esta noche.Your dad's going to do you in if you come home late again tonight.
4.
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(colloquial)
(education)
Regionalism used in Spain
(Spain)
a. to fail
Los profesores lo tumbaron en álgebra y tuvo que repetir curso.The teachers failed him in algebra, and he had to repeat the course.
b. to flunk
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(colloquial)
Regionalism used in the United States
(United States)
Si no entregas tu ensayo final, te tumbaré.If you don't submit your final paper, I will flunk you.
tumbarse
A pronominal verb always uses a reflexive pronoun. (e.g. Te ves cansado.).
5. (to recline)
a. to lie down
Tengo dolor cabeza, así que me voy a tumbar por una hora.I have a headache, so I am going to lie down for an hour.
b. to stretch out
Tengo muchas ganas de tumbarme y dormir en mi hamaca todo el fin de semana.I look forward to stretching out and sleeping in my hammock all weekend.
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