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"Descansar" is an intransitive verb which is often translated as "to rest", and "tener sueño" is an intransitive verb phrase which is often translated as "to be sleepy". Learn more about the difference between "descansar" and "tener sueño" below.
descansar(
dehs
-
kahn
-
sahr
)
An intransitive verb is one that does not require a direct object (e.g. The man sneezed.).
1. (to take a break)
a. to rest
Tienes que descansar diez minutos por cada cuatro horas de trabajo.You need to rest ten minutes for every four hours worked.
b. to have off
Últimamente tengo mucho trabajo y solo descanso los domingos.I have a lot of work on lately and only have Sundays off.
2. (to be asleep)
a. to sleep
No pude descansar anoche.I couldn't sleep last night.
b. to nap
Él descansó un rato después de almorzar.He napped a while after eating lunch.
3. (to be buried)
a. to rest
En este lugar las almas desafortunadas pueden descansar en paz.This is a place where unfortunate souls can rest in peace.
4. (agriculture)
a. to rest
El campo descansa un año entero cada tres años.The field rests for a full year once every three years.
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tener sueño(
teh
-
nehr
 
sweh
-
nyoh
)
An intransitive verb phrase is a phrase that combines a verb with a preposition or other particle and does not require a direct object (e.g. Everybody please stand up.).
intransitive verb phrase
1. (general)
a. to be sleepy
Tengo sueño; me voy a acostar.I'm sleepy; I'm going to bed.
b. to be tired
Pasó mala noche y por eso tenía sueño esta mañana.He had a bad night's sleep, so he was tired this morning.
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