Quick answer
"Descargar" is a transitive verb which is often translated as "to unload", and "bajar" is an intransitive verb which is often translated as "to go down". Learn more about the difference between "descargar" and "bajar" below.
descargar(
dehs
-
kahr
-
gahr
)
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (to remove goods)
a. to unload
Les tomó una hora descargar el camión.It took them an hour to unload the truck.
2. (computing)
a. to download
¿Ya descargaste los archivos que te mandé?Have you downloaded the files I sent you?
3. (to strike a blow)
a. to deal
Le descargó un puñetazo en la cara.He dealt him a punch in the face.
4. (to shoot a weapon)
a. to fire
Los soldados descargaron sus fusiles.The soldiers fired their rifles.
5. (to remove bullets)
a. to unload
Descargue sus armas de fuego y manténgalas en lugar seguro.Unload your firearms and keep them in a safe place.
6. (a battery)
a. to run down
Si lo dejas encendido, vas a descargar la batería.If you leave it switched on, you'll run down the battery.
7. (feelings)
a. to vent
Descargaba su frustración con sus hijos.She vented her frustration on her children.
8. (to release)
a. to relieve
Hay que contratar a otra persona para que me descargue de trabajo.We need to take on another person to relieve me of some of the work.
9. (to absolve)
a. to clear
La descargaron de toda culpa.She was cleared of all blame.
An intransitive verb is one that does not require a direct object (e.g. The man sneezed.).
10. (storm)
a. to break
Volvamos a casa antes de que descargue la tormenta.Let's go home before the storm breaks.
descargarse
A pronominal verb always uses a reflexive pronoun. (e.g. Te ves cansado.).
11. (battery)
a. to run down
Deja que se descargue la batería por completo.Let the battery run down completely.
12. (computing)
a. to download
El programa tardó casi una hora en descargarse.The program took almost an hour to download.
13. (storm)
a. to break
Ayer se descargó una tormenta que inundó la ciudad.A storm broke yesterday that flooded the city.
14. (to let off steam; used with "con")
a. to vent to
Sara se descargó con sus amigos.Sara vented to her friends.
b. to unburden oneself to
Él necesita a alguien con quien descargarse.He needs someone to unburden himself to.
15. (to avoid; used with "de")
a. to get out of
Es un intento de descargarse de sus responsabilidades.It’s an attempt to get out of his responsibilities.
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bajar(
bah
-
hahr
)
An intransitive verb is one that does not require a direct object (e.g. The man sneezed.).
1. (to descend)
a. to go down
Baje a recepción y pregunte al conserje.Go down to reception and ask the concierge.
b. to come down
¿Podrías bajar al sótano?Could you come down to the basement?
2. (to decrease)
a. to fall
Ha bajado el precio de los tomates.Tomato prices have fallen.
b. to go down
La fiebre no le bajará sin medicación.His fever won't go down without medication.
c. to drop
Las exportaciones bajaron debido al crac bursátil.Exports have dropped due to the stock market crash.
3. (to descend from a vehicle)
a. to get off
Baja en la siguiente estación y ya estás en el centro.Get off at the next station, and you are downtown.
b. to get out
Baja en cuanto me pare en el semáforo.Get out as soon as I stop at the lights.
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
4. (to descend)
a. to go down
Bajen la escalera con cuidado, hay un escalón roto.Be careful going down the stairs, one of the steps is broken.
b. to come down
¡Ten cuidado al bajar las escaleras, abuelo!Be careful when coming down the stairs, Grandpa!
5. (to bring down)
a. to get down
¿Me puede bajar la bolsa del compartimento?Could you get my bag down from the compartment?
b. to take down
¿Me bajarías ese libro de la estantería?Would you take that book down from the shelf for me?
c. to lower
Por favor baje las persianas; hay demasiada luz.Please lower the blinds; there is too much light.
6. (to incline downwards)
a. to drop
Cuando se lo dije, bajó la mirada avergonzado.When I told him, he dropped his eyes in shame.
7. (to decrease)
a. to lower
Tenemos que bajar nuestros gastos para ahorrar para la boda.We have to lower our expenses to save for the wedding.
b. to turn down
Si no bajan la música, nos vamos a otro bar.If they don't turn the music down, we'll go to another bar.
c. to bring down
La manera más eficaz de bajar la fiebre es darse un baño con agua fría.The most effective way to bring down a fever is taking a cool bath.
d. to reduce
El ejercicio bajará tus niveles de colesterol.Exercise will reduce your cholesterol levels.
8. (computing)
a. to download
Cuando bajas películas de manera ilegal, estás cometiendo un delito.You are committing a crime when you download movies illegally.
bajarse
A pronominal verb always uses a reflexive pronoun. (e.g. Te ves cansado.).
9. (to descend from a vehicle)
a. to get off
Me bajo en la próxima parada.I get off at the next stop.
b. to get out
Tengan cuidado al bajarse del deportivo.Be careful when you get out of the sportscar.
10. (to stoop)
a. to bend down
Tengo una cita con el ortopeda porque cuando me bajo, me duelen las rodillas.I have an appointment with the orthopedist because when I bend down, my knees hurt.
11. (computing)
a. to download
Se han bajado un montón de música.They have downloaded lots of music.
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