Quick answer
"Descollar" is an intransitive verb which is often translated as "to stand out", and "sobresalir" is an intransitive verb which is often translated as "to stick out". Learn more about the difference between "descollar" and "sobresalir" below.
descollar
An intransitive verb is one that does not require a direct object (e.g. The man sneezed.).
1. (to be prominent)
a. to stand out
La iglesia de 75 metros descolla por ser el edificio más alto de la ciudad.The 75-meter church stands out as the tallest building in the city.
2.
A phrase used as a figure of speech or a word that is symbolic in meaning; metaphorical (e.g. carrot, bean).
(figurative)
(to excel)
a. to stand out
Kori ha estudiado mucho porque quiere descollar entre sus compañeros.Kori has been studying a lot because she wants to stand out among her peers.
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sobresalir(
soh
-
breh
-
sah
-
leer
)
An intransitive verb is one that does not require a direct object (e.g. The man sneezed.).
1. (to protrude)
a. to stick out
Martilla todos los clavos que sobresalen.Hammer all the nails that stick out.
b. to jut out
La roca que sobresale de la montaña parece una nariz humana.The rock that juts out from the mountain looks like a human nose.
c. to hang off
Cuelga la bolsa de basura de la rama que sobresale del árbol.Hang the trash bag on the branch that hangs off the tree.
d. to project out from
El balcón de mi habitación sobresale de la casa.The balcony of my room projects out from the house.
2. (to be different from)
a. to stand out
Fue súper fácil encontrarlo en el concierto porque sobresale entre la multitud.It was super easy finding him at the concert because he stands out in a crowd.
3. (to surpass others)
a. to stand out
Sobresale por su inteligencia, no solo por su belleza.She stands out for her intelligence, not only for her beauty.
b. to excel
Mi hija sobresale en matemáticas y español.My daughter excels in maths and Spanish.
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