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Quick answer
"Descuidar" is a transitive verb which is often translated as "to neglect", and "desatender" is a transitive verb which is also often translated as "to neglect". Learn more about the difference between "descuidar" and "desatender" below.
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (to abandon)
a. to neglect
Trabaja duro, pero no descuides a tus hijos.Work hard, but don't neglect your children.
An intransitive verb is one that does not require a direct object (e.g. The man sneezed.).
2. (to not bother)
a. to not worry
Descuida; yo me encargo de que todo esté listo a tiempo.Don't worry; I'll make sure everything is ready on time.
A pronominal verb always uses a reflexive pronoun. (e.g. Te ves cansado.).
3. (to be innatentive)
a. to be careless
Si te descuidas, vas a perder todo lo que has ganado hasta ahora.If you are careless, you are going to lose everything you've earned so far.
b. to let your attention wander
Por favor, cuida bien a Pedrito. Si te descuidas se puede caer del columpio.Please, keep an eye on Pedrito. If you let your attention wander, he could fall off the swing.
c. to drop one's guard
Ese hombre es un pillo. Si me descuido, se lleva hasta lo que tengo puesto.That guy is a rascal. If I drop my guard, he would take even what I'm wearing.
4. (to abandon oneself)
a. to let oneself go
Él siempre andaba muy bien arreglado, pero últimamente se ha descuidado.He was always very well-groomed, but he has let himself go lately.
b. to neglect one's appearence
Rosita se ha descuidado mucho desde que nació su tercer bebéRosita has neglected her appearance since her third baby was born.
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A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (to fail to attend to responsibilities)
a. to neglect
Acusaron a los padres de la niña de haberla desatendido cuando la dejaron caminar sola al parque.The girl's parents were accused of neglecting her when they let her walk to the park alone.
b. to disregard
Despidieron a Héctor por desatender sus responsabilidades en el trabajo.They fired Hector for disregarding his work responsibilities.
A word or phrase used to refer to the second person formal “usted” by their conjugation or implied context (e.g. usted).
(to overlook)
a. to disregard
Juan desatendió mi consejo y ahora se lamenta por no haberlo seguido.Juan disregarded my advice and now he complains because he did not follow it.
b. to ignore
Dejé a mi novio porque desatendía todos mis deseos.I broke up with my boyfriend because he ignored all my wishes.
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