Quick answer
"Desear" is a transitive verb which is often translated as "to want", and "hablar" is an intransitive verb which is often translated as "to speak". Learn more about the difference between "desear" and "hablar" below.
desear(
deh
-
seh
-
ahr
)
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (to long for)
a. to want
Solo deseo hacerte feliz.I just want to make you happy.
¿Qué deseas para Navidad?What do you want for Christmas?
b. to wish
El director desea hablar con usted.The director wishes to speak to you.
c. to desire
Los discursos del presidente dejan mucho que desear.The president's speeches leave a lot to be desired.
d.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
"¿Qué desea?", preguntó el mayordomo."How can I help you?," asked the butler.
¿Desea algo de tomar?Would you like something to drink?
2. (to express a desire for)
a. to wish
Les deseé muchos años de felicidad.I wished them many years of happiness.
3. (to desire sexually)
a. to want
"Te deseo", dijo el rompecorazones de la película."I want you," said the heartbreaker in the movie.
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hablar(
ah
-
blahr
)
An intransitive verb is one that does not require a direct object (e.g. The man sneezed.).
1. (to articulate words)
a. to speak
Los bebés comienzan a hablar a los 18 meses.Babies start speaking at around 18 months.
b. to talk
Escucho a alguien hablando, pero no sé de dónde viene.I can hear someone talking, but I don't know where's it coming from.
2. (to converse)
a. to talk
¿Necesitas a alguien con quien hablar?Do you need someone to talk to?
b. to speak
¿Podemos hablar en privado?Can we speak in private?
3. (to give a speech)
a. to speak
Habló un buen rato de las reformas que había propuesto el gobierno.He spoke at length about the reforms the government had proposed.
4. (to speak on the phone)
a. to call
Buenas tardes, ¿se encuentra la Sra. Martínez? - ¿Quién habla?Good afternoon, may I speak with Mrs. Martinez? - Who is calling?
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
5. (to be able to communicate in)
a. to speak
Hablo cinco idiomas y leo diez.I speak five languages and can read ten.
6. (to deal with)
a. to discuss
Eso se lo tienes que hablar directamente al principal.You need to discuss that directly with the principal.
b. to say
¿Verdaderamente no tienes nada de qué hablarme?You really don't have anything to say to me?
7. (to call)
Regionalism used in Mexico
(Mexico)
a. to phone
Ahora que tienes su número, ¿le vas a hablar?Now that you have her number, are you going to phone her?
An impersonal verb is a verb with no apparent subject (e.g. Llueve en España.).
8. (to have a conversation)
a. to speak
No se habla de otra cosa.We speak about nothing else.
hablarse
A reciprocal verb is a verb that indicates that two or more subjects perform an action on each other (e.g. Ellos se abrazan.).
9. (to have a conversation)
a. to speak to each other
Se hablan de mala manera.They speak to each other rudely.
b. to be on speaking terms
Los primos no se hablan después de la pelea sobre la herencia.The cousins aren't on speaking terms after the fight over the inheritance.
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