Quick answer
"Desperdiciar" is a transitive verb which is often translated as "to waste", and "derrochar" is a transitive verb which is often translated as "to squander". Learn more about the difference between "desperdiciar" and "derrochar" below.
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (to throw away)
a. to waste
Para no desperdiciar papel, enviamos las circulares por correo electrónico.In order to not waste paper, we send the memos via email.
b. to squander
Desperdició la herencia en el casino.She squandered her inheritance at the casino.
2. (to lose)
a. to waste
Me arrepiento de haber desperdiciado la mejor oportunidad laboral de mi vida.I regret wasting the best work opportunity I've ever had.
b. to miss
No puedes desperdiciar la ocasión de asistir a ese congreso.You can't miss the opportunity to attend that conference.
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A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (to use up)
a. to squander (money)
Daniela derrochó su herencia y ahora no tiene nada.Daniela squandered her inheritance and now she has nothing left.
b. to waste (money, resources or water)
El gobierno ha derrochado recursos públicos en inversiones inútiles.The government has wasted public resources on useless investments.
2. (to give off)
a. to radiate
Jessica derrocha alegría dondequiera que va.Jessica radiates happiness wherever she goes.
b. to exude
Mis alumnos derrochan energía y juventud.My students exude energy and youth.
c. to ooze
El tío Alejandro derrocha buen humor. Siempre nos hace reír.Uncle Alejandro oozes good humor. He's always making us laugh.
d. to be full of
Los niños derrochan energía y vitalidad.Children are full of energy and vitality.
An intransitive verb is one that does not require a direct object (e.g. The man sneezed.).
3. (to use up the money)
a. to throw away money
Paulina ha estado derrochando irresponsablemente.Paulina has been throwing away money quite irresponsibly.
b. to squander money
No gano mucho y por eso es importante no derrochar.I don't earn a lot so it's important not to squander money.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
Hoy vamos a ir de compras y vamos a derrochar sin preocuparnos.Today we're going shopping and we're not going to worry about what we spend.
¿En qué derrochas tanto?What do you spend all this money on?
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