Quick answer
"Despertar" is a transitive verb which is often translated as "to wake up", and "levantar" is a transitive verb which is often translated as "to raise". Learn more about the difference between "despertar" and "levantar" below.
despertar(
dehs
-
pehr
-
tahr
)
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (to awake from sleep)
a. to wake up
La policía vino y despertó a todo el edificio.The police came and woke up the whole building.
2. (to stimulate)
a. to arouse
Por donde quiera que vaya despierta simpatías.Wherever he goes he arouses sympathy.
3. (to conjure)
a. to awaken
Los olores despertaron viejos recuerdos de la infancia.The smells awakened old childhood memories.
A masculine noun is used with masculine articles and adjectives (e.g. el hombre guapo, el sol amarillo).
4. (start)
a. awakening
Con el despertar de la naturaleza en primavera, florecen muchas flores hermosas.With the awakening of nature in spring, many beautiful flowers bloom.
despertarse
A reflexive verb is a verb that indicates that the subject performs an action on itself (e.g. Miguel se lava.).
5. (to awake from sleep)
a. to wake up
Despiértame antes de irte.Wake me up before you go.
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levantar(
leh
-
bahn
-
tahr
)
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (to move upward)
a. to raise
Levanten sus copas para un brindis.Raise your glasses for a toast.
b. to lift
No es capaz de levantar la maleta.He is unable to lift the suitcase.
c. to lift up
Levanta un poco tu pantalón para ver dónde te picó el mosquito.Lift up your pants a little so I can see where the mosquito bit you.
d. to pick up (something that has fallen)
Se inclinó para levantar la silla del suelo.He bent over to pick up the chair from the floor.
2. (to end)
a. to lift
El tribunal debe levantar la orden de detención.The court must lift the detention order.
3. (to establish)
a. to found
Mi abuelo levantó su compañía en 1939.My grandfather founded his company in 1939.
4. (to construct)
a. to build
La torre del reloj se levantó en 1836.The clock tower was built in 1836.
5. (to remove)
a. to take down
Levantaron el laboratorio para dejar sitio a la nueva escuela.The laboratory was taken down to make room for the new school.
b. to clear off
Levanta tus cosas de la mesa.Clear your things off the table.
6. (to get to come out)
Regionalism used in Cuba
(Cuba)
Regionalism used in Mexico
(Mexico)
Regionalism used in Venezuela
(Venezuela)
a. to remove
¿Qué se puede hacer para levantar una mancha de vino?What can you do to remove a wine stain?
levantarse
A reflexive verb is a verb that indicates that the subject performs an action on itself (e.g. Miguel se lava.).
7. (to awaken)
a. to get up
¿A qué hora te levantaste hoy?What time did you get up today?
8. (to stand up)
a. to get up
Levántate que el suelo no está limpio.Get up, the floor is not clean.
9. (to rebel)
a. to rise up
Caín se levantó contra Abel y lo mató.Cain rose up against Abel and killed him.
A pronominal verb always uses a reflexive pronoun. (e.g. Te ves cansado.).
10. (to peel off)
a. to come off
Tenía el cuerpo quemado y se le levantaba la piel al tocarla.His body was burned and his skin came off when touched.
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