Quick answer
"Destacar" is a transitive verb which is often translated as "to emphasize", and "apostar por" is a transitive verb phrase which is often translated as "to bet on". Learn more about the difference between "destacar" and "apostar por" below.
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (to direct attention to)
a. to emphasize
Hay que destacar la importancia de asistir a clase para aprobar la materia.We've got to emphasize the importance of attending class to pass the subject.
b. to emphasise (United Kingdom)
El presidente destacó su compromiso con el cambio.The president emphasised his commitment to change.
c. to stress
El artículo destaca las diferencias entre un abordaje teórico y uno práctico.The article stresses the differences between a theoretical and a practical approach.
d. to highlight
Quisiera destacar el efecto de las medidas que se piensan tomar en los próximos días.I'd like to highlight the effects of the policies that they're planning to adopt in the next few days.
2. (to send)
a. to detail
Las tropas fueron destacadas para defender la frontera.The troops were detailed to defend the border.
b. to station
Rudi estuvo destacado en la Antártida durante un año.Rudi was stationed in the Antarctic for a year.
c. to post
Tuvieron que destacar más guardias en los puestos fronterizos.They had to post more guards at border points.
d. to assign
Smith fue destacado a Alemania en 1944.Smith was assigned to Germany in 1944.
An intransitive verb is one that does not require a direct object (e.g. The man sneezed.).
3. (to be conspicuous)
a. to stand out
Esa joven destaca por su belleza.That young woman stands out because of her beauty.
A pronominal verb always uses a reflexive pronoun. (e.g. Te ves cansado.).
4. (to be conspicuous)
a. to stand out
Laura se destaca por sus habilidades artísticas.Laura stands out because of her artistic abilities.
b. to be outlined
En el cuadro, la punta del campanario se destaca contra la puesta del sol.In the picture, the tip of the bell tower is outlined against the sunset.
c. to be silhouetted
La luna roja se destacaba contra el cielo oscuro.The red moon was silhouetted against the dark sky.
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apostar por
A transitive verb phrase is a phrase that combines a verb with a preposition or other particle and requires a direct object (e.g. Take out the trash.).
transitive verb phrase
1. (to gamble on)
a. to bet on
Apostó por el caballo ganador, lo que le permitió pagar todas sus deudas.He bet on the winning horse, which allowed him to pay off all his debts.
2. (to choose)
a. to go for
Nuestra empresa ha decidido apostar por las energías renovables.Our company has decided to go for renewable energy.
b. to opt for
La modelo apostó por un corte de pelo muy radical que dio mucho que hablar.The model opted for a very radical haircut that was really talked about.
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