Quick answer
"Devolver" is a transitive verb which is often translated as "to give back", and "regresar" is an intransitive verb which is often translated as "to return". Learn more about the difference between "devolver" and "regresar" below.
devolver(
deh
-
bohl
-
behr
)
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (to restore)
a. to give back
¿Podrías devolver estos libros a la bibliotecaria?Could you give these books back to the librarian?
b. to return
Como no le gustaron los zapatos, los devolvió.As he didn't like the shoes, he returned them.
c. to take back
¿Has devuelto la película al videoclub?Have you taken the movie back to the video store?
d. to send back
Devolvieron al prisionero a la cárcel tras haberse escapado.The prisoner was sent back to prison after having escaped.
2. (economics)
a. to give back
Me tienen que devolver dos dólares porque pagué diez y valía ocho.They have to give me back two dollars because I paid ten, and it cost eight.
b. to refund
Si el vendedor no le devuelve el dinero, puede presentar una demanda.If the vendor does not refund your money, you can file a complaint.
c. to return
Devolvieron el cheque porque no había suficientes fondos.They returned the check because there were insufficient funds.
3. (to compensate)
a. to return
En cuanto pueda, le devuelvo el favor.As soon as I can, I will return the favor.
4. (to vomit)
a. to throw up
Miles tiene gripa; por eso está devolviendo todo lo que come.Miles has got the flu; that's why he's throwing up everything he eats.
b. to bring up
El perro estaba enfermo y devolvió la comida que había comido.The dog was sick and brought up the food he'd eaten.
An intransitive verb is one that does not require a direct object (e.g. The man sneezed.).
5. (to vomit)
a. to throw up
Varias personas devolvieron en el barco.Several people threw up on the boat.
b. to be sick
Creo que voy a devolver.I think I'm going to be sick.
devolverse
A pronominal verb always uses a reflexive pronoun. (e.g. Te ves cansado.).
6. (to go back)
Regionalism used in Latin America: all the countries in South America, Central America, and the Caribbean. Does not include Spain.
(Latin America)
a. to turn back
Se devolvió por el mismo camino.She turned back along the same road.
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regresar(
rreh
-
greh
-
sahr
)
An intransitive verb is one that does not require a direct object (e.g. The man sneezed.).
1. (to go back)
a. to return
Regresa con la factura si quieres un crédito de la tienda.Return with the receipt if you want store credit.
b. to come back
Odio que tenga que regresar al trabajo.I hate that I have to come back to work.
c. to go back
Solo llevo una semana de vuelta, pero ya quiero regresar a España.I've only been back a week and I already want to go back to Spain.
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
2. (to hand back)
Regionalism used in Latin America: all the countries in South America, Central America, and the Caribbean. Does not include Spain.
(Latin America)
a. to return
Regresa las llaves a su sitio.Return the keys to their place.
b. to give back
Regrésale las llaves.Give the keys back to him.
regresarse
A reflexive verb is a verb that indicates that the subject performs an action on itself (e.g. Miguel se lava.).
3. (to be back)
Regionalism used in Latin America: all the countries in South America, Central America, and the Caribbean. Does not include Spain.
(Latin America)
a. to return
Se regresaron después de dos meses de estar perdidos. They returned after two months of being missing.
b. to go back
¡Me quiero regresar a Disney World! I want to go back to Disney World.
c. to come back
Se regresó al lugar de su nacimiento. He came back to the place of his birth.
Copyright © Curiosity Media Inc.
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