Quick answer
"Dormir" is an intransitive verb which is often translated as "to sleep", and "poder" is an auxiliary verb which is often translated as "to be able to". Learn more about the difference between "dormir" and "poder" below.
dormir(
dohr
-
meer
)
An intransitive verb is one that does not require a direct object (e.g. The man sneezed.).
1. (to rest)
a. to sleep
Hay que dormir por lo menos seis horas cada noche.One should sleep at least six hours a night.
2. (to pass the night)
a. to spend the night
Dormí en casa de mi abuela.I spent the night at my grandmother's house.
b. to stay the night
Dormimos en casa de mis suegros el Día de Acción de Gracias.We stayed the night at my in-laws' on Thanksgiving.
3. (to have sex; used with "juntos")
a. to sleep together
Creo que Marco y Ana durmieron juntos anoche.I think Marco and Ana slept together last night.
4. (to be forgotten)
a. to lie idle
Sus ahorros no han crecido porque ha dejado la cuenta dormir.His savings haven't grown because he let the account lie idle.
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
5. (to make sleepy)
a. to put to sleep
Regionalism used in the United States
(United States)
Duermo a mis niños con un cuento.I put my children to sleep with a story.
b. to get off to sleep
Voy a dormir los niños y luego regreso.I'm going to get the children off to sleep and then I'll be back.
c. to send to sleep (due to boredom)
Ese profesor duerme a sus estudiantes con su voz monótona.That teacher sends his students to sleep with his monotonous voice.
6. (to anesthetize)
a. to put to sleep
Durmieron a mi perro para limpiarle los dientes.They put my dog to sleep in order to clean his teeth.
b. to put under
Lo durmió el cirujano antes de la operación.The surgeon put him under before the operation.
7. (to euthanize; used with "a")
a. to put to sleep
Mi hermano tuvo que dormir a su perro porque tenía cáncer.My brother had to put his dog to sleep because it had cancer.
dormirse
A reflexive verb is a verb that indicates that the subject performs an action on itself (e.g. Miguel se lava.).
8. (to get to sleep)
a. to fall asleep
Me dormí a las 6 de la mañana.I fell asleep at 6 in the morning.
El programa era tan aburrido que me dormí.The program was so boring that I fell asleep.
b. to go to sleep
No pude dormirme anoche porque estaba preocupado por el examen de hoy.I couldn't go to sleep last night because I was worried about today's exam.
9. (to wake up late)
a. to oversleep
Se durmió porque no oyó el despertador.She overslept because she didn't hear the alarm.
10. (to go numb)
a. to go to sleep
No puedo ponerme en pie porque se me durmió la pierna.I can't stand up because my leg has gone to sleep.
11. (to get distracted)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
No te duermas o no acabarás a tiempo.Don't slack off or you won't finish in time.
Por dormirse se perdió la clave para ganar el premio.He missed the clue to win the prize because he didn't stay on his toes.
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poder(
poh
-
dehr
)
An auxiliary verb, or helper verb, is a conjugated verb that comes before a main verb and determines the main verb's tense, mood, or aspect (e.g. I have gone.).
1. (used to indicate capability)
a. can
Mi novia puede bailar salsa.My girlfriend can dance the salsa.
b. to be able to
Necesito mis gafas para poder ver.I need my glasses to be able to see.
2. (used to ask for something or permission)
a. can
¿Me puedes pasar ese lápiz?Can you pass me that pencil?
¿Podría ver un menú, por favor?Could I see a menu, please?
b. may
¿Puedo usar el baño?May I use the bathroom?
c. to be allowed to
¿Podemos traer alcohol al concierto?Are we allowed to bring alcohol to the concert?
3. (to be possible)
a. may
Puede que Aurora haya pensado que nos encontraríamos en el cine.Aurora may have thought we were going to meet at the movies.
b. can
No se puede fumar en la sala.You cannot smoke inside the theater.
4. (used to indicate moral obligation)
a. can
No podemos rechazar a los refugiados de la guerra.We cannot turn away war refugees.
5. (in reproaches)
a. can
¿Cómo podrías decirme cosas tan crueles?How could you say such cruel things to me?
b. may
Podrías haberme dicho que tu hermana se quedaría con nosotros.You might have told me your sister was going to stay with us.
6. (in suggestions)
a. can
No sé si comer una sopa o un sándwich. - Podrías pedir el combo que trae mitad de un sándwich y una sopa.I don't know if I should have soup or a sandwich. - You could get the half-sandwich and soup combo.
b. may
Podrías llamar de nuevo al hotel a ver si tienen tu bufanda.You may want to call the hotel again to see if they found your scarf.
An intransitive verb is one that does not require a direct object (e.g. The man sneezed.).
7. (to tolerate; used with "con")
a. to stand
No puedo más con mi jefe.I can't stand my boss.
b. to put up with
No puedo más contigo. Me estás volviendo loca.I can't put up with you any longer. You're driving me crazy.
8. (to be capable of; used with "con")
a. to manage
Él no puede con tanto trabajo.He can't manage so much work.
9. (to hurt)
Regionalism used in Mexico
(Mexico)
a. to upset
Me pudo mucho lo que me dijiste.What you said really upset me.
An impersonal verb is a verb with no apparent subject (e.g. Llueve en España.).
10. (used to indicate possibility)
a. may
Puede que no venga a la fiesta.He may not come to the party.
A masculine noun is used with masculine articles and adjectives (e.g. el hombre guapo, el sol amarillo).
11. (ability)
a. power
Mi hermanita cree que tiene poderes mágicos.My little sister thinks she has magic powers.
12. (control)
a. power
Él tiene todo el poder en esa relación.He has all the power in that relationship.
b. influence
Ella es la que tiene todo el poder, así que mejor habla con ella.She's the one with all the influence, so you'd better talk to her.
13. (political)
a. power
El poder del presidente incluye vetar cualquier legislación pasada por el Congreso.Among the president's powers is the ability to veto any legislation passed by Congress.
14. (in someone's care)
a. possession
Tengo en mi poder un certificado que prueba la autenticidad de la pintura.I have in my possession a letter that proves the painting's authenticity.
15. (mechanical)
a. power
¿Cuánto poder tiene el motor de este carro?How much power does this car's engine have?
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
16.
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(colloquial)
(to defeat)
a. to beat
¡Vamos! ¡Tú le puedes!Come on! You can beat him!
b. to be stronger than
El forzudo retó a cualquiera a ver si le pueden.The strongman challenged anyone to prove they're stronger than him.
poderes
A plural noun indicates that there is more than one person, place, thing, or idea.
plural noun
17. (legal authority)
a. powers
A Daniel le confirieron los poderes para gestionar la empresa tras la muerte de su padre.After the death of his father, all the business' powers were passed to Daniel.
b. authority
El comité no tiene los poderes para confirmar el nombramiento.The committee doesn't have the authority to confirm the appointment.
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