Quick answer
"Dormir" is an intransitive verb which is often translated as "to sleep", and "volver" is an intransitive verb which is often translated as "to return". Learn more about the difference between "dormir" and "volver" 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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volver(
bohl
-
behr
)
An intransitive verb is one that does not require a direct object (e.g. The man sneezed.).
1. (to be back)
a. to return
Vuelve con el recibo si quieres un crédito en la tienda.Return with the receipt if you want store credit.
b. to come back
Odio tener que volver al trabajo.I hate having to come back to work.
c. to go back
Solo llevo una semana de vuelta pero ya quiero volver a España.I've only been back a week and I already want to go back to Spain.
2. (to do again)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
¡Tengo que volver a limpiarlo todo!I have to clean everything again!
Volverá a llover este fin de semana.It will rain again this weekend.
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
3. (to swivel)
a. to turn
Volvió la cabeza y allí estaba ella.He turned his head and there she was.
4. (to grow to be)
a. to turn
Los años la volvieron cínica y amargada.The years have turned her cynical and bitter.
volverse
A reflexive verb is a verb that indicates that the subject performs an action on itself (e.g. Miguel se lava.).
5. (to change into)
a. to become
Andrés se volvió un poco difícil durante la adolescencia.Andres became a little difficult in adolescence.
b. to get
Te has vuelto flaquito desde que comenzaste la dieta.You've gotten skinny since you started the diet.
c. to turn into
La bruja hechizó al príncipe y se volvió rana.The witch cast a spell on the prince and he turned into a frog.
A pronominal verb always uses a reflexive pronoun. (e.g. Te ves cansado.).
6. (to be back)
a. to return
Se volvió a España porque no encontró trabajo acá.He returned to Spain because he couldn't find a job here.
b. to come back
Vuélvanse antes de que los agarre la tormenta.Come back before you get caught in the storm.
c. to go back
Me tuve que volver temprano para sacar al perro.I had to go back early to take the dog out.
7. (to turn to face in the opposite direction)
a. to turn around
Me volví para enfrentar a los que me estaban insultando.I turned around to face those who were insulting me.
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