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Quick answer
"Teléfono" is a noun which is often translated as "telephone", and "contestar" is a transitive verb which is often translated as "to answer". Learn more about the difference between "teléfono" and "contestar" below.
A masculine noun is used with masculine articles and adjectives (e.g. el hombre guapo, el sol amarillo).
1. (device)
a. telephone
Ese teléfono es demasiado complicado para mí.That telephone is too complicated for me.
b. phone
¿Me prestas tu teléfono para hacer una llamada? El mío está sin batería.Can I borrow your phone to make a call? Mine has run out of battery.
2. (number)
a. telephone number
¿Tienes el teléfono del gerente?Do you have the manager's telephone number?
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A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (to respond to)
a. to answer
¿Por qué no contestas la pregunta?Why don't you answer the question?
b. to reply to
Sería bonito que me contestaras las cartas alguna vez.It would be nice if you'd reply to my letters sometime.
2. (to retort)
a. to talk back
No puedo salir a jugar por una semana porque le contesté a mi mamá.I can't go out to play for a week because I talked back to my mom.
b. to answer back
Ese chico maleducado siempre anda contestando a los maestros.That rude boy is always answering back to the teachers.
An intransitive verb is one that does not require a direct object (e.g. The man sneezed.).
3. (to dissent)
a. to protest
Los estudiantes universitarios contestaron para mostrar su desacuerdo con el alza de las cuotas.The university students protested to show their disagreement with the fee hike.
4. (to respond)
a. to answer
¿Por qué nunca contestas cuando te llamo?Why don't you ever answer when I call you?
b. to reply
Estoy intentando comunicarme con la base pero no contestan.I'm trying to communicate with the base, but there's no reply.
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