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Quick answer
"El" is a definite article which is often translated as "the", and "jugar" is an intransitive verb which is often translated as "to play". Learn more about the difference between "el" and "jugar" below.
A definite article is a word that identifies a noun as as specific or known to the speaker (e.g. the girl).
1. (general)
a. the
El gato está en el tejado.The cat is on the roof.
El teléfono estaba encima de la mesa.The telephone was on top of the table.
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An intransitive verb is one that does not require a direct object (e.g. The man sneezed.).
1. (to engage in recreation)
a. to play
Los alumnos pasaron toda la tarde jugando.The students spent the whole afternoon playing.
2. (to participate in a game)
a. to play
¿Alguien quiere jugar al tenis conmigo?Does anybody want to play tennis with me?
Me gusta jugar al bingo por el dinero.I love playing Bingo for money.
3. (to trifle with; used with "con")
a. to play with
No juegues con mi corazón.Don't play with my heart.
4. (games)
a. to move
Le toca jugar a la ficha amarilla.The yellow piece has to move.
5. (to play for money)
a. to gamble
Se pierde todo el sueldo jugando en la tragaperras.He loses his whole salary gambling on slot machines.
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
6. (to gamble)
a. to bet
Fue un error jugar todo mi dinero en un solo caballo.It was a mistake to bet all my money on one horse.
A pronominal verb always uses a reflexive pronoun. (e.g. Te ves cansado.).
7. (to put at stake)
a. to bet
Me juego una cena a que volverás.I bet you a dinner that you'll be back.
b. to stake
Me estoy jugando mi carrera por esa creencia.I'm staking my career on that belief.
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