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Quick answer
"Embalse" is a noun which is often translated as "reservoir", and "presa" is a noun which is often translated as "prey". Learn more about the difference between "embalse" and "presa" below.
embalse(
ehm
-
bahl
-
seh
)
A masculine noun is used with masculine articles and adjectives (e.g. el hombre guapo, el sol amarillo).
1. (deposit)
a. reservoir
El embalse de la localidad está casi vacío porque no ha llovido mucho.The reservoir of the town is almost empty because it hasn't rained much.
b. dam
El embalse tiene una capacidad de un millón de metros cúbicos de agua.The dam has a capacity of one million cubic meters of water.
2. (retention)
a. damming
El ayuntamiento baraja el embalse de agua como medida de precaución para épocas de sequía.The local government is considering the damming of water as a precaution for times of drought.
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presa(
preh
-
sah
)
A feminine noun is almost always used with feminine articles and adjectives (e.g. la mujer bonita, la luna llena).
1. (hunted animal)
a. prey (of a predator)
La presa de los lobos normalmente consiste de animales como el venado, el alce y el caribú.Wolves' prey normally consists of animales like deer, elk, and caribou.
b. catch (of a hunter)
Hoy salí a cazar, pero no pude hacerme con una buena presa.I went hunting today, but couldn't land a good catch.
2. (structure that controls water flow)
a. dam
La presa se rompió e inundó toda la ciudad.The dam broke and flooded the whole city.
b. weir
La presa se construyó para controlar el nivel del río.The weir was built to control the level of the river.
3. (culinary)
Regionalism used in South America: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela
(South America)
a. piece (of chicken)
Tuve tanta hambre que me comí tres presas de pollo.I was so hungry that I ate three pieces of chicken.
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