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Quick answer
"Embalse" is a noun which is often translated as "reservoir", and "represa" is a noun which is often translated as "dam". Learn more about the difference between "embalse" and "represa" 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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represa(
rreh
-
preh
-
sah
)
A feminine noun is almost always used with feminine articles and adjectives (e.g. la mujer bonita, la luna llena).
1. (construction)
a. dam
La represa construida sobre el río abastece de energía a toda la ciudad.The dam built on the river provides electricity for the whole city.
b. weir
La represa permite regular el nivel del agua en el lago.The weir regulates the water level of the lake.
2. (water source)
a. reservoir
El agua en la represa es utilizada para el riego de campos.The water in the reservoir is used for the irrigation of agricultural fields.
b. millpond
El molino no anda porque la represa está seca.The mill is not functioning because the millpond is dry.
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