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Quick answer
"Embarcar" is an intransitive verb which is often translated as "to board", and "abordar" is a transitive verb which is often translated as "to tackle". Learn more about the difference between "embarcar" and "abordar" below.
embarcar(
ehm
-
bahr
-
kahr
)
An intransitive verb is one that does not require a direct object (e.g. The man sneezed.).
1. (to go on board)
a. to board
Tienen que esperar en la sala de embarque antes de poder embarcar.You have to wait in the departure lounge before you can board.
b. to embark (nautical)
Embarcamos y la nave zarpó.We embarked and the ship set sail.
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
2. (to put on board)
a. to embark (passengers on a boat)
Embarcaron a dos mil soldados en Southampton.Two thousand soldiers were embarked at Southampton.
b. to board (passengers on a plane)
Tras embarcar a los pasajeros, hay que hacer varios anuncios.After the passengers have been boarded, we need to make a number of announcements.
c. to load (object)
Se necesitaron muchas personas para embarcar la mercancía.A lot of people were needed to load the goods.
d. to put on board (object)
Puede embarcar su auto en el ferry para visitar la isla.You can put your car on board the ferry and visit the island.
3. (to involve)
a. to launch
Fue esta experiencia que embarcó a Selena López en la carrera que hoy todavía mantiene.It was this experience that launched Selena Lopez in the career she's still pursuing today.
b.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
Fue el interés de mi madre por la historia que la embarcó en este proyecto.It was my mother's interest in history that got her involved in this project.
La compañía lo embarcó en un proyecto en el extranjero.The company got him involved in a project overseas.
4. (to fool)
Regionalism used in Guatemala
(Guatemala)
Regionalism used in Puerto Rico
(Puerto Rico)
a. to con
La pareja se dedicaba a embarcar a empresarios ricos.The couple earned their living conning rich entrepreneurs.
b. to trick
Lo embarcaron en un negocio sucio.He was tricked into some dirty business.
5. (to ditch)
Regionalism used in Cuba
(Cuba)
Regionalism used in Venezuela
(Venezuela)
a. to stand up
Quedamos de vernos a las 6 pm pero me embarcó.We had arranged to meet at 6 pm but she stood me up.
embarcarse
A pronominal verb always uses a reflexive pronoun. (e.g. Te ves cansado.).
6. (to go aboard; often used with "en")
a. to go on board
La nave acaba de llegar. ¿Listos para embarcarse?The ship just came in. Are you ready to go on board?
b. to embark (nautical)
Para prevenir el mareo, tome dos pastillas antes de embarcarse.To prevent seasickness, take two tablets before you embark.
c. to board
Nos embarcamos en el vuelo a Madrid.We boarded the flight to Madrid.
7. (to get involved; used with "en")
a. to embark on
Me embarqué en un negocio muy arriesgado.I embarked on a very risky business.
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abordar(
ah
-
bohr
-
dahr
)
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (to address)
a. to tackle
El libro aborda los principales problemas asociados con el uso de los combustibles fósiles.The book tackles the main problems associated with the use of fossil fuels.
b. to deal with
En la reunión, abordamos la cuestión de si debíamos contratar a más ayudantes.At the meeting, we dealt with the issue of whether we should hire more assistants.
2. (to make advances toward)
a. to approach
No nos sorprendió cuando una joven abordó a nuestro sobrino famoso para pedirle su autógrafo.We weren't surprised when a young woman approached our famous nephew to ask for his autograph.
b. to accost (aggressively)
Un borracho me abordó en la calle para pedirme dinero.A drunk accosted me in the street and asked me for money.
3. (to enter)
a. to board
Llegué tarde al aeropuerto y no me dejaron abordar el avión.I arrived at the airport late, and they wouldn't let me board the plane.
b. to get into
Aborda el coche y espérame dentro; vuelvo en un minuto.Get into the car and wait for me inside; I'll be back in a minute.
c. to get on
Tropecé con los escalones al abordar el camión.I tripped on the steps when I was getting on the bus.
4. (to collide with)
a. to ram
El pesquero abordó la barcaza sin querer por culpa de los fuertes vientos.The fishing vessel accidentally rammed the barge due to the high winds.
An intransitive verb is one that does not require a direct object (e.g. The man sneezed.).
5. (nautical)
a. to tie up
El mar estaba muy agitado; por eso fue un gran alivio abordar por fin en el puerto.The sea was very rough, so it was a great relief when we finally tied up in port.
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