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Quick answer
"Embestir" is a transitive verb which is often translated as "to charge", and "abalanzarse" is a pronominal verb which is often translated as "to rush". Learn more about the difference between "embestir" and "abalanzarse" below.
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (to rush towards)
a. to charge
El toro embistió al torero y lo dejó inconsciente.The bull charged the bullfighter and left him unconscious.
b. to run into
Hubo un muerto y dos heridos graves al embestir un camión a una furgoneta en la avenida 6 de Agosto.One person died and two were seriously injured when a truck ran into a van on avenida 6 de Agosto.
c. to attack
El general dio la orden de embestir las posiciones enemigas.The general gave the order to attack the enemy positions.
d. to rush at
Dos hombres me embistieron, blandiendo cuchillos.Two men rushed at me, brandishing knives.
An intransitive verb is one that does not require a direct object (e.g. The man sneezed.).
2. (to rush)
a. to charge
El toro embistió contra la multitud y provocó varios heridos.The bull charged at the crowd and caused several injured.
b. to rush
Los vándalos embistieron contra la policía, lanzándole botellas.The hooligans rushed at the police, throwing bottles at them.
c. to attack
Las tropas enemigas embistieron por detrás.The enemy troops attacked from behind.
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A pronominal verb always uses a reflexive pronoun. (e.g. Te ves cansado.).
1. (to run forward)
a. to rush
Los caballeros se abalanzaron sobre la infantería enemiga.The knights rushed toward the enemy infantry.
b. to surge
Los niños se abalanzaron con entusiasmo hacia el camión de helados.The children excitedly surged towards the ice-cream truck.
c. to spring
El paracaidista de salto base se abalanzó al vacío desde lo alto del edificio.The base jumper sprang into the void from the top of the building.
2. (to fall upon)
a. to leap on
Tres jugadores se abalanzaron sobre el balón con la esperanza de mantenerlo en juego.Three players leapt on the ball in hopes of keeping it in play.
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