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Quick answer
"Empeorarse" is a pronominal verb which is often translated as "to worsen", and "agravarse" is a pronominal verb which is also often translated as "to worsen". Learn more about the difference between "empeorarse" and "agravarse" below.
empeorarse(
ehm
-
peh
-
oh
-
rahr
-
seh
)
A pronominal verb always uses a reflexive pronoun. (e.g. Te ves cansado.).
1. (to decline)
a. to worsen
La situación en el país sólo se empeoró bajo el nuevo gobierno.The situation in the country only worsened under the new government.
empeorar
An intransitive verb is one that does not require a direct object (e.g. The man sneezed.).
2. (to decline)
a. to get worse
El día ya comenzó mal, y luego empeoró cuando se me rompió la pierna.The day started badly, and then it got worse when I broke my leg.
b. to deteriorate
Su salud sigue empeorando, y los médicos ya no saben qué hacer.Her health continues to deteriorate, and the doctors just don't know what to do.
c. to worsen
Se espera que la calidad del aire empeore durante toda la semana.The air quality is expected to worsen throughout the week.
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
3. (to aggravate)
a. to make worse
La visita al psicólogo solo sirvió de empeorar su obsesividad.The visit to the psychologist only served to make his obsessiveness worse.
b. to worsen
Solo empeoras la situación al fingir que todo está bien.You only worsen the situation by pretending that everything is fine.
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agravarse(
ah
-
grah
-
bahr
-
seh
)
A pronominal verb always uses a reflexive pronoun. (e.g. Te ves cansado.).
1. (to exacerbate)
a. to worsen
Los altercados se agravaron tras la contundente actuación de la policía.The quarrels worsened after the forceful acts of the police.
b. to become worse
La tensión entre las bandas se agravó después de que uno de los miembros resultara herido.The tension between the gangs became worse after one of the members got hurt.
c. to get worse
La situación clínica de la mujer se agravó tras varios días sin comer.The woman's clinical situation got worse after several days without eating.
d. to deteriorate
La mente de mi abuelo se agravó con los años.My grandfather's mind deteriorated over the years.
agravar
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
2. (to intensify)
a. to make worse
Los insultos proferidos por Ana no hicieron más que agravar la delicada situación.The insults Ana said only served to make the already delicate situation worse.
b. to aggravate
El intenso calor de verano agravó la condición del enfermo.The intense summer heat aggravated the patient's condition.
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