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Quick answer
"Empujar" is a transitive verb which is often translated as "to push", and "pujar" is an intransitive verb which is often translated as "to struggle". Learn more about the difference between "empujar" and "pujar" below.
empujar(
ehm
-
poo
-
hahr
)
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (to propel)
a. to push
La mujer iba empujando el carrito de la compra por la acera.The woman was pushing her shopping cart along the sidewalk.
b. to shove
El defensor empujó a Sánchez contra un camarógrafo y fue expulsado.The defender shoved Sánchez against a cameraman and was sent off.
2. (to pressure; used with "a")
a. to push into
Su mujer lo empujó a cambiar de trabajo.His wife pushed him into changing his job.
b. to force to
La situación nos está empujando a tomar medidas drásticas.The situation is forcing us to take some drastic measures.
3. (mechanics)
a. to drive
El vehículo es empujado por un motor a reacción.The vehicle is driven by a jet engine.
An intransitive verb is one that does not require a direct object (e.g. The man sneezed.).
4. (to shove)
a. to push
Tommy empujó para llegar adelante el primero.Tommy pushed to get to the front first.
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pujar(
poo
-
hahr
)
An intransitive verb is one that does not require a direct object (e.g. The man sneezed.).
1. (to strive to; often used with "por")
a. to struggle
La empresa sigue pujando por hacerse hueco en el mercado.The firm keeps struggling to position itself in the market.
2. (to submit a bid)
a. to bid
La anticuaria pujó por varios artículos en la subasta, pero se llevó solo un cuadro.The antique dealer bid for several items in the auction, but she walked out with just the one painting.
3.
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(colloquial)
(to push forcibly with the muscles)
Regionalism used in Latin America: all the countries in South America, Central America, and the Caribbean. Does not include Spain.
(Latin America)
a. to push
La madre pujaba para que el bebé saliera.The mother pushed so that the baby would come out.
b. to strain
No debes pujar al momento de defecar.You shouldn't strain when you defecate.
4.
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(colloquial)
(to make a long, low sound)
Regionalism used in Latin America: all the countries in South America, Central America, and the Caribbean. Does not include Spain.
(Latin America)
a. to moan
Marta pujó al levantar la pesada maleta para ponerla sobre la cama.Marta moaned when she lifted the heavy suitcase onto the bed.
b. whimper
El niño se pasó toda la noche pujando porque tenía dolor de barriga.The child was whimpering all night because he had a bellyache.
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
5. (to submit a bid of)
a. to bid
No estoy dispuesto a pujar más de €8,000 por esa lámpara.I'm not prepared to bid more than €8,000 for that lamp.
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