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Quick answer
"Encajar" is a transitive verb which is often translated as "to fit", and "caber" is an intransitive verb which is also often translated as "to fit". Learn more about the difference between "encajar" and "caber" below.
encajar(
ehng
-
kah
-
hahr
)
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (to insert)
a. to fit
Encajó la ventana en el marco.She fitted the window into the frame.
2. (to understand as)
a. to take
¿Qué pasa? Hay que saber encajar una broma.What's the matter? You have to know how to take a joke.
3. (to strike)
a. to land
El boxeador le encajó un golpe en el hombro izquierdo.The boxer landed a blow on his left shoulder..
4. (sports)
a. to let in
Nuestro portero encaja muy pocos chutes.Our goalie lets in very few shots.
5. (to burden with)
a. to dump on
Se fue por la semana y nos encajó los perros.She left for the week and dumped the dogs on us.
b. to lumber with
Siempre y cuando viajan mis papás, me encajan a mantener su casa.Whenever my parents travel, I'm lumbered with house sitting for them.
An intransitive verb is one that does not require a direct object (e.g. The man sneezed.).
6. (to lock in place)
a. to fit
Esta broca no encaja en el taladro.This bit doesn't fit in the drill.
b. to fit together
Estas dos piezas deben encajar.These two pieces should fit together.
7. (to integrate)
a. to fit
Es que su personalidad no encaja con la cultura de la compañía.It's just that his personality doesn't fit with the company culture.
8. (to coincide)
a. to add up
No encajan las historias de estos dos testigos.The stories of these two witnesses don't add up.
encajarse
A reflexive verb is a verb that indicates that the subject performs an action on itself (e.g. Miguel se lava.).
9. (clothing)
a. to put on
Se encajó el abrigo y salió a jugar.She put on her coat and went out to play.
A pronominal verb always uses a reflexive pronoun. (e.g. Te ves cansado.).
10. (to abuse)
Regionalism used in Mexico
(Mexico)
a. to take advantage of
Se encaja con nuestra bondad porque es demasiado tacaño para pagar.He takes advantage of our kindness because he's too cheap to pay.
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caber(
kah
-
behr
)
An intransitive verb is one that does not require a direct object (e.g. The man sneezed.).
1. (to have enough room)
a. to fit
En nuestro comedor cabe hasta un centenar de personas.Our dining area can fit as many as a hundred people.
2. (to pass through; used with "por")
a. to fit
Esos lazos no caben por la aguja.Those ribbons cannot fit through the needle.
b. to go
El sofá no cabe por la puerta.The sofa will not go through the door.
3. (to be conceivable)
a. to be possible
Esa es la única solución que cabe.That is the only possible solution.
4. (to be an option)
a. to be room for
En esta guerra, no caben consideraciones.In this war, there is no room for consideration.
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