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Quick answer
"Encarar" is a transitive verb which is often translated as "to confront", and "acometer" is a transitive verb which is often translated as "to attack". Learn more about the difference between "encarar" and "acometer" below.
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (to deal with)
a. to confront
Este gobierno debe dejar de andarse con rodeos y encarar el problema de la pobreza extrema en áreas rurales del país.This government must stop fudging the issue and confront the problem of extreme poverty in rural areas of the country.
Cuando me quedé en paro, tuve que encarar la situación y buscar soluciones.When I became unemployed, I had to confront the situation and look for solutions.
b. to face up to
Los problemas se encaran mejor con una sonrisa.You face up to problems better if you smile.
c. to face
Cuando tienes un hijo, encaras un mundo nuevo de retos y preocupaciones.When you have a child, you face a whole new world of challenges and worries.
2. (to place opposite one another)
a. to bring face to face
Los padres encararon a los niños para que hicieran las paces.The parents brought their children face to face so that they make peace.
b. to fit together
Para completar el rompecabezas, me falta la pieza que encare con esta.To complete the puzzle, I'm missing the piece that fits together with this one.
3. (to hold up to a target)
a. to aim
El francotirador encaró su arma hacia el objetivo.The sniper aimed his gun towards the target.
b. to point
Los rehenes estaban asustados porque el atracador los encaraba con su pistola.The hostages were scared because the robber was pointing at them with his gun.
A pronominal verb always uses a reflexive pronoun. (e.g. Te ves cansado.).
4. (to accost: used with "con")
a. to confront
Mi novio se encaró con el hombre de la discoteca que me miraba.My boyfriend confronted the man who was looking at me in the club.
b. to stand up to
Manuel se encaró con sus padres cuando le dijeron que no podía salir con sus amigos.Manuel stood up to his parents when they told him he could not go out with his friends.
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A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (to assault)
a. to attack
El ejército acometió a las tropas enemigas al amanecer.The army attacked the enemy troops at dawn.
b. to charge against
Tan pronto comenzó la corrida, el toro acometió al torero.As soon as the bullfight started, the bull charged against the matador.
A phrase used as a figure of speech or a word that is symbolic in meaning; metaphorical (e.g. carrot, bean).
(to overwhelm)
a. to overcome
No pude ver el final de la película porque me acometió el sueño.I couldn't watch the end of the movie because sleep overcame me.
b. to take hold of
Se dejó acometer por el miedo y al final no se atrevió a saltar en paracaídas.He let fear take hold of him, and didn't dare to make the parachute jump in the end.
c. to seize
Cuando la tierra comenzó a temblar, nos acometió el pánico.When the earthquake started, panic seized us.
d. to assail (doubts)
A la novia la acometieron las dudas y canceló la boda el día antes.The bride was assailed by doubts, and she cancelled the wedding the day before it was to be held.
3. (to take on)
a. to undertake
Este año tenemos pensado acometer la remodelación de la cocina.We plan to undertake the kitchen remodeling this year.
b. to tackle
Laila acometió la tarea con mucho entusiasmo, pero luego se fue desinflando.Laila tackled the task with great enthusiasm, but then she became more and more discouraged.
An intransitive verb is one that does not require a direct object (e.g. The man sneezed.).
4. (to assault; used with "contra")
a. to attack
Hay que estar preparados, pues los rebeldes pueden acometer contra nosotros en cualquier momento.We need to be prepared because the rebels could attack us at any time.
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