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Quick answer
"Encender" is a transitive verb which is often translated as "to turn on", and "poner" is a transitive verb which is often translated as "to put". Learn more about the difference between "encender" and "poner" below.
encender(
ehn
-
sehn
-
dehr
)
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (to activate)
a. to turn on
Lo primero que hace cada mañana es encender la televisión.The first thing he does every morning is turn on the television.
b. to switch on
Creo que es hora de encender el aire acondicionado.I think it's time to switch on the air conditioning.
2. (to illuminate)
a. to light
Ella encendió una vela para que pudiera ver dónde caminaba.She lit a candle so that she could see where she was walking.
b. to ignite
Una vez que enciendas la llama, añade leña para aumentar el fuego.Once you ignite the flame, add kindling to build the fire.
encenderse
A pronominal verb always uses a reflexive pronoun. (e.g. Te ves cansado.).
3. (to ignite)
a. to turn on
Las luces se encienden cuando sienten movimiento en el cuarto. The lights turn on when they sense movement in the room.
b. to light
Se encienden las linternas antes de cada servicio. The lamps are lit before every service.
A reflexive verb is a verb that indicates that the subject performs an action on itself (e.g. Miguel se lava.).
4. (to get red)
a. to blush
Mi hermano se encendió cuando ella le dio su número. My brother totally blushed when she gave him her number.
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poner(
poh
-
nehr
)
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (to place)
a. to put
¿Dónde pones las llaves?Where do you put the keys?
b. to add
Si pones más peso, se romperá.If you add more weight, it will break.
2.
A phrase used as a figure of speech or a word that is symbolic in meaning; metaphorical (e.g. carrot, bean).
(figurative)
(to cause to be)
a. to put
Su renuncia me pone en una situación difícil.His resignation puts me in a difficult position.
3. (clothing)
a. to put on
Después de bañar a la bebé, hay que ponerle ropa limpia.After giving the baby a bath, you have to put some clean clothes on her.
4. (to install)
a. to put
Es lógico que pongan allí un colegio nuevo.It makes sense to put a new school there.
5. (to ship)
a. to send
El mensaje que le puso era simple.The message he sent her was simple.
6. (to grade)
a. to give
Mi profesor me puso mala nota.My professor gave me a bad grade.
7. (to produce)
a. to lay
Las gallinas ponen un huevo al día.Hens lay one egg a day.
8. (to contribute)
a. to put in
Podemos alquilar ese sitio si todos ponemos algo de dinero.We can rent the place if everybody puts in some cash.
9. (to connect)
a. to put on
Pon la televisión para ver las noticias.Put the television on to watch the news.
b. to turn on
¿Ponemos la calefacción?Shall we turn the heating on?
10. (to name)
a. to call
Si tengo un niño le pondré Manuel, que es el nombre de mi padre.If I have a boy, I'll call him Manuel, which is my father's name.
b. to give
¿Qué nombre le van a poner a la niña? - Todavía no lo sabemos.What name are you going to give your baby? - We don't know yet.
ponerse
A reflexive verb is a verb that indicates that the subject performs an action on itself (e.g. Miguel se lava.).
11. (to become)
a. to get
No te pongas impaciente conmigo cuando no has hecho nada para ayudar.Don't get impatient with me when you haven't done anything to help.
b. to turn
Se pone blando cuando se cocina.It turns soft when cooked.
12. (clothing)
a. to put on
Ponte los guantes.Put your gloves on.
13. (to place oneself)
a. to move
Ponte un poco más a la derecha.Move a little more to the right.
14. (to go down)
a. to set
El sol se pone y entonces cae la noche.The sun sets and then night falls.
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