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Quick answer
"Equivocarse" is a pronominal verb which is often translated as "to make a mistake", and "meter la pata" is an intransitive verb phrase which is often translated as "to put one's foot in it". Learn more about the difference between "equivocarse" and "meter la pata" below.
A pronominal verb always uses a reflexive pronoun. (e.g. Te ves cansado.).
1. (to make an error; often used with "con")
a. to make a mistake
Apaga la música; no quiero equivocarme.Can you turn the music off? I don't want to make a mistake.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
La empresa reconoce que se equivocó con su respuesta.The company recognizes that it got its response wrong.
El gobierno se equivocó con esta medida.The government got it wrong with this policy.
2. (to be in error; often used with "con")
a. to be wrong
No me equivoqué con él; es un hombre muy amable y sincero.I wasn't wrong about him; he's a very kind, sincere man.
b. to be mistaken
Creo que te equivocas; mi hija nunca haría tal cosa.You must be mistaken; my daughter would never do such a thing.
3. (to confuse; used with "de")
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
Mi madre se equivocó de tren y, por consiguiente, no lllegó aquí hasta la una de la madrugada.My mother got on the wrong train and, as a result, didn't get here till one in the morning.
Te equivocaste de mes. El cumpleaños de Fernando es el dos de julio y no el dos de junio.You got the month wrong. Fernando's birthday is the second of July not the second of June.
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
4. (to mix up)
a. to get wrong
Perdón, equivoqué la dirección de email.Sorry, I got the email address wrong.
5. (to cause to make an error)
a. to make ... go wrong
Cállate un momento. Estos cálculos son complicados y me vas a equivocar.Can you be quiet for a moment? These calculations are complicated, and you're going to make me go wrong.
b. to make ... make a mistake
Me fié de esta app y me equivocó.I trusted this app, but it made me make a mistake.
6. (to make a poor choice of)
a. to choose the wrong
Creo que equivoqué la carrera; mi hermano gana mucho más que yo.I think I chose the wrong career; my brother earns much more than I do.
b. to pick the wrong
Me parece que equivoqué la especialidad, y ahora voy a tener problemas para conseguir trabajo.It looks like I picked the wrong major, and now it will be difficult to get a job.
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meter la pata(
An intransitive verb phrase is a phrase that combines a verb with a preposition or other particle and does not require a direct object (e.g. Everybody please stand up.).
intransitive verb phrase
1. (idiom) (general)
a. to put one's foot in it (idiom)
No estaba seguro de lo que estaba hablando. Si me hubiera callado, no habría metido la pata.I wasn't sure what I was talking about. Had I shut up I wouldn't have put my foot in it.
b. to put one's foot in one's mouth (idiom)
Regionalism used in the United States
(United States)
Metí la pata hablando del amor eterno cuando acababan de divorciarse. ¡Pero no sabía nada!I put my foot in my mouth talking about eternal love when they had just divorced. But I didn't know!
c. to mess up
Metimos la pata al comprar este armario. Es demasiado pequeño.We messed up when we bought this closet. It's far too small.
d. to make a blunder
Lucía estaba avergonzada por haber metido la pata de esa manera con un comentario tan indiscreto.Lucia was embarrassed by the terrible blunder she'd made with her rather tactless remark.
e. to blunder
El gobierno metió la pata sometiendo una decisión tan importante a votación pública.The government blundered on putting such an important decision to a public vote.
f. to mess things up
No me atrevo a reparar el auto yo solo. No quiero meter la pata.I don't dare fix the car myself. I don't want to mess things up.
g. to make a mess of it
Esta vez sí que metiste la pata. Te dije que no se lo contaras a nadie, ¿no?You really made a mess of it this time. I told you not to tell anyone, didn't I?
h. to make a faux pas (socially)
Creo que Luis metió la pata ofreciéndole el asiento a la chica con el barrigón. Me temo que no está embarazada.I think Luis made a faux pas by offering his seat to the young woman with the potbelly. I'm afraid she's not pregnant.
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