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Quick answer
"Escribir" is a transitive verb which is often translated as "to write", and "hablar" is an intransitive verb which is often translated as "to speak". Learn more about the difference between "escribir" and "hablar" below.
escribir(
ehs
-
kree
-
beer
)
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (to put in writing)
a. to write
El alumno escribió su ensayo de 20 páginas dentro de una noche.The student wrote his 20-page essay in one night.
Escribe lo que digo.Write what I say.
2. (to compose)
a. to write
Me escribió una canción de amor.He wrote me a love song.
An impersonal verb is a verb with no apparent subject (e.g. Llueve en España.).
3. (to spell)
a. to write
Los nombres propios se escriben con mayúscula.Proper nouns are written with capital letters.
escribirse
A reciprocal verb is a verb that indicates that two or more subjects perform an action on each other (e.g. Ellos se abrazan.).
4. (to correspond)
a. to write to each other
Nos escribimos todos los días.We write to each other every day.
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hablar(
ah
-
blahr
)
An intransitive verb is one that does not require a direct object (e.g. The man sneezed.).
1. (to articulate words)
a. to speak
Los bebés comienzan a hablar a los 18 meses.Babies start speaking at around 18 months.
b. to talk
Escucho a alguien hablando, pero no sé de dónde viene.I can hear someone talking, but I don't know where's it coming from.
2. (to converse)
a. to talk
¿Necesitas a alguien con quien hablar?Do you need someone to talk to?
b. to speak
¿Podemos hablar en privado?Can we speak in private?
3. (to give a speech)
a. to speak
Habló un buen rato de las reformas que había propuesto el gobierno.He spoke at length about the reforms the government had proposed.
4. (to speak on the phone)
a. to call
Buenas tardes, ¿se encuentra la Sra. Martínez? - ¿Quién habla?Good afternoon, may I speak with Mrs. Martinez? - Who is calling?
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
5. (to be able to communicate in)
a. to speak
Hablo cinco idiomas y leo diez.I speak five languages and can read ten.
6. (to deal with)
a. to discuss
Eso se lo tienes que hablar directamente al principal.You need to discuss that directly with the principal.
b. to say
¿Verdaderamente no tienes nada de qué hablarme?You really don't have anything to say to me?
7. (to call)
Regionalism used in Mexico
(Mexico)
a. to phone
Ahora que tienes su número, ¿le vas a hablar?Now that you have her number, are you going to phone her?
An impersonal verb is a verb with no apparent subject (e.g. Llueve en España.).
8. (to have a conversation)
a. to speak
No se habla de otra cosa.We speak about nothing else.
hablarse
A reciprocal verb is a verb that indicates that two or more subjects perform an action on each other (e.g. Ellos se abrazan.).
9. (to have a conversation)
a. to speak to each other
Se hablan de mala manera.They speak to each other rudely.
b. to be on speaking terms
Los primos no se hablan después de la pelea sobre la herencia.The cousins aren't on speaking terms after the fight over the inheritance.
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