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Quick answer
"Esfuerza" is a form of "esforzar", a transitive verb which is often translated as "to strain". "Prepara" is a form of "preparar", a transitive verb which is often translated as "to prepare". Learn more about the difference between "esfuerza" and "prepara" below.
esforzar(
ehs
-
fohr
-
sahr
)
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (to exert)
a. to strain
Tuve que esforzar la vista para leer la letra pequeña.I had to strain my eyes to read the small print.
esforzarse
A pronominal verb always uses a reflexive pronoun. (e.g. Te ves cansado.).
2. (to put in effort)
a. to make an effort
Estos jóvenes se esfuerzan mucho para asegurar la seguridad de su barrio.These young people make a great effort to keep their neighborhood safe.
b. to try hard
Tendrás que esforzarte más si quieres llegar a ser médica.You'll have to try harder if you want to be a doctor.
c. to exert oneself
No deberías esforzarte tanto; tienes que recuperarte.You shouldn't exert yourself so much; you need to recover.
d. to strive
El nadador se esforzaba por nadar más rápido cada día.The swimmer strove to swim faster every day.
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preparar(
preh
-
pah
-
rahr
)
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (to organize)
a. to prepare
Prepara las cosas para ir mañana al colegio.Prepare your things for school tomorrow.
2. (to be ready)
a. to prepare
Nunca estamos preparados para la vida.We are never prepared for life.
3. (to make)
a. to prepare
Estoy preparando una gran fiesta para tu regreso.I'm preparing a big party for your return.
prepararse
A pronominal verb always uses a reflexive pronoun. (e.g. Te ves cansado.).
4. (to study)
a. to prepare
Me he estado preparando para un examen.I've been preparing for an exam.
A reflexive verb is a verb that indicates that the subject performs an action on itself (e.g. Miguel se lava.).
5. (to groom)
a. to get ready
Me estoy preparando para la fiesta de esta noche.I'm getting ready for a party tonight.
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