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"Estallar" is an intransitive verb which is often translated as "to explode", and "explotar" is a transitive verb which is often translated as "to exploit". Learn more about the difference between "estallar" and "explotar" below.
estallar(
ehs
-
tah
-
yahr
)
An intransitive verb is one that does not require a direct object (e.g. The man sneezed.).
1. (to blow up)
a. to explode
El transbordador espacial Challenger estalló en 1986.The Space Shuttle Challenger exploded in 1986.
b. to erupt
La última vez que estalló el volcán Paricutín fue en 1952.The Paricutin volcano last erupted in 1952.
c. to go off
Una bomba estalló en un restaurante del centro, provocando un caos en las calles.A bomb went off in a downtown restaurant, causing chaos in the streets.
2. (to break)
a. to burst
Los globos que dejamos en el coche estallaron a causa del sol caliente.The balloons we left in the car all burst because of the hot sun.
b. to shatter
El camarero se tropezó y los vasos que llevaba estallaron en mil pedazos.The waiter tripped and the glasses he was carrying shattered into a thousand pieces.
c. to blow out
La ventana estalló cuando pasó el avión demasiado cerca de la casa.The window blew out when the plane came too close to the house.
d. to crash (waves)
Me encanta ver cómo las olas estallan en las rocas.I love watching how the waves crash on the rocks.
3. (to develop suddenly)
a. to break out
La Primera Guerra Mundial estalló después del asesinato del archiduque Franz Ferdinand.World War I broke out after the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand.
4. (to snap)
a. to crack
Un látigo estalló cerca de mi oído y casi me dejó sordo.A whip cracked next to my ear and almost left me deaf.
5. (to melt down emotionally)
a. to burst
Cuando recibió la mala noticia, estalló en lagrimas.When she got the bad news, she burst into tears.
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explotar(
ehks
-
ploh
-
tahr
)
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (to use)
a. to exploit
Este país tiene muchos recursos naturales que aún no han sido explotados.This country has many natural resources that are yet to be exploited.
b. to work
La gente de esta región explota la tierra para cultivos agrícolas y ganadería.People in this region work the land for agricultural crops and cattle raising.
c. to run
El nuevo dueño de la fábrica quiere explotarla al máximo.The new owner of the factory wants to run it to the max.
d. to operate
La compañía minera explota tres minas distintas en los alrededores de este pueblo.The mining company operates three separate mines around this town.
2. (to take advantage of)
a. to exploit
Yo que tú, renunciaría. ¡Te están explotando en ese trabajo!If I were you, I'd quit. They're exploiting you in that job!
3. (to make the most of)
a. to exploit
Él supo cómo explotar la situación y le sacó provecho para su propio beneficio.He knew how to exploit the situation and took advantage of it for his own benefit.
An intransitive verb is one that does not require a direct object (e.g. The man sneezed.).
4. (to detonate)
a. to explode
Una bomba explotó cerca del centro comercial. Afortunadamente, nadie resultó herido.A bomb exploded close to the shopping center. Fortunately, no one was hurt.
b. to go off
Una mina terrestre explotó cuando los soldados trataban de desactivarla.A land mine went off while the soldiers were trying to defuse it.
5.
A phrase used as a figure of speech or a word that is symbolic in meaning; metaphorical (e.g. carrot, bean).
(figurative)
(to react emotionally)
a. to explode
Explotó cuando se enteró de que le habían negado la beca.She exploded when she found out that her scholarship had been denied.
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