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Quick answer
"Estar listo" is an intransitive verb phrase which is often translated as "to be ready", and "alistarse" is a pronominal verb which is often translated as "to enlist". Learn more about the difference between "estar listo" and "alistarse" below.
estar listo(
ehs
-
tahr
 
lees
-
toh
)
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. (to be prepared)
a. to be ready
¡Niños, a la mesa, la merienda está lista!Children, come to the table! Tea's ready!
2. (to be completed)
a. to be finished
No hay problema, el informe estará listo para las 12 am.No problem. The report will be finished by 12 am.
3.
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(colloquial)
(to make a big mistake)
a. to have another thing coming
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(colloquial)
Si te crees que te voy a ordenar yo el cuarto, estás listo.If you think I'm going to tidy up your bedroom, you have another thing coming.
4.
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(colloquial)
(to be in trouble)
a. to be done for
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(colloquial)
Si todos los días va a hacer este calor, estamos listos.If it's going to be this hot everyday, we're done for.
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alistarse(
ah
-
lees
-
tahr
-
seh
)
A pronominal verb always uses a reflexive pronoun. (e.g. Te ves cansado.).
1. (to join the army)
a. to enlist
Mi abuelo se alistó en el ejército cuando tenía 18.My grandfather enlisted in the army when he was 18.
b. to join up
Me alisté en la fuerza aérea porque quiero ser piloto.I joined up with the air force because I want to be a pilot.
2. (to sign up)
a. to enroll
Regionalism used in the United States
(United States)
Me alisté en una maestría de ingeniería industrial.I enrolled in a master's program in industrial engineering.
b. to enrol (Australia) (United Kingdom)
¿Se alistaron muchos alumnos para la clase de historia?Did many students enrol in the history class?
3. (to put one's clothes on)
Regionalism used in Latin America: all the countries in South America, Central America, and the Caribbean. Does not include Spain.
(Latin America)
a. to get ready
Marisa se duchó y se alistó en diez minutos.Marisa showered and got ready in ten minutes.
alistar
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
4. (to add to a list)
a. to put on a list
Alisté los nombres de los voluntarios.I put the names of the volunteers on a list.
5. (to matriculate)
a. to enroll
Regionalism used in the United States
(United States)
¿Vas a alistar a tus hijos en clases de natación este semestre?Are you enroling your children in swimming classes this semester?
b. to enrol (United Kingdom)
Tenemos que alistar a todos los estudiantes una semana antes del inicio de clases.We have to enrol all of the students a week before the start of classes.
6. (to dress)
Regionalism used in Latin America: all the countries in South America, Central America, and the Caribbean. Does not include Spain.
(Latin America)
a. to get ready
Bañé y alisté al bebé.I showered the baby and got him ready.
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