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Quick answer
"Exaltar" is a transitive verb which is often translated as "extol", and "alabar" is a transitive verb which is often translated as "to praise". Learn more about the difference between "exaltar" and "alabar" below.
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (to praise)
a. extol
La historia ha exaltado a varios artistas que en su época pasaron inadvertidos.History has extolled several artists who went unnoticed in their days.
b. exalt
Sus poemas recuerdan a las víctimas pero también exaltan a los héroes de aquellos años oscuros.His poems recall the victims but also exalt the heroes of those dark ages.
2. (to work up)
a. to excite
El informe indicaba que las acciones de la policía habían alentado y exaltado a la muchedumbre.The report said that police action had encouraged and excited the mob.
b. to arouse (passion)
La llegada del cantante al hotel exaltó a las seguidoras que lo esperaban.The singer's arrival to the hotel aroused the fans who were waiting for him.
A pronominal verb always uses a reflexive pronoun. (e.g. Te ves cansado.).
3. (to get excited)
a. to get overexcited
Sara acostumbra a exaltarse cada vez que viaja al extranjero.Sara usually gets overexcited every time she travels abroad.
b. to get worked up
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
Cuando escuché los comentarios machistas del profesor me exalté rápidamente.When I heard the sexist comments the teacher made I quickly got worked up.
4. (to get worked up)
a. to run high
Los sentimientos de los enamorados se exaltan cada vez que se ven.The lovers' feelings run high every time they meet.
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A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (to speak highly of)
a. to praise
Fue alabada por su servicio a la comunidad.She was praised for her service to the community.
2. (religious)
a. to praise
Cantaban y alababan el nombre de su dios.They were singing and praising the name of their god.
A reflexive verb is a verb that indicates that the subject performs an action on itself (e.g. Miguel se lava.).
3. (to brag; used with "de")
a. to boast
Siempre se alaba del gran atleta que se considera.He's always boasting about the great athlete that he is.
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