Quick answer
"Find out" is a transitive verb phrase which is often translated as "averiguar", and "ascertain" is a transitive verb which is often translated as "establecer". Learn more about the difference between "find out" and "ascertain" below.
find out(
A transitive verb phrase is a phrase that combines a verb with a preposition or other particle and requires a direct object (e.g. Take out the trash.).
transitive verb phrase
1. (to learn)
a. averiguar
They soon found out the flower shop was a front.Pronto averiguaron que la florería era una tapadera.
b. descubrir
Mom is going to be mad when she finds out you lied about the broken plate.Mamá se va a poner furiosa cuando descubra que mentiste sobre el plato roto.
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
2. (to become aware)
a. enterarse
The company didn't find out about the incident until it was contacted by the police.La compañía no se enteró del incidente hasta que la policía se puso en contacto con ellos.
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A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (general)
a. establecer
The judge ordered an inquiry into the accident in an attempt to ascertain the circumstances surrounding it.El juez pidió que se abriera una investigación sobre el accidente, en un intento por establecer las circunstancias que lo rodearon.
b. determinar
It had proved impossible to ascertain the cause of death.Había resultado imposible determinar la causa de la muerte.
c. averiguar
I think we need to ascertain what's really going on before making a judgment.Yo creo que tenemos que averiguar qué está pasando de verdad antes de formarnos un juicio.
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