Quick answer
"Light up" is an intransitive verb phrase which is often translated as "iluminarse", and "pay off" is a transitive verb phrase which is often translated as "saldar". Learn more about the difference between "light up" and "pay off" below.
light up
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 animate)
a. iluminarse
Matt's eyes light up when he talks about Eva.Los ojos de Matt se iluminan cuando habla de Eva.
2.
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(colloquial)
(to light something in order to smoke it)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
Eddie pulled out a pack of cigarettes and we lit up.Eddie sacó una cajetilla y encendimos cada uno un cigarrillo.
I passed Nigel a lighter and he lit up.Le pasé un encendedor a Nigel y prendió una pipa.
3. (to illuminate)
a. iluminarse
At night, the bridge lights up and changes colors.En la noche, el puente se ilumina y cambia de color.
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
4. (to animate)
a. iluminar
Olivia lights up my life.Olivia me ilumina la vida.
5. (to ignite)
a. encender
Nicole lit up a cigarette, took a drag, and sipped some coffee.Nicole encendió un cigarrillo, dio una chupada y tomó un sorbo de café.
6. (to illuminate)
a. iluminar
The fireworks lit up the sky.Los fuegos pirotécnicos iluminaron el cielo.
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pay off
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 settle a debt)
a. saldar
Gary is hoping to pay off the loan by 2018.Gary espera saldar el préstamo antes de 2018.
b. liquidar
Dani's financial advisor told her to pay off her current debts before taking on more.El consejero financiero de Dani le dijo que liquidara sus deudas actuales antes de asumir otras.
c. amortizar
With a down payment of $10,000, it will take 25 years to pay off the mortgage.Con una cuota inicial de $10,000, tomará 25 años amortizar la hipoteca.
d. pagar
Spencer will have to pay off his creditors to abate the constant stream of phone calls.Spencer va a tener que pagar a sus acreedores para acabar con las constantes llamadas telefónicas.
2. (to bribe)
a. untar
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(colloquial)
The verdict seemed so unbelievable that we all wondered if the mob had paid the jury off.El veredicto pareció tan inverosímil que todos nos preguntamos si la mafia había untado al jurado.
b. coimear
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(colloquial)
(Southern Cone)
The mafia has been paying off the cops for years.La mafia ha estado coimeando a la policía durante años.
c. dar una mordida a
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(colloquial)
Regionalism used in Mexico
(Mexico)
It turned out the investment firm had paid off the tax auditors.Resultó que la firma de inversiones le había dado una mordida a los auditores de impuestos.
3. (to pay and discharge)
a. liquidarle el sueldo a
The human resources director paid Anna off and told her today was her last day.El director de personal le liquidó el sueldo a Ana y le dijo que hoy era su último día.
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
4. (to be worthwhile)
a. valer la pena
Marta knew that all her hard work would pay off when the house was finally built.Marta sabía que todo su esfuerzo valdría la pena cuando la casa por fin estuviera construida.
b. merecer la pena
This class will be a lot of work, but the knowledge you will take away will pay off.Esta clase requerirá mucho esfuerzo, pero el conocimiento que obtendrán merecerá la pena.
c. dar fruto
A phrase used as a figure of speech or a word that is symbolic in meaning; metaphorical (e.g. carrot, bean).
(figurative)
When you see your child graduate, you'll realize all your efforts have paid off.Cuando veas a tu hijo graduarse, te darás cuenta que todos tus esfuerzos dieron fruto.
d. dar resultado
We took a great risk by investing in Lina's crazy project, but it's paying off.Nos arriesgamos mucho al invertir en el proyecto loco de Lina, pero está dando resultados.
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