Quick answer
"Line up" is an intransitive verb phrase which is often translated as "ponerse en fila", and "get in line" is an intransitive verb phrase which is often translated as "ponerse en la fila". Learn more about the difference between "line up" and "get in line" below.
line 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 get in line)
a. ponerse en fila
The bell rang, and the children lined up in the schoolyard.Sonó la campana y los niños se pusieron en fila en el patio de recreo.
b. formar fila (soldiers)
The soldiers were ordered to line up and be ready to set off.Los soldados recibieron la orden de formar fila y estar listos para partir.
2. (to wait in line)
Regionalism used in the United States
(United States)
a. hacer cola
The prisoners lined up to receive their daily rations.Los presos hicieron cola para recibir su ración diaria.
b. hacer fila
I hate having to wait, and above all I hate having to line up.Odio tener que esperar, y sobre todo odio tener que hacer fila.
3. (to form a row)
a. alinearse
Mercury, Venus, Saturn, Mars, and Jupiter will line up for the first time in a decade.Mercurio, Venus, Saturno, Marte y Júpiter se alinearán por primera vez en una década.
4. (to match up)
a. quedar alineado
Place the two pieces of fabric together, making sure the edges line up exactly.Junta las dos piezas de tela, procurando que los bordes queden perfectamente alineados.
5. (to support)
a. hacer causa común
Media of all political persuasions lined up behind the bill.Medios de comunicación de todos los signos políticos hicieron causa común a favor del proyecto de ley.
b. alinearse
I was surprised when I heard my brother had lined up behind a radical candidate.Me quedé sorprendida cuando supe que mi hermano se había alineado con un candidato radical.
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
6. (to arrange in a line)
a. poner en fila
Sammy would play with his toy cars for hours, lining them up on the floor.Sammy jugaba horas y horas con sus autitos, poniéndolos en fila en el suelo.
b. alinear
A man was lining up deck chairs in neat rows around the swimming pool.Un hombre alineaba sillas de playa en filas ordenadas alrededor de la piscina.
7. (to match up)
a. alinear
First, lay the two wallpaper rolls side-by-side and line up the patterns.Primero, coloca los dos rollos de papel pintado uno junto a otro y alinea los dibujos.
8. (to prepare)
a. programar
How's work? Do you have any projects lined up for the next few months?¿Cómo va el trabajo? ¿Tienes algún proyecto programado para los próximos meses?
b. preparar
I don't know what Jane has lined up for us, but it's sure to be an enjoyable evening.No sé qué nos tiene preparado Jane, pero seguro que va a ser una tarde amena.
c.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
The party is lining up candidates for the next legislature.El partido está a la búsqueda de candidatos para la próxima legislatura.
We have several actors lined up for the role.Tenemos a varios actores en mente para el papel.
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get in line
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. (general)
a. ponerse en la fila
We got in line at 9.30 and waited for a whole hour.Nos pusimos en la fila a las 9.30 y esperamos una hora entera.
b. ponerse en la cola
We got in line five hours before the show started.Nos pusimos en la cola cinco horas antes de que empezara el espectáculo.
c. hacer fila
If you want to get in line, go ahead. I'm going back home.Si quieres hacer fila, adelante. Yo me vuelvo a casa.
d. hacer cola
I'll go get in line for a coffee.Voy a hacer cola para pedir un café.
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