Quick answer
"Observe" is a transitive verb which is often translated as "observar", and "observing" is an adjective which is often translated as "de observación". Learn more about the difference between "observe" and "observing" below.
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (to watch)
a. observar
This is a chance to observe these rare animals in their natural habitat.Esta es una oportunidad de observar estos animales poco comunes en su hábitat natural.
2. (to keep under observation)
a. vigilar
The secret services were observing what went on at the embassy.Los servicios secretos estaban vigilando lo que pasaba en la embajada.
b. observar
We observe the children in the classroom and monitor their progress.Observamos a los niños en el aula y seguimos sus progresos.
3. (to notice)
a. observar
I observed how he captured the audience's attention.Observé cómo captaba la atención del público.
b. ver
Did you observe him leaving the house?¿Lo viste salir de la casa?
4. (to comment)
a. observar
"That is not strictly true," she observed."Eso no es del todo cierto", observó.
5. (to abide by)
a. observar
When you join the club, you agree to observe the rules.Cuando te haces socio del club, te comprometes a observar las reglas.
b. respetar
I refuse to observe a law I do not agree with.Me niego a respetar una ley con la cual no estoy de acuerdo.
c. cumplir
Although the law was passed, it has never been observed.Aunque aprobaron la ley, nunca se cumplió.
d. acatar
The guidelines set out several principles which need to be observed.En las pautas se exponen varios principios que es necesario acatar.
e. guardar
We shall now observe a minute's silence in memory of the victims.Ahora guardaremos un minuto de silencio en memoria de las víctimas.
6. (to celebrate)
a. celebrar
Buddhists do not observe Christmas.Los budistas no celebran la Navidad.
An intransitive verb is one that does not require a direct object (e.g. The man sneezed.).
7. (to watch)
a. observar
We were asked to observe, without commenting.Se nos pidió observar sin comentar.
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An adjective is a word that describes a noun (e.g. the big dog).
1. (related to observation)
a. de observación
The top of the mountain was the best observing site to see the meteor shower.La cima de la montaña fue el mejor sitio de observación para ver la lluvia de meteoritos.
2. (perceptive)
a. observador
Nina's observing friends immediately noticed that there was something wrong with her.Los amigos observadores de Nina inmediatamente se dieron cuenta de que algo malo le pasaba.
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