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Quick answer
"Untar" is a transitive verb which is often translated as "to spread", and "ensuciar" is a transitive verb which is often translated as "to dirty". Learn more about the difference between "untar" and "ensuciar" below.
untar(
oon
-
tahr
)
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (to cover)
a. to spread
Catalina, ¿puedes untar las tostadas con mermelada?Catalina, can you spread the toast with jam?
b. to smear
La nena untó el lápiz labial de su mamá por toda la pared.The little girl smeared her mom's lipstick all over the wall.
c. to grease
Hay que untar la cacerola con mantequilla antes de ponerle la masa.You ought to grease the pan with butter before putting the dough in it.
2.
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(colloquial)
(to give a bribe)
a. to bribe
Estoy seguro de que untaron a alguien para que les permitiera construir en zona restringida.I'm sure they bribed somebody to get permission to build in a restricted area.
b. to grease the palm of
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(colloquial)
Si tienes dinero suficiente, puedes untar a algún oficial corrupto.If you have enough money, you can grease the palm of a corrupt official.
untarse
A pronominal verb always uses a reflexive pronoun. (e.g. Te ves cansado.).
3. (to cover)
a. to smear
Para que sea efectiva la crema antiarrugas, debes untártela en la cara todas las noches.For the antiwrinkle cream to work, you need to smear it all over your face every night.
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ensuciar(
ehn
-
soo
-
syahr
)
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (to make dirty)
a. to dirty
El polvo ensució los vidrios de la casa.The dust dirtied the windows in the house.
b. to get dirty
No me vayas a ensuciar el sillón de pintura.Don't get the sofa dirty with paint.
2. (to discredit)
a. to sully
La revista de chismes ensució la imagen del actor.The gossip magazine sullied the actor's image.
b. to tarnish
Todas tus mentiras ensuciaron mi nombre.All your lies have tarnished my name.
ensuciarse
A pronominal verb always uses a reflexive pronoun. (e.g. Te ves cansado.).
3. (to make dirty)
a. to get dirty
No me había lavado las manos y terminé ensuciándome la blusa.I hadn't washed my hands and I ended up getting my blouse dirty.
A reflexive verb is a verb that indicates that the subject performs an action on itself (e.g. Miguel se lava.).
4. (to make oneself dirty)
a. to get dirty
Me ensucié todo de lodo.I got all dirty with mud.
5. (to relieve oneself clothed)
a. to dirty
El niñito se ensució los calzones.The little boy dirtied his briefs.
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