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Quick answer
"Usar" is a transitive verb which is often translated as "to use", and "conservar" is a transitive verb which is often translated as "to maintain". Learn more about the difference between "usar" and "conservar" below.
usar(
oo
-
sahr
)
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (to utilize)
a. to use
Puedes usar mi teléfono viejo si no logras encontrar el tuyo.You can use my old phone if you don't manage to find yours.
2. (to have on)
a. to wear
Voy a usar mi chaqueta nueva cuando haga frío.I'm going to wear my new jacket when it gets cold.
usarse
A reflexive verb is a verb that indicates that the subject performs an action on itself (e.g. Miguel se lava.).
3. (to be in fashion)
a. to be worn
En verano se vuelven a usar los vestidos y las faldas.In summer, dresses and skirts are worn again.
b. to be in fashion
Se usaban los overoles en los ochenta y los noventa.Overalls were in fashion in the eighties and nineties.
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conservar(
kohn
-
sehr
-
bahr
)
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (to conserve)
a. to maintain
El objetivo de estos ejercicios es conservar la salud de los pacientes.The goal of these activities is maintaining the health of our patients.
b. to preserve
Hay muchos avances tecnológicos que ayudan a conservar el medio ambiente.There are many technological advances that help to preserve the environment.
c. to retain
El plástico ayudará a conservar la humedad del pastel.The plastic wrap will help retain the moisture of the cake.
d. to keep
En nuestra familia conservamos viva la tradición del pesebre en Navidad.In our family, we keep alive the tradition of the Christmas creche.
2. (to put away)
a. to keep
Gina siempre conserva los recibos por si acaso.Gina always keeps receipts just in case.
b. to store
Los lácteos deben conservarse en el refrigerador.Dairy products have to be stored in the refrigerator.
3. (culinary)
a. to preserve
Mi abuela me enseñó cómo conservar los chiles en vinagre.My grandmother taught me how to preserve chili peppers in vinegar.
conservarse
A pronominal verb always uses a reflexive pronoun. (e.g. Te ves cansado.).
4. (to last)
a. to keep
Esta salsa se conserva durante mucho tiempo si se la guarda en un lugar frío.This sauce will keep for a long time if stored in a cool place.
b. to survive
El pueblo indígena está decidido a que se conserve su cultura.The indigenous group is determined to make its culture survive.
5. (to maintain)
a. to keep oneself
Marlene se conserva muy bien.Marlene keeps herself looking really good.
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