Quick answer
"Wait up" is an intransitive verb phrase which is often translated as "esperar levantado", and "wait" is an intransitive verb which is often translated as "esperar". Learn more about the difference between "wait up" and "wait" below.
wait 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 stay awake)
a. esperar levantado
I'll be home late so don't wait up.Volveré tarde así que no esperes levantado.
b. esperar despierto
My mom always waited up no matter how late I was.Mi madre siempre esperaba despierta, no importa lo tarde que llegaba.
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(to pause)
Regionalism used in the United States
(United States)
a. esperar
Just wait up. These things take time.Espere nomás. Estas cosas llevan su tiempo.
3. (to await without sleeping; used with "for")
a. esperar levantado
When I got home, my father was waiting up for me and he wasn't very happy.Cuando llegué a casa, mi padre me esperaba levantado y no estaba muy contento.
b. esperar despierto
Lucia's plane was delayed so we decided not to wait up for her.El avión de Lucia se retrasó así que decidimos no esperarla despiertos.
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An intransitive verb is one that does not require a direct object (e.g. The man sneezed.).
1. (to hold on)
a. esperar
I'm waiting for him to get out of his meeting so we can eat.Estoy esperando que salga de su reunión para que podamos comer.
2. (to postpone)
a. esperar
That can wait. This is more important.Eso puede esperar. Esto es más importante.
A noun is a word referring to a person, animal, place, thing, feeling or idea (e.g. man, dog, house).
3. (delay)
a. la espera
(f) means that a noun is feminine. Spanish nouns have a gender, which is either feminine (like la mujer or la luna) or masculine (like el hombre or el sol).
Bowling is fun but the wait to get a lane is unbearable.Los bolos son divertidos, pero la espera para conseguir una pista es insoportable.
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