Quick answer
"Wipe" is a transitive verb which is often translated as "limpiar", and "rub" is a transitive verb which is often translated as "frotar". Learn more about the difference between "wipe" and "rub" below.
wipe(
wayp
)
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (to clean)
a. limpiar
The worker wiped the counters with clean towels and disinfectant.El trabajador limplió los mostradores con toallas limpias y desinfectante.
b. secar
She wiped the mirror with a rag so she could see her reflection better.Secó el espejo con un trapo para poder ver su reflejo mejor.
c. pasar
She wiped a clean handkerchief over her son's cheek.Pasó un pañuelo limpio por la mejilla de su hijo.
d. pasar un trapo a
I already finished washing my car. I'm just wiping the windshield.Ya acabo de lavar mi carro. Solo estoy pasando un trapo al parabrisas.
e. limpiar con un trapo
She wiped the canvas before she applied paint to it.Limpió el lienzo con un trapo antes de aplicar la pintura.
2. (to remove)
a. limpiarse
Lady Macbeth tried to wipe the blood from her hands, but it would not come off.Lacy Macbeth trató de limpiarse la sangre de sus manos, pero no salía.
b. secarse
Wipe those tears from your eyes. Everything is going to be okay.Sécate las lágrimas de los ojos. Todo va a salir bien.
3. (to erase)
a. borrar
To preserve their historical image, the organization wiped any news relating to the scandal.Por conservar su imagen histórica, la organización borró cualquier noticia con relación al escándalo.
4. (computing)
a. borrar
Before you return the computer to him, can you wipe the memory?Antes de que le devuelvas la computadora, ¿puedes borrarle la memoria?
An intransitive verb is one that does not require a direct object (e.g. The man sneezed.).
5. (to make dry dishes)
a. secar
If I wash the dishes, will you wipe?Si yo lavo la vajilla, ¿tú la secarías?
A noun is a word referring to a person, animal, place, thing, feeling or idea (e.g. man, dog, house).
6. (cloth used for hygiene)
a. la toallita húmeda
(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).
We were out of toilet paper, so we had to resort to using baby wipes.Se nos acabó el papel higiénico, así que tuvimos que usar toallitas húmedas de bebé.
7. (action of wiping)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
That table looks a little dusty. Could you give it a wipe?Esa mesa parece un poco llena de polvo. ¿Podrías darle una pasada con un trapo?
There are a few smudges on the mirror, so I am going to give it a wipe.Hay unas manchas en el espejo, así que voy a pasarle un trapo.
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rub(
ruhb
)
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (to apply friction)
a. frotar
He was rubbing his hands together in excitement for dinner.Se frotaba las manos con ganas para la cena.
b. restregar
Rubbing your chopsticks together is an insult to the host in Japan.Restregar los palillos es un insulto al anfitrión en Japón.
c. friccionar
Don't rub your scalp with the towel to dry it.No te fricciones el cuero cabelludo con la toalla para secarlo.
d. refregar
Jake woke up, rubbed his eyes and got out of bed.Jake se despertó, se refregó los ojos y se levantó de la cama.
e. masajear (to pass over with the hands)
The masseuse rubbed my back and my legs.La masajista me masajeó la espalda y las piernas.
2. (culinary)
a. mezclar
Rub the spices into the meat and let it marinate for an hour.Mezcla las especias con la carne y déjala marinar por una hora.
An intransitive verb is one that does not require a direct object (e.g. The man sneezed.).
3. (to graze)
a. rozar
I get nervous when the bus is packed and people rub against me.Me pongo nervioso cuando el autobús está lleno y la gente me roza.
A noun is a word referring to a person, animal, place, thing, feeling or idea (e.g. man, dog, house).
4. (act of rubbing)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
I'm giving my knee a rub because I hit it on the desk.Me estoy frotando la rodilla porque me pegué contra el escritorio.
I'm really stressed. Can you give me a back rub?Estoy muy estresado. ¿Puedes darme un masaje de espalda?
5. (culinary)
a. el adobo
(m) means that a noun is masculine. Spanish nouns have a gender, which is either feminine (like la mujer or la luna) or masculine (like el hombre or el sol).
If you tenderize the meat before you add the rub, it will taste better.Si ablandas la carne antes de añadir el adobo, estará más rica.
b. el aliño
(m) means that a noun is masculine. Spanish nouns have a gender, which is either feminine (like la mujer or la luna) or masculine (like el hombre or el sol).
He applied a rub to the roast and let it rest overnight.Le puso aliño al asado y lo dejó en reposo durante la noche.
6. (difficulty)
a. el problema
(m) means that a noun is masculine. Spanish nouns have a gender, which is either feminine (like la mujer or la luna) or masculine (like el hombre or el sol).
The rub is that we don't have money for a plane ticket.El problema es que no tenemos dinero para viajar en avión.
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