Indicative vs. Subjunctive 
Cheat Sheet
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
transitive verb
1. (to look at)
a. to watch
El perro observaba la araña con curiosidad.The dog was curiously watching the spider.
b. to observe
Observó el eclipse solar con equipo especial.He observed the solar eclipse with special equipment.
2. (to perceive)
a. to see
Como puedes observar, hemos avanzado bien con el proyecto.As you can see, we have made good progress with the project.
b. to notice
El enfermero mencionó haber observado un movimiento extraño en los ojos del paciente.The nurse mentioned having noticed a strange movement of the patient's eyes.
c. to note
La gerente observó un patrón de conducta inapropiada en el departamento.The manager noted a pattern of inappropriate behavior in the department.
d. to observe
El médico observó una mejoría del paciente.The doctor observed an improvement in the patient.
3. (to comment)
a. to point out
Su abuela observó que no había espacio en la casa para cuidar un perro.Her grandmother pointed out that there wasn't enough room in the house for taking care of a dog.
b. to remark
Lucinda observó que el tráfico parecía cada vez peor.Lucinda remarked that the traffic seemed to be getting worse by the day.
c. to observe
"¡Qué elegante restaurante!", observó Marco."What an elegant restaurant!," observed Marco.
4. (to respect)
a. to observe
Para vivir en armonía con los demás, hay que observar las leyes.In order to live in harmony with others, the law must be observed.
b. to abide by
El maestro recordó a los alumnos la importancia de observar las normas.The teacher reminded the students of the importance of abiding by the rules.
c. to follow
Mi suegra todavía observa la tradición de servir a su esposo antes de sentarse a comer.My mother-in-law still follows the tradition of serving her husband before sitting down to eat.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
Me extrañó el comentario de Gloria, porque hasta ahora había observado una conducta respetuosa.I was surprised by Gloria's comment because up until now she had behaved respectfully.
En Ramadán, los musulmanes deben observar el ayuno durante el día.In Ramadan, muslims must fast during the day while it is light.
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A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
transitive verb
1. (contemplar)
a. to observe, to watch
observaban todos sus movimientos mediante unos prismáticosthey observed o followed all his movements through binoculars
2. (advertir)
a. to notice, to observe
no se observan anomalíasno problems have been noted
3. (acatar; ley, normas)
a. to observe, to respect
4. (conducta, costumbre)
a. to follow
5. (comentar, señalar)
a. to remark, to observe
“eso no es totalmente cierto”, observó“that's not entirely true”, he remarked o pointed out
Copyright © 2006 Harrap Publishers Limited
transitive verb
1 (mirar) to observe; watch; (Astronomía) to observe
2 (notar) to see; notice
se observa una mejoría you can see o detect an improvement; observar que to observe that; notice that
3 (Latinoamérica)
observar algo a algn to point sth out to sb; draw sb's attention to sth
4 [+leyes] to observe; [+reglas] to abide by; adhere to
observar buena conducta (Perú) to behave o.s.
5 (mostrar) to show; give signs of
Collins Complete Spanish Electronic Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers 2011
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