prender(
prehn
-
dehr
)
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (to apprehend)
a. to catch
La policía prendió al sospechoso mientras huía de la escena del crimen.The police caught the suspect running away from the crime scene.
b. to arrest
La policía lo prendió por el robo del banco.The police arrested him for the bank robbery.
c. to capture
La FBI prendió a los delincuentes mientras intentaban abordar un buque.The FBI captured the criminals while they were trying to board a ship.
2. (to ignite)
a. to light
Puedes prender el carbón con un fósforo.You can light the charcoal with a match.
3. (to activate)
Regionalism used in Latin America: all the countries in South America, Central America, and the Caribbean. Does not include Spain.
(Latin America)
a. to turn on
¿No quieres prender la luz para poder leer mejor?Don't you want to turn on the light so you can read better?
b. to switch on
Hace mucho calor. - Prende el aire acondicionado.It's really hot. - Switch on the air conditioning.
4. (to put on)
a. to attach
Diego prendió un ramillete al vestido de su novia.Diego attached a corsage to his girlfriend's dress.
b. to pin
Mike prendió una rosa a su solapa antes de la boda de su hermano.Mike pinned a rose to his lapel before his brother's wedding.
c. to fasten
Anita prendió una flor a su vestido y se fue a la fiesta.Anita fastened a flower to her dress and left for the party.
An intransitive verb is one that does not require a direct object (e.g. The man sneezed.).
5. (botany)
a. to take root
Las semillas prendieron fácilmente en la tierra fértil de la granja.The seeds took root easily in the farm's fertile soil.
6. (to become popular)
a. to catch on
Nuevos avances en la tecnología prenden rápidamente.New advances in technology catch on quickly.
7. (to receive)
a. to take
Él recibió la vacuna contra la gripa, pero no prendió y se enfermo de igual manera.He got the flu vaccine, but it didn't take and he got sick anyway.
prenderse
A pronominal verb always uses a reflexive pronoun. (e.g. Te ves cansado.).
8. (to burn)
a. to catch fire
El sofá estaba demasiado cerca de la chimenea y se prendió.The sofa was too close to the fireplace and caught fire.
Copyright © Curiosity Media Inc.
prender
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (arrestar)
a. to arrest, to apprehend
2. (sujetar)
a. to fasten
3. (luz, interruptor)
Regionalism used in Latin America: all the countries in South America, Central America, and the Caribbean. Does not include Spain.
(Latin America)
a. to light
prender fuego a algoto set fire to something, to set something on fire
4. (agarrar)
a. to grip
An intransitive verb is one that does not require a direct object (e.g. The man sneezed.).
5. (arder)
a. to catch (fire)
6. (planta)
a. to take root
7. (opinión)
a. to spread
una idea que ha prendido entre el públicoan idea that has caught on among the public
A pronominal verb always uses a reflexive pronoun. (e.g. Te ves cansado.).
8. (arder)
a. to catch fire
Copyright © 2006 Harrap Publishers Limited
prender
transitive verb
1 [+persona] (capturar) to catch; capture; (detener) to arrest
2 (Cos) (sujetar) to fasten; (con alfiler) to pin; attach;en to;
prender el pelo con horquillas to pin one's hair with grips
3 (atar) to tie; do up
4 especialmente (Latinoamérica) [+fuego, horno, vela, cigarrillo] to light; [+cerilla] to strike; [+luz, TV] to switch on; [+cuarto] to light up
intransitive verb
1 [+fuego] to catch
sus ideas prendieron fácilmente en la juventud his ideas soon caught on with the young
2 (engancharse) to catch; stick
el ancla prendió en el fondo the anchor buried itself in the seabed
3 [+planta] to take; take root
4 [+vacuna] to take
pronominal verb
prenderse
1 (encenderse) to catch fire
2 [+mujer] to dress up
3 (Caribe) (emborracharse) to get drunk
Collins Complete Spanish Electronic Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers 2011
Phrases with "prender"
Here are the most popular phrases with "prender." Click the phrases to see the full entry.
es la acción de prender un coche
it's the act of turning on a car
prender la luz
to turn on the light
prender la máquina
to turn on the machine
Examples
Learn Spanish with Fluencia
Try Fluencia, the new Spanish learning program from SpanishDict.
  • Fun and interactive
  • Highly effective
  • Easy to use
  • Works on any device
Start Learning
Did this page answer your question?