servir de

servir de(
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. (general)
a. to work as
El sofá sirve de cama cuando alguien se queda a dormir en casa.The sofa works as a bed when someone spends the night at our house.
b. to function as
El gimnasio de la escuela sirvió de refugio para los evacuados por el incendio.The school gym functioned as a shelter for the fire evacuees.
c. to be used as
Además de decoración, los árboles al costado de la calle sirven de protección a los peatones.Besides decoration, the trees on the side of the street are used as protection for pedestrians.
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