Something’s Gotta Give: The Spanish Verb Dar

October 29, 2010

There’s no verb in Spanish with such extensive meanings as “to get” in English. The word that comes closest is dar. It variously means “to give,” “to yield,” “to emit,” “to cause,” “to express” and more. Here are some of the chief expressions coming out of dar.

¡Dale!: (Give to it!) Hurry up! Keep it up! Do it!

a todo dar: (at all give) great, wonderful, full of energy

dar a conocer: (to give to acquaint) to make known

dar a entender: (to give to understand) to hint

dar a luz: (to give to light) to give birth to

dar aviso: to give notice

dar caza a: (to give hunt to) to chase

dar celos: (to give jealousy) to make jealous

dar con: (to give with) to find, to hit on

dar cuenta de: to give (an) account of

dar cuerda: (to give string) to prolong, to encourage

dar de alta: (to give of high) to discharge (a patient)

dar de beber, comer, etc.: (to give of to drink, eat, etc.) to give something to drink, eat, etc.

dar de lado: (to give to side) to shun, to cast aside

dar el pésame, la bienvenida, etc.: (to give the condolence, the welcome, etc.) to express condolences, to welcome, etc.

dar el sí: (to give the yes) to consent (to marry)

dar el visto bueno: (to give the good “seeing”) to approve, to validate (a law, a document, etc.)

dar en cara: (to give in face) to reproach

dar en el clavo: (to give on the nail) to hit the nail on the head

dar fe: (to give faith) to certify

dar frente a: (to give forehead to) to face (onto)

dar guerra: (to give war) to make trouble

dar igual/lo mismo: (to give equal to) to be the same to, to make no difference to

dar la cara por: (to give the face for) to stand up for (someone)

dar la espalda: (to give the back) to turn one’s back on

dar la mano a: (to give the hand to) to shake hands with

dar la razón a: (to give reason to) to agree with, to give credit to

dar la vuelta: (to give the turn) to turn around

dar las gracias: to give (the) thanks

dar los buenos días: (to give the good days) to greet, to say “good morning”

dar muerte a: (to give death to) to kill

dar palmadas: (to give claps) to applaud, to spank

dar pelota a: (to give ball to) to pay attention to

dar por hecho (que): (to give for done [that]) to presume, to take for granted (that)

dar por: (to give for) to consider, to regard

dar prestado: (to give loaned) to lend

dar rienda suelta a: to give loose (free) rein to

dar satisfacción: (to give satisfaction) to apologize, to satisfy

dar un paseo: (to give a tour) to take a walk

dar un paso en falso: (to give a step in false) to take a false step

dar un vistazo: to give a look

dar vista: (to give sight) to give a hearing (law)

dar vuelta a: (to give turn to) to betray, to two-time (a lover)

darle (a uno) la gana/las ganas de: (to give one the desire of) to make (one) feel like

darse a conocer: (to make oneself to acquaint) to introduce oneself, to reveal one’s true self

darse a entender: (to give oneself to understand) to make oneself understood

darse con/contra: (to give oneself with/against) to bump against

darse cuenta de: (to give oneself account of) to realize, to catch on

darse por vencido: (to give oneself for defeated) to give up

darse prisa: (to give oneself hurry) to hurry

darse vuelta: (to give oneself turn) to do an about face

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