Spanish Word of the Day Archive
Tuesday October 22, 2013

encoger, verb:
to shrink; to shrug

Sometimes our favourite clothes shrink in the wash!

Este vestido ha encogido, y no me entra más.
This dress has shrunk and I can’t get it on any more.

You can use encogerse, in other words encoger used reflexively, to mean exactly the same thing:

Se me ha encogido el pantalón.
My pants or (British) trousers have shrunk.

Spanish speakers visualize the action of shrugging your shoulders as making them shrink in some kind of way, so you use encogerse for this action.

Ella no entendió nada: volvió a encogerse de hombros sin hablar, y se fue.
She didn’t understand anything: she shrugged her shoulders again, without speaking, and left.

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