Spanish Word of the Day Archive
Sunday January 12, 2014

despertar, verb:
to wake up

Despertar means to wake ... up, that is when you wake someone else up. (Technically, words it’s a ‘transitive verb’.)

Despiértame a las ocho, mamá.
Wake me up at eight, mom.

If you want to describe waking up of your own accord — in other words, the ‘intransitive’ sense — you use the Spanish reflexive, despertarse:

Hoy me desperté muy temprano.
Today I woke up very early.

Despertar also means to cause or arouse some kind of emotion, such as:

La propuesta despertó gran interés.
The proposal aroused great interest.

Esta obra pretende despertar nuestra curiosidad.
This work aims to arouse our curiosity.

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