The unwieldy verb “Dar”

DAR-1

As you probably already know, one of the most difficult aspects of a language to master is the usage of idiomatic expressions. Normally, there is no logical way of translating them word by word. The only way to learn them is to memorize them, and to practice their use.

The different articles and prepositions in the following phrases might give the idea of a difference in meaning; however, nowadays they are considered synonyms and their equivalents in English have more to do with context and usage than with the grammatical elements of the original phrase.

Compare and contrast the different uses and examples:

Dar el alta:

a) to discharge from the hospital, to be cleared for duty
b) to approve, to green-light a project or a product
c) to sign up for or to hire a service, or to have utilities turned on

Ejemplos:

  • El viernes le dan el alta a mi padre después de su cirugía. On Friday, my father is being discharged from the hospital after his surgery.
  • El gobierno dió el alta para la venta de la nueva medicación. The government approved the sale of the new medicine.
  • Tengo que llamar para dar el alta el servicio de Internet. I need to call to hire Internet service.

Dar de alta:

a) to discharge from the hospital, to be cleared for duty
b) to approve, to green-light a project or a product
c) to sign up for or to hire a service, or to have utilities turned on

Ejemplos:

  • -¿Cuándo te dan de alta? -Mañana si los estudios están bien. -When are you going to be discharged? -Tomorrow if all the tests come back clear.
  • La propuesta para el nuevo edificio fue dada de alta, así que ya podemos comenzar la construcción. The proposal for the new building was approved, so we can begin construction.
  • No te olvides de dar de alta la luz y el gas antes de mudarte al nuevo apartamento. Don’t forget to get the electricity and gas turned on before moving to your new apartment.

Dar la baja:

a) to discharge from duty, to be declared unfit for duty
b) to cancel, to remove from the market, or to reject a project or a product
c) to cancel a service or to have utilities turned off

Ejemplos:

  • Después que fue herido le dieron la baja. After he was wounded, he got discharged.
  • Le dieron la baja al producto porque fue un fracaso de ventas. The product was taken from the market because it was a sales failure.
  • Voy a dar la baja a mi servicio de móvil. I’m going to cancel my cell phone service.

Dar de baja:

a) to discharge from duty, to be declared unfit for duty
b) to cancel, to reject a project or a product
c) to cancel a service or to have utilities turned off

Ejemplos:

  • Le dieron de baja por problemas de salud. He was discharged due to health issues.
  • El proyecto fue dado de baja porque era demasiado costoso. The project was rejected because it was too expensive.
  • Me olvidé de pagar la electricidad y me dieron de baja el servicio. I forgot to pay my electricity bill and my service was turned off.

 

Click here to learn more idiomatic expressions with the verb “dar”.

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