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From Duolingo Stories: Alejar vs. apartar?

In the Duolingo Stories in the Labs, each story ends with a section where you match English and Spanish words/phrases.

The last one I did included the verbs "alejar" and "apartar." For one, the correct matching translation in English was "step away" and the other "move away."


I got this one wrong so I wanted to look it up to help understand the difference. But I am still not sure I understand the difference between "alejar" and "apartar."



Here, the story was about a couple that was camping and encountered a bear. They wanted to move slowly away from the bear without agitating it.

So in this instance, I think the English translations would be limited to verbs that describe increasing the distance between two things.

In my mind, "step away" -- in the context of this story -- would mean to use one's feet to increase the distance from the bear. "Move away" would allow more means to get away from the bear, like running, crawling, jumping on a bike or driving away in a car if available.

So it seems to me that both "step away" and "move away" work as translations for either "alejar" or "apartar."

So without bogging down with all the other meanings that these verbs in Spanish might have or the same with their English counterparts ... am I wrong?

May 29, 2018



Both "step away" and "move away" are proper translations for either "alejarse" or "apartarse". Without -se, I'm not sure, because they become transitive and I don't know the English forms.


Muchas gracias, Chilotin.

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