How to say “aprovechar” in English (for Spanish speakers)

Aprovechar, aprovechar, aprovechar ...

The word “aprovechar” is a popular go-to expression in spoken Spanish. It’s used for a host of situations where English would use other ways to express the same ideas.

The number of things “aprovechar” can mean in Spanish is pretty impressive. Let’s look at some examples:

  • aprovechar la oportunidad
  • aprovechar las sobras de la comida
  • aprovechar la situación para mejorar
  • aprovechar los recursos
  • aprovechar el buen tiempo

How do we say these in English?

Well, in English we need to be creative in a different way. We more often need to actually “say what we are saying”, and not simply rely on a one-size-fits-all solution.

So what to do and how to do it?

To say what you mean,  pick the right word or expression for each situation.

Examples:

  • aprovecha la oportunidad
  • aprovecha las sobras
  • aprovecha la situación para mejorar
  • aprovecha los recursos naturales
  • aprovecha el buen tiempo
  • take advantage of the opportunity
  • use the leftovers
  • learn from the situation
  • make good use of the natural resources
  • enjoy the good weather

Here’s a video that explains the same grammar point.

In summary: in English using the dictionary equivalent of “aprovechar” (take advantage of) is not the way to go every time. 

While Spanish can use the same one word aprovechar for a range of situations, in English you need more flexibility when it comes to expressing these ideas.

Hope this helps 🙂

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