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Translation of use in Spanish:

transitive verb

American English: /juz/
British English: /juːz/
  • 1 1.1 (for task, purpose) are you using the scissors?
    ¿estás usando or (Chile also) ocupando las tijeras?
    this camera is easy to use
    esta cámara es muy fácil de usar or es de fácil manejo
    the bed/skirt has hardly been used
    la cama/falda está casi sin usar
    don't use bad language to use drugs
    consumir drogas
    a technique used in this treatment
    una técnica que se emplea or se utiliza or se usa en este tratamiento
    we use first names in the office
    en la oficina nos llamamos por el nombre or nos tuteamos
    use your head/imagination
    usa la cabeza/la imaginación
    she could use her free time to better purpose
    podría aprovechar mejor su tiempo libre
    they've taken on more staff than they can use
    han contratado a más gente de la que necesitan
    to use something to + infinitive
    usar or utilizar algo para + infinitive
    use a knife to open it
    usa or utiliza un cuchillo para abrirla
    ábrela con un cuchillo
    use your shoe to knock the nail in
    clávalo con el zapato
    I use the bones to make soup
    con los huesos hago una sopa
    what's this used for?
    ¿y esto para qué sirve or para qué se usa?
    I use the bike for getting around town
    uso la bicicleta para desplazarme por la ciudad
    to use something as something
    usar algo de or como algo
    we used an old sheet as a curtain
    usamos una sábana vieja de or como cortina
    Example sentences
    • Write a poem using key words in the story and read it out to others.
    • This is achieved by using a layer of coloured glass in the inside and etching over the outer frosted surface.
    • As an employer who uses the English language as a key tool, it is somewhat irritating to have to give basic lessons in English grammar to school leavers.
    1.2 (avail oneself of)
    hacer uso de
    only members may use the facilities
    solo los socios pueden hacer uso de las instalaciones
    solo los socios pueden utilizar or usar las instalaciones
    to use one's influence
    usar su ( or mi etc. ) influencia
    valerse de su ( or mi etc. ) influencia
    may I use your phone?
    ¿puedo hacer una llamada or llamar por teléfono?
    may I use your toilet?
    ¿puedo pasar or ir al baño?
    may I use your name for a reference?
    ¿puedo dar su nombre para referencias?
  • 2 (do with) [colloquial]I could use a drink/the money
    no me vendría mal un trago/el dinero
    we can use all the luck we can get
    vamos a necesitar toda la suerte del mundo
    Example sentences
    • The putting green is the only area where you could use a little bit more time.
  • 3 (consume)
    this heater uses a lot of electricity
    este calentador consume mucha electricidad
    use by Feb 3 2009
    fecha de caducidad: 3 feb 2009
    consumir antes del 3 feb 2009
    Example sentences
    • With budgets tight, many in the force see this as the most efficient way of using limited resources.
    • Second, think laterally about new ways of using limited resources.
    • The team's research shows no other reported chip uses a lower amount of energy consumed per decoded information bit.
  • 4 (manipulate, exploit) [derogatory]
    usar (esp Latin America)
    I felt I'd been used
    me sentí utilizado or (esp Latin America) usado
    Example sentences
    • These artists are trying to shock us, exploit us, use us for their next pay cheque.
    • The audience is made to feel sorry for her as she is used by these pathetic men.
    • While she uses her own family, she sees their situation and her emotions as universal.

modal verb

American English: /jus/
British English: /juːs/
  • 1 (accustomed)to be used to something/-ing
    estar acostumbrado a algo/+ infinitive
    I'm not used to this heat/getting up early
    no estoy acostumbrado a tanto calor/a madrugar
    I'm used to being treated like that
    estoy acostumbrado a que me traten así
    to get used to something/-ing
    acostumbrarse a algo/+ infinitive
    I got used to him
    me acostumbré a él
    I got used to the idea
    me hice a la idea
    we grew used to the food
    nos acostumbramos a la comida
    you'll soon get used to getting up early
    pronto te acostumbrarás a madrugar
  • 2 (indicating former state, habit)
    used to, expressing habitual activity in the past, is translated by the imperfect tense in Spanish.
    used to (+ infinitive)there used to be a shop next door
    antes había una tienda al lado
    usedn't there to be a park here? (British) [dated]
    ¿no había aquí un parque?
    things aren't what they used to be
    las cosas ya no son lo que eran
    I used to work in that shop
    (antes) trabajaba en esa tienda
    do you play chess? — I used to
    ¿juegas al ajedrez? — antes solía jugar or ya no
    they used not or (British) [colloquial]usedn't to charge for deliveries
    antes no cobraban el reparto a domicilio
    I sometimes used to read that paper
    de vez en cuando leía or solía leer ese periódico
  • 3 (in negative, interrogative sentences) I didn't use to visit them very often
    no solía visitarlos muy a menudo
    where did you use to live?
    ¿dónde vivías?


American English: /jus/
British English: /juːs/
  • 1 uncountable (of machine, substance, method, word) wash out the syringe before and after use
    lave la jeringa antes y después de su uso
    the new airstrip is ready for use
    la nueva pista de aterrizaje ya está lista or ya puede usarse
    Haydn's use of the oboe in his symphonies
    la manera en que Haydn hace uso del oboe en sus sinfonías
    her suitcase had seen a lot of use
    tenía una maleta muy usada
    the steps were worn down by centuries of use
    siglos de uso habían desgastado los escalones
    instructions for use
    modo de empleo
    I keep it for use in emergencies
    lo tengo para usarlo en caso de emergencia
    drug use
    el consumo de drogas
    the use of force
    el empleo or uso de la fuerza
    to lose the use of an arm/eye
    perder el uso de un brazo/la visión de un ojo
    to be in use (machine)
    estar funcionando or en funcionamiento
    the elevator is in constant use
    el ascensor se usa constantemente
    the auxiliary motors come into use when needed
    los motores auxiliares entran en funcionamiento cuando es necesario
    the machine was out of use all last week
    la máquina no funcionó durante toda la semana pasada
    it went out of use years ago
    se dejó de usar hace muchos años
    to make use of something she made good use of her money
    empleó or aprovechó bien su dinero
    hizo buen uso de su dinero
    he's made poor use of his chances
    ha desaprovechado las oportunidades que ha tenido
    I must make better use of my time
    debo emplear or aprovechar mejor el tiempo
    she put her musical ability to good use
    hizo buen uso de sus dotes musicales
    he put the present to very bad use
    le dio muy mal uso al regalo
    Example sentences
    • Three methods of screening of vehicles are in use for security purposes.
    • The list goes on to include a large number of words no longer actually in use, which leaves you wondering why they are there.
    • The building itself was built in 1607 as a private residence, but it was in use as an inn by 1775.
  • 2 countable (application, function) the machine has many uses
    la máquina tiene muchos usos
    she has her uses
    para algo sirve
    a veces nos ( or les etc. ) es útil
    I might find a use for them
    puede que me sirvan para algo
    I have no further use for these tools
    ya no necesito estas herramientas
    collectors have little use for those coins
    los coleccionistas no están muy interesados en esas monedas
    I've got no use for liars like him
    no tolero a los mentirosos como él
    Example sentences
    • A spin-off is a technology that has been transferred to uses other than the purpose for which it was developed.
    • We're not talking about latent powers that you can develop over a period of time, for other purposes or other uses.
    • The Northern Rivers Herb Festival is gearing up to be another huge event for Lismore with a major focus this year on culinary uses of local native herbs.
  • 3 uncountable (usefulness) to be (of) use to somebody
    serle útil or de utilidad a alguien
    servirle a alguien
    it may be of some use to us in the future
    nos podría ser útil or de utilidad en un futuro
    nos podría servir en un futuro
    she could be of enormous use to us
    nos podría ser utilísima
    it is of little practical use
    no es muy útil
    no es de mucha utilidad práctica
    these scissors aren't much use
    estas tijeras no sirven para nada
    I'm not much use at cooking
    no se me da muy bien la cocina
    no sirvo para cocinar
    a (fat) lot of use you are! [ironic]
    ¡vaya manera de ayudar la tuya! [ironic]
    is this (of) any use to you?
    ¿te sirve de algo esto?
    it's no use
    es inútil
    no hay manera
    no hay caso (Latin America)
    it's no use complaining
    de nada sirve quejarse
    no se consigue nada quejándose or con quejarse
    what's the use (of -ing)?
    ¿de qué sirve (+ infinitive)?
    ¿qué sentido tiene (+ infinitive)?
    what's the use of worrying?
    ¿de qué sirve or qué sentido tiene preocuparse?
    what's the use? he'll only say no!
    ¿para qué? ¿para que me diga que no?
  • 4 (right to use) to have the use of somebody's car/office
    poder usar el coche/la oficina de alguien
    she offered me the use of her house while she was away
    me ofreció su casa mientras estaba fuera

Phrasal verbs

use up

verb + object + adverb, verb + adverb + object
they'd used up all the hot water
habían usado toda el agua caliente
she's used up her clothes allowance on travel
se ha gastado todo el dinero que recibe para ropa en viajar
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