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Old July 26, 2009, 07:39 AM
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Question How to use the verb 'echar (a)'?

i Hola a todos/ Hello everyone!

I have a question on the use of the verb ' echar'. I think this is a verb that is used in many different ways in Spanish? (It seems to have many translations..)

Recently I have come across these:

1. 'Me echo a reír´
I suppose this should be translated with e.g, ´I started to laugh´ or ´I burst into laughter´?

2. ´Echar un vistazo´
Which I think means ´to take or have a look´?

So does ´echar a´ mean ´to start doing something?

And what about ' echar + noun' ? Is ' echar' translated with ' to throw' (as in ' to throw a look = to have a look?)

Can you perhaps kindly give me some other frequent uses of echar inclusing some examples?

Agradeceria cualquier ayuda!
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Old July 26, 2009, 09:38 AM
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Echar is considered one of those "versatile" verbs.

For example it can mean:

Echar un vistazo = Take a look.

Echar a la basura = Throw in the garbage.

Echar leña a la lumbre. = Throw in more firewood in the fire.

Me echo a reir. (as you noted) = I take a laugh.

Echar una cana al aire. = Go out drinking or to enjoy yourself.

¡Échale más sazón a tu vida! = Put more spice in your life!

No eches la basura a la calle. = Don't throw the garbage out on the street.

There will be linguists out there that will tell you that it is probably incorrect to use it in so many instances. Which is true, but this is how people use it. Now as to what part of the world uses "echar" with so many variations in its meaning is unknown to me. But I can tell you this, it is widely used in Mexico.

I hope I have enlightened you a little bit.

Espero que te haya echado la mano con mi explicación.

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Old July 26, 2009, 10:18 AM
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Echar es un verbo comodín like make, take or get in English, the best thing to do is to take a dictioanry, beause there is an endless list of expressions.
1. Hacer salir algo o a alguien de algún sitio, o que algo vaya a parar a alguna parte, dándole impulso.
Mis padres me echaron de casa a los dieciséis años. Han echado a todos los empleados de esa fácbrica sin ningún motivo.

2. Despedir de sí algo.
Aquella hoguera echaba un humo negro muy tóxico.

3. Producir o empezar a tener, dicho de un ser vivo.
Tu planta echó hojas amarillas.

4. Juntar los animales machos con las hembras para la procreación.
Voy a echar a mi perra para tener cachorritos.

5. Dar principio a una acción, comenzar a hacer algo.
Se echó a reír nada más verme.

6. Tirar, lanzar, arrojar.
Cuando riegues, tienes que echar el agua despacito para que no se salga la tierra

7. Se te echó de menos en tu ausencia.
8. ¿Echas en falta algo?.
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Old July 26, 2009, 04:37 PM
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iMuchas gracias Elaina, y Robindesbois por ayudarme y explicarlo!

I think I will have to read and listen to tv and radio a lot to learn all the meanings of echar...
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