Take the 2-minute tour ×
Spanish Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the Spanish language. It's 100% free, no registration required.

What verbs in Spanish are used to express the concept of "getting ready" or "getting dressed" (for example, before leaving the house to go out to dinner)? I've seen alistarse, arreglarse, prepararse, disponerse, and aprontarse. What is the difference between these words? Are they all used in different regions, or do they actually imply different things?

share|improve this question
add comment

3 Answers 3

up vote 4 down vote accepted

All these words are used in any Spanish-speaking country but they are not synonyms.

Alistarse is used to indicate that you are getting ready but is also used in the context of getting dressed. You can see RAE's entry for alistar.

Preparar and Alistar, for example, have different meanings.

Me voy a preparar para el examenMe voy a alistar para el examen. The first sentence indicates that you are going to prepare (by studying) for the exam. The second sentence means that you are getting ready to take the exam.

Aprontarse means doing something without delay: Me voy a aprontar a terminar el informe. but I'd prefer Me voy a afanar a terminar el informe.

In conclusion: go get dressed --> Vístete, Go get ready --> Alístate.

share|improve this answer
2  
Never heard alistarse with that sense. Alistarse in Spain means enrol, like in "alistarse en la marina". –  CesarGon Jan 21 '12 at 0:37
    
@CesarGon interesting... Look at the RAE entry I linked. At least in Colombia "alístate para que salgamos" is very common. –  Icarus Jan 21 '12 at 1:17
    
Fair enough. ;-) –  CesarGon Jan 21 '12 at 3:25
    
alistarse is very common in my beautiful country too –  César Jan 21 '12 at 14:04
    
@Icarus: It seems that in Spain we mostly use the first entry for alistar, the one coming from lista. –  MikMik Jan 24 '12 at 12:35
show 1 more comment

Getting ready is prepararse (for do something). You can use arreglarse but has a little difference; when you dress with your best suit (for be handsome/pretty).

getting dressed is vestirse.

Alistarse is used, for example, Alistarse en la marina is join the Navy.

Disponer has differentes meanings, but in this context, is similar to getting ready (but not used).

Aprontarse is Prevention, have promptly. As disponer it's not a tipical word.

share|improve this answer
add comment

This is valid for Spain:

  • to get ready: preparar; to get oneself ready: prepararse
  • to get dressed: vestir: to get oneself dressed: vestirse

For example:

  • Get that report ready by tomorrow, please: Por favor, prepara ese informe para mañana.
  • I got dressed as soon as I could: Me vestí tan pronto como pude.

In general, verbs of the form "to get x" applied to oneself are constructed in Spanish reflexively, using the "-se" suffix in infinitive or the corresponding object pronoun when conjugating.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.