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I've been trying to translate the english idea of 'making it up to someone'.

When you couldn't go to a birthday party or you broke a vase in your friends mums house and you say to them:

No, I'm really really really sorry. I'll make it up to you. I'll take you for icecream. 

Or something like this

I think that the verb reivindicarse might be the closest but I was wondering if this is the most correct way to express it.

Example:

nooo lo siento mucho, te juro que no quise perder tu cachorro me reivindicaré  
vamos, te llevo a la tienda de mascotas y te compro otro 
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reinvindicaré isn't bad, but not usual in this context. Te compensaré is perhaps a little better. But I'd say simply "nooo lo siento mucho, te juro que no quise perder tu cachorro. Vamos, te llevo a la tienda de mascotas y te compro otro" –  belisarius Apr 9 '13 at 22:49
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@belisarius: that should be an answer, I think –  leonbloy Apr 10 '13 at 1:55
    
Yep, "te compensaré" is the best option. –  Rorok_89 Apr 10 '13 at 8:51
    
what about "ill make it upto you." only in spanish? –  user1908 Sep 26 '13 at 5:11
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2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

I think it depends on the context, you can use reinvindicaror compensaror quedar a mano.

Now then I think that reinvindicar is more used in a redemption fashion. For instance if you broke the leg of someone in the heat of rage you would care of him for all those months for reinvindicación. This can also be used to pay for your sins for instance make a good deed to reinvindicar your sins.

In my opinion compensar is more to make up for an injustice, say you made a deal with a friend about exchanging a bicycle for a motorcycle, so because you gave only a bicycle you should also give 100$ or something to compensar.

I think that the one that adapts the most to make up to someone is quedar a manobecause this inherently means that you are "even", if you lost the puppy of someone:

Lo siento mucho, no quise perder tu cachorro, te conseguiré otro y así quedamos a mano.

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Great answer thanks. Actually quedar/estar a mano was the kind of expression I was looking for. Thanks for enlightening me to it –  Adam Brown Apr 10 '13 at 12:17
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Quedar a mano seems to be Latin American and it's not used normally in Spain, where we would use quedar en paz instead even if it implies the existence of a conflict, or compensar, despite Joze's remarks. It's actually not all that strict and I think all the suggestions would work. –  DeStrangis Apr 11 '13 at 10:16
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I like the answer that Joze gave, but I think in the sentence you want to translate about the dog, is better to say "te lo voy a compensar".

When you are saying

"No, I'm really really really sorry. I'll make it up to you. I'll take you for icecream."

or

nooo lo siento mucho, te juro que no quise perder tu cachorro me reivindicaré vamos, te llevo a la tienda de mascotas y te compro otro

You are meaning you want to compensate that person, for something you did or cause to them, the meaning is in what you feel (you are sorry), and what you want to make them feel.

To say "quedar a mano" in that context, would be wrong. Is like saying "make it even"

I think that many people would be rather offended if you tell them that you lost their dog and you are going to get another so you are even. Can you really be even? There is emotial value to the lost dog that can never be replaced, you can never be even in such a situation, so it would not be correct to say "quedar a mano".

quedar a mano = make even

Of course if it is a close friend, you could use that expression in a joking way, but not being serious.

Compesar = resarcir

Compensar has the meaning of resarcir (doesn't apply only to injustice), it doesn't imply you can be even with that person, you are trying to be even, you are trying to make it better for the other person.

If you get in an accident they pay you, to compensate you, indemnify you, from your loses. But if you lost your leg, doesn't matter how much they pay, they are not even with you.

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