Is there any verb in Spanish meaning "to drive through"? As in the following example:

Peter wants to drive through the city from East to West to get to his house.

My suggestions are:

  • andar
  • atravesar
  • irradiar
  • pasar
  • recorrer

Thank you.


Cruzar seems to me like the right choice (see DLE, meaning 4).

Atravesar (meaning 6) looks good too, but it could also mean the starting and ending points are not necessarily in the city. (Quite like drive through though).

Peter quiere cruzar/atravesar la ciudad de este a oeste para llegar a su casa

Recorrer also means what you want, but may add some ambiguity since usually it implies you make a number of stops (as in a trip/vacation).

As for the other synonyms you cite:

  • Andar: although you could say andar la ciudad, the verb in its intransitive form is too general (nearly like to go), with a lot of meanings that imply a number of different nuances. Also its use as a transitive verb is not that common.
  • Irradiar implies a spreading. According to the DLE, it is a good choice for a translation of to irradiate in the physical sense, that might also extend to a figurative one. I've also seen it used e.g. in architecture for a number of paths departing from a point in different directions or the like.
  • Pasar. Even if the DLE suggests that it could be used in this situation, I'd advise against it, since all examples I can think of involve that both the starting and ending point are outside the city.

Note that none of these verbs adds the sense that you are going by car, let alone driving it yourself. If you want to put the emphasis on that, I'd use manejar (in Latin America) or conducir (in Spain):

Tuve que manejar de un extremo a otro de la ciudad

(I had to drive through the city from end to end): the through part is not in the meaning of the verb, but in the complement.

Hope it helps.

  • 1
    I agree. None of those implies driving. I'd translate that sentence as Peter quiere cruzar la ciudad de oriente a occidente manejando para llegar a su casa. In English you have to use two words: one for drive and another for through. In Spanish you also have to use manejar for drive and cruzar, atravesar etc to express "through” (from end to end)
    – DGaleano
    Oct 4 '16 at 14:05
  • I also agree. How about "Peter quiere manejar hasta su casa atravesando la ciudad de este a oeste".
    – David
    Oct 5 '16 at 13:46

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