Like someone's dropped something, or you found something on the ground. How do tell someone to "pick it up"?

I've heard "recoger" (to collect) works. Is this true?

2 Answers 2


Recoger is fine. Check the second definition in the RAE dictionary:


(Del lat. recolligĕre).

  1. tr. Volver a coger, tomar por segunda vez algo.

  2. tr. Coger algo que se ha caído.


So it's exactly "to pick up". In fact, I cannot think of another way of saying it right now.

  • Funny. It seems we have no synonyms for "recoger" in Spanish.
    – Albertus
    Jun 14, 2012 at 15:48
  • @Albertus: what about "levantar"? Jun 14, 2012 at 17:55
  • "levantar" is more like "lift up" or "rise" so there is a difference, but it's pretty darn close. wordreference.com/sinonimos/recoger has a few others, but there isn't any that is 100% interchangeable with "recoger"
    – Junier
    Jun 14, 2012 at 19:58
  • 1
    @Junier: Don't worry, in linguistics, it pretty much seems to be an open question whether absolutely synonyms exist at all. Jun 15, 2012 at 5:12
  • @hippietrail hehe interesting stuff; however, I really wasn't all that worried to begin with :-p
    – Junier
    Jun 15, 2012 at 17:12

In some Latin American countries, coger is common slang for f**k.

So, recoger, is common slang for f**k repeatedly.

You could go with levantar ... just in case :)

  • Not saying that "levantar" isn't a valid option. But even though "recoger" could have that meaning depending on the context or the intention of the speaker, it's certainly not the primary and most usual sense of the word (at least for me, native speaker from Argentina, where "coger" does indeed have an immediate sexual meaning, as you obviously know). I'd say "recorger" is pretty safe to use, at least here. Jun 19, 2012 at 0:34
  • So if I say to you "Esperame en el suelo, que ya te recojo", does it sound Ok to you? Jun 19, 2012 at 0:37
  • Well, I guess if you say that you are evidently trying to make a pun (which is why I said "depending on the context or the intention of the speaker"). Jun 19, 2012 at 0:48
  • @JuanPabloCalifano That is the point. As I said, If the speaker is unaware of those subtleties, "levantar" or something similar is safer. Jun 19, 2012 at 0:51
  • 4
    Yes, I get your point, but I still think "recoger" is free of having a double entendre unless you deliberately mean to make a pun. Jun 19, 2012 at 1:36

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