Spanish word of the week: cumplir

This week’s Spanish word of the week is cumplir.

cumplir VERB to carry out; to keep

Cumplir is a very frequent and versatile verb, with lots of meanings. Today we’re looking at some of them:

Los contratan para cumplir las misiones más complicadas. They hire them to carry out the most complicated missions.

In the meaning of carry out cumplir is often used with the noun órdenes (orders)

Solo cumplo órdenes. I’m just carrying out orders.

Cumplir una promesa means to keep a promise and cumplir su palabra means to keep your word:

A ver si van a poder cumplir sus promesas electorales. Let’s see if they can keep their election promises.

Cumplir is also the word you use when talking about birthdays and people’s ages:

Mañana cumple cuatro años. Tomorrow she’s going to be four.

If someone tells you it’s their birthday, and you want to ask them how old they’re going to be, the question is:

¿Cuántos años cumples? How old are you going to be?

And you can use the phrase cumplir años to talk about someone having a birthday:

Hoy cumple años mi amigo Enrique. Today is my friend Enrique’s birthday.

Come back next week for another insight into Spanish vocabulary!

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