Spanish word of the week: dirigir

This week’s Spanish word of the week is dirigir VERB to manage, to run; to lead; to direct; to aim

Dirigir has several basic meanings. The one that looks obvious, to direct, is rather less common than some of its other meanings. First, to manage, or to run something:

Dirigió la empresa hasta hace poco. He managed  the company till a short while ago.  

Dirige el Departamento de Biología. She runs the Biology Department.

Dirigir can be used in very many contexts where the idea is of one person controlling something else. So, the translation into English depends very much on what is being controlled. In some cases the best translation is to lead:

el equipo dirigido por Gutierrez the team led by Gutierrez

Debe ahora dirigir el proceso de adaptación. She now has to lead the process of adapting.

In its meaning of to direct you use dirigir to talk about directing plays and films:

un documental dirigido por Kowalski a documentary directed by Kowalski

In the meaning of aim, you can use dirigir either literally, to talk about something physical:

Ordenó dirigir el fuego hacia el enemigo. He ordered them to aim their fire at the enemy.

Or in a non-material sense:

Este anuncio va dirigido a los niños. This advertisement is aimed at children.

Come back next week for another insight into Spanish vocabulary!

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