Spanish word of the week: encoger

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

Encoger is a verb that means to shrink or to shrug. You can listen to the pronunciation of encoger in the audio clip below:

Sometimes our favourite clothes shrink in the wash!

Las prendas de lana tienden a encoger. Woollen clothes tend to shrink.

Este vestido ha encogido y ya no me entra. This dress has shrunk and I can’t get it on any more.

You can also hear encogerse, in other words encoger used reflexively, to mean exactly the same thing:

Se me ha encogido la camisa. My shirt has shrunk.

Spanish speakers visualize the action of shrugging your shoulders as making them shrink in some kind of way, so you use encogerse for this action.

Se limitó a encogerse de hombros. She merely shrugged.

Sam no entendió nada: volvió a encogerse de hombros sin hablar, y se fue. Sam didn’t understand anything: he shrugged his shoulders again, without speaking, and left.

Come back next week for another insight into Spanish vocabulary!

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