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How To Say Play In Spanish

Are you interested in learning how to say “Play” in Spanish? Perhaps you are a language enthusiast, or maybe you are planning a trip to a Spanish-speaking country and want to communicate more effectively. Whatever your motivation is, this article will provide you with all the information you need to know about how to say “Play” in Spanish.

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What is "Play" in Spanish?

The word “Play” in English has multiple meanings, such as to engage in an activity for enjoyment or to perform a piece of music on an instrument. However, in Spanish, there is not a single word that encompasses all these meanings. Instead, the translation of “Play” in Spanish depends on the context in which it is used.

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Meaning of "Play" in Spanish

In Spanish, the word "play" can have different meanings depending on the context. Here are some of the most common uses of the word:

  • Jugar - verb (IPA: /xuˈɣaɾ/): To play (a game, a sport, etc.)

Example: Me gusta jugar al fútbol los fines de semana. (I like to play soccer on weekends.)

  • Obra de teatro - substantive (IPA: /ˈobra de teˈatɾo/): Play (theatrical performance)

Example: Fuimos a ver una obra de teatro muy divertida anoche. (We went to see a very funny play last night.)

  • Reproducir - verb (IPA: /reproðuˈθiɾ/): To play (a video or audio file)

Example: Voy a reproducir una canción que me gusta mucho. (I'm going to play a song that I really like.)

  • Jugar con - verb phrase (IPA: /xuˈɣaɾ kon/): To play with (a toy, a pet, etc.)

Example: Mi perro siempre quiere jugar con su pelota. (My dog always wants to play with his ball.)

  • Actuar - verb (IPA: /akˈtwaɾ/): To play (a role, a character)

Example: Él va a actuar como villano en la próxima película. (He's going to play the role of the villain in the next movie.)

Translating "Play" to Spanish

When translating “Play” to Spanish, it is essential to consider the context in which it is used. Here are some additional translations of “Play” in Spanish based on the context:

  • Play as in "a play": Obra de teatro, obra, pieza de teatro, representación teatral, obra dramática.
  • Play as in "a game": Juego, partido, competición, torneo, desafío.
  • Play as in "playtime": Tiempo de juego, hora de recreo.
  • Play as in "to play with someone": Jugar con alguien.
  • Play as in "to play a joke on someone": Hacerle una broma a alguien, jugarle una broma a alguien.
  • Play as in "to play fair": Jugar limpio.

Regional Differences

It is worth noting that some words may vary depending on the Spanish-speaking region. In some Latin American countries, “jugar” is used to mean "to act" in a theatrical production, which is not common in Spain. In Spain, is common to use “tocar” in order to refer to the interpretation of musical instruments. 


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How to Say Play in Spanish: Sample Sentences

Here are five sample sentences on how to say "Play" in Spanish:

  • ¿Quieres jugar conmigo?

(Do you want to play with me?)

  • Ella toca el violín en la orquesta.

(She plays the violin in the orchestra.)

  • Me gusta divertirme en el parque.

(I like to play in the park.)

  • Los niños están jugando a las escondidas.

(The children are playing hide-and-seek.)

  • Él siempre juega al ajedrez los sábados.

(He always plays chess on Saturdays.)


Learning how to say play in Spanish is just the beginning of your language journey. As you continue to learn and practice Spanish, you will discover a rich and diverse language with its own unique grammar, vocabulary, and culture. Whether you are learning for personal or professional reasons, taking the time to learn a new language can open up new opportunities and enrich your life in countless ways.

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