How Do You Say “Pawning” In Spanish?

¡Bienvenidos! If you’re reading this, you’re likely interested in learning how to say “pawning” in Spanish. Perhaps you’re planning a trip to a Spanish-speaking country and want to brush up on your vocabulary, or maybe you’re just curious about the language. Whatever your reason for being here, you’ve come to the right place.

The Spanish word for “pawning” is “empeñar”. It’s a verb that is used to describe the act of giving something as collateral for a loan. For example, if you need some quick cash, you might take a valuable item to a pawn shop and “empeñarlo” in exchange for a loan. The pawn shop will hold onto the item until you repay the loan, at which point you can retrieve your item.

How Do You Pronounce The Spanish Word For “Pawning”?

If you’re looking to expand your vocabulary in Spanish, it’s essential to learn how to properly pronounce the words. One word you may come across is “pawning,” which in Spanish is “empeñar.”

Here’s a phonetic breakdown of the word:

English Spanish Phonetic
Pawning Empeñar [em-pe-nyar]

Now that you know the phonetic spelling, it’s time to work on your pronunciation. Here are some tips to help you:

1. Practice The Sounds

Spanish has a different set of sounds than English, so it’s essential to practice them regularly. The sound “ñ” is unique to Spanish, and it’s pronounced by putting your tongue behind your upper front teeth and exhaling.

2. Listen To Native Speakers

One of the best ways to improve your pronunciation is by listening to native speakers. Watch Spanish movies or TV shows, listen to Spanish music, and practice repeating what you hear.

3. Work With A Tutor Or Language Partner

If you’re serious about improving your Spanish pronunciation, consider working with a tutor or language partner. They can give you feedback on your pronunciation and help you practice until you get it right.

Proper Grammatical Use Of The Spanish Word For “Pawning”

Grammar is an essential aspect of language that ensures effective communication. Proper grammatical use of the Spanish word for “pawning” is crucial to convey accurate information. When using the Spanish word for “pawning,” it is essential to understand its placement in sentences, verb conjugations or tenses, agreement with gender and number, and any common exceptions.

Placement Of Pawning In Sentences

In Spanish, the word “pawning” can be translated as “empeñar.” When using “empeñar” in a sentence, it is crucial to place it correctly to convey the intended meaning. “Empeñar” is a transitive verb that requires a direct object, which means that it must be followed by the item being pawned. For example:

  • “Juan empeñó su reloj” (Juan pawned his watch)
  • “Ella empeñó su anillo de diamantes” (She pawned her diamond ring)

It is essential to note that the word order in Spanish differs from English. In Spanish, the verb comes before the subject, and the direct object comes after the verb.

Verb Conjugations Or Tenses

Verb conjugations or tenses are crucial when using the Spanish word for “pawning.” The verb “empeñar” belongs to the -ar verb group, which means that it follows a specific conjugation pattern in different tenses. Some common tenses that may be used when discussing pawning include:

Tense Conjugation Example
Present yo empeño, tú empeñas, él/ella/Ud. empeña, nosotros/as empeñamos, vosotros/as empeñáis, ellos/ellas/Uds. empeñan “Yo siempre empeño mis joyas en esta casa de empeño” (I always pawn my jewelry at this pawn shop)
Preterite yo empeñé, tú empeñaste, él/ella/Ud. empeñó, nosotros/as empeñamos, vosotros/as empeñasteis, ellos/ellas/Uds. empeñaron “Ayer empeñé mi bicicleta para pagar la renta” (Yesterday I pawned my bike to pay rent)
Imperfect yo empeñaba, tú empeñabas, él/ella/Ud. empeñaba, nosotros/as empeñábamos, vosotros/as empeñabais, ellos/ellas/Uds. empeñaban “Cuando era joven, siempre empeñaba mis libros para tener dinero” (When I was young, I always pawned my books to have money)

Agreement With Gender And Number

When using the Spanish word for “pawning,” it is essential to consider agreement with gender and number. In Spanish, nouns, adjectives, and verbs must agree with the gender and number of the subject. For example:

  • “La mujer empeñó su collar” (The woman pawned her necklace)
  • “Los hombres empeñaron sus relojes” (The men pawned their watches)

In the above examples, “mujer” is a feminine noun, so “empeñó” is in the feminine form. “Hombres” is a masculine noun, so “empeñaron” is in the masculine form.

Common Exceptions

There are some common exceptions when using the Spanish word for “pawning.” For example, when referring to pawning something that is not physical, such as a promise or a hope, the verb “empeñar” is not used. Instead, the verb “comprometer” or “prometer” is used. For example:

  • “Me comprometo a pagarle mañana” (I promise to pay you tomorrow)
  • “Prometo que no volveré a empeñar mis cosas” (I promise that I won’t pawn my things again)

It is essential to be aware of these exceptions to avoid confusion and miscommunication.

Examples Of Phrases Using The Spanish Word For “Pawning”

When it comes to pawning items, it is essential to know how to communicate effectively in Spanish. The Spanish word for pawning is “empeñar,” which is a verb that means to deposit an item as collateral for a loan. Here are some common phrases that use the word “empeñar” in Spanish:

Examples And Explanation Of Usage

  • “Empeñar algo” – To pawn something
  • “Empeñar joyas” – To pawn jewelry
  • “Empeñar el coche” – To pawn the car
  • “Empeñar objetos de valor” – To pawn valuable items

These phrases are commonly used in Spanish-speaking countries when discussing pawning items. For instance, if you want to pawn your car, you would say “quiero empeñar mi coche” in Spanish. If you want to pawn valuable items, you would say “quiero empeñar objetos de valor.”

Example Spanish Dialogue (With Translations)

Spanish Dialogue English Translation
“¿Dónde puedo empeñar mis joyas?” “Where can I pawn my jewelry?”
“Quiero empeñar mi teléfono para obtener un préstamo.” “I want to pawn my phone to get a loan.”
“¿Cuánto puedo obtener si empeño mi reloj?” “How much can I get if I pawn my watch?”

These examples demonstrate how to use the Spanish word for pawning in actual conversations. It is essential to learn these phrases to effectively communicate with pawnshops and lenders in Spanish-speaking countries.

More Contextual Uses Of The Spanish Word For “Pawning”

Understanding the different contexts in which the Spanish word for “pawning” is used is crucial to effectively communicate in the language. The word “pawning” in Spanish is “empeñar”, and it can be used in formal and informal settings, as well as in different cultural and historical contexts.

Formal Usage Of Pawning

In formal settings, “empeñar” is often used in legal or financial contexts. For example, when someone takes out a loan against their possessions, they may use the verb “empeñar” to describe the process. Additionally, in legal proceedings, “empeñar” may be used to refer to the act of pledging something as collateral.

Informal Usage Of Pawning

Informally, “empeñar” is used to describe the act of pawning an item for quick cash. This may be done at a pawn shop or with an individual who is willing to lend money in exchange for temporary possession of the item. In some cases, “empeñar” may also be used to describe the act of selling an item for a lower price than its value.

Other Contexts Of Pawning

Aside from formal and informal settings, “empeñar” can also be used in slang, idiomatic expressions, and cultural/historical contexts. For example, in some Latin American countries, “empeñar” is used to describe a difficult situation or a tight spot. In other contexts, the word may be used as a metaphor for giving up or surrendering something valuable.

Additionally, “empeñar” has been used in popular culture, such as in songs, movies, and literature. For instance, the Mexican folk song “La Cucaracha” features the line “La Cucaracha, la Cucaracha, ya no puede caminar, porque no tiene, porque le falta, una pata para empeñar” (The cockroach, the cockroach, can’t walk anymore, because it doesn’t have, because it’s missing, a leg to pawn).

Regional Variations Of The Spanish Word For “Pawning”

As with many languages, Spanish has regional variations in its vocabulary and pronunciation. This is particularly true when it comes to the word for “pawning,” which can vary depending on the Spanish-speaking country in question.

Usage Of The Spanish Word For Pawning In Different Countries

In most Spanish-speaking countries, the word for “pawning” is “empeñar.” This is the most common term used throughout the Spanish-speaking world, and is the one you are most likely to encounter.

However, there are some countries where a different word is used. For example, in Mexico, the word “empeñar” is still used, but it is also common to hear the term “empeño” used as a noun, as in “voy a hacer un empeño” (I’m going to pawn something).

In some South American countries, such as Colombia and Venezuela, the word “empeñar” is also used, but it is sometimes replaced by the word “empeño” or “prenda.” In Argentina, the term “prender” is often used instead.

Regional Pronunciations

As with any language, there are also regional variations in the way that the word for “pawning” is pronounced. In general, the word is pronounced with the stress on the second syllable: “em-pe-ñar.”

However, there are some variations in the way that the “ñ” sound is pronounced. In some regions, such as Spain and parts of South America, the “ñ” is pronounced with a more nasal sound, similar to the “ny” sound in the English word “canyon.” In other regions, such as Mexico and parts of Central America, the “ñ” is pronounced with a more guttural sound, similar to the “gn” sound in the English word “gnome.”

Overall, while there are some regional variations in the Spanish word for “pawning,” the most common term is “empeñar,” and the pronunciation is generally consistent throughout the Spanish-speaking world.

Other Uses Of The Spanish Word For “Pawning” In Speaking & Writing

While “pawning” is commonly understood as the act of borrowing money by using personal property as collateral, the Spanish word for “pawning,” “empeñar,” can have different meanings depending on context. It’s important to understand these different uses in order to properly communicate in Spanish.

Distinct Meanings Of “Empeñar”

Here are some of the different meanings of “empeñar” in Spanish:

  • To pawn: This is the most common use of the word, which we are already familiar with. It refers to the act of borrowing money by using personal property as collateral.
  • To pledge: In a legal context, “empeñar” can also mean to pledge something, such as a property or a stock, as a guarantee for a debt or obligation.
  • To insist: “Empeñarse” is a reflexive verb that means to insist or persist on something. For example, “Se empeña en que le deje el coche” means “He insists on me letting him borrow the car.”
  • To engage: In some Latin American countries, “empeñar” is also used to mean to engage or commit oneself to doing something, such as “Me empeñé en terminar el proyecto a tiempo” (I engaged myself to finish the project on time).

As you can see, “empeñar” can have different meanings depending on the context in which it is used. To avoid confusion, it’s important to pay attention to the context and use the appropriate meaning of the word.

Common Words And Phrases Similar To The Spanish Word For “Pawning”

Synonyms And Related Terms

When it comes to pawning in Spanish, there are a few different terms that might be used depending on the context. Some common synonyms or related terms to pawning include:

  • Empeñar – This is the most common word for pawning in Spanish. It means to pawn or pledge something as collateral for a loan.
  • Prender – This term can also be used to mean pawning, but it is less common than empeñar.
  • Ceder – This term can be used to mean to transfer ownership of something in exchange for money, which is similar to pawning in some cases.

Each of these terms is used slightly differently, but they all generally refer to the act of giving something as collateral in exchange for a loan.


While there are a few different terms that can be used to mean pawning in Spanish, there are also some antonyms or opposite terms to consider. These might include:

  • Comprar – This term means to buy, which is the opposite of pawning something.
  • Vender – This term means to sell, which is also the opposite of pawning something.

While these terms are not directly related to pawning, they are important to consider as they represent the opposite actions that someone might take with their possessions.

Mistakes To Avoid When Using The Spanish Word For “Pawning”

When it comes to using the Spanish word for “pawning,” it’s important to note that there are a few common mistakes that non-native speakers tend to make. Some of these mistakes include:

  • Using the wrong verb tense
  • Using the wrong word altogether
  • Using the word in the wrong context

Highlight These Mistakes And Provide Tips To Avoid Them.

To avoid these mistakes, it’s important to understand the correct usage of the Spanish word for “pawning.” Here are some tips to help you avoid these common errors:

  1. Use the correct verb tense: The Spanish word for “pawning” is “empeñar.” When using this word, make sure you use the correct verb tense. For example, “yo empeño” (I pawn) or “él empeñó” (he pawned).
  2. Use the correct word: Make sure you are using the correct word for “pawning.” In some Spanish-speaking countries, the word for “pawning” may be different. For example, in Mexico, the word for “pawning” is “empeñar,” while in Argentina, it’s “empeñarse.”
  3. Use the word in the correct context: It’s important to use the word “empeñar” in the correct context. For example, you wouldn’t use the word “empeñar” to describe selling something. Instead, you would use the word “vender” (to sell).

By keeping these tips in mind, you can avoid common mistakes when using the Spanish word for “pawning.”



Throughout this blog post, we’ve explored the various ways to say “pawning” in Spanish. We started by discussing the most common term, “empeñar,” which is used in many Spanish-speaking countries. However, we also learned that there are several regional variations, such as “empeñarse,” “empeñorar,” and “empeñicar.”

Additionally, we discovered that “pignorar” is a more formal term that is often used in legal contexts, while “acoplar” and “engarzar” are less common but still valid options.

Overall, we can see that there are many ways to express the concept of pawning in Spanish, and the specific term used may depend on the region, context, or level of formality.

Encouragement To Practice

Now that we’ve learned these different terms, it’s important to practice using them in real-life conversations. Whether you’re traveling to a Spanish-speaking country, working with Spanish-speaking clients, or simply trying to improve your language skills, incorporating these new words into your vocabulary can be a great way to expand your knowledge and connect with others.

Remember, language learning is a process, and it takes time and effort to become proficient. But by practicing regularly and seeking out opportunities to use your new vocabulary, you can make steady progress and achieve your goals.

So don’t be afraid to try out these new terms and see how they work in different contexts. With practice and persistence, you’ll soon be able to communicate more effectively and confidently in Spanish.

Shawn Manaher

Shawn Manaher is the founder and CEO of The Content Authority and He’s a seasoned innovator, harnessing the power of technology to connect cultures through language. His worse translation though is when he refers to “pancakes” as “flat waffles”.