Speaking Latino What’s the Word: SAVE
While in English we use the word “to save” to refer to many different things, there are 4 basic Spanish words to cover the different meanings.
Salvar means to rescue, to recover or to save from extinction. For example:
El hombre salvó al niño que estaba ahogando.
The man saved the boy who was drowning.
La organización quiere salvar a las ballenas que quedan.
The organization wants to save the remaining whales.
Guardar is used when saving things, setting them aside, or keeping things. For example:
El maestro guardó el celular hasta el fin de clase.
The teacher kept the cell phone until the end of class.
Yo guardo el café en el refrigerador.
I keep the coffee in the refrigerator.
Guardé el documento en la misma carpeta.
I saved the document in the same file.
Tan pronto llegues, guarda un asiento para mi.
As soon as you get there, save a seat for me.
Ahorrar refers to saving up, setting aside, or conserving. It is most often used when referring to money. For example:
Ellos ahorran todo su dinero, casi nunca van de compras.
They save all their money, they almost never go shopping.
Proteger refers to saving in the sense of protecting something from harm. For example:
Es importante proteger los recursos naturales.
It is important to protect natural resources.
For more differences of basic Spanish words in the previous What’s the word? posts here.