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Exploring the Nuances:

Criar, Crear, and Creer

Understanding the Differences


In the vast landscape of the Spanish language, certain words may sound similar but carry entirely distinct meanings. Among these, «criar,» «crear,» and «creer» stand out as prime examples, each possessing its own unique significance and usage. Let’s delve into the nuances of these three words to better comprehend their individual contexts and implications.

Criar = to raise up/to breed

  • Mis padres criaron siete hijos con mucha paciencia 

  • Mi vecino cría gallinas y vende sus huevos en el mercado

Originating from the Latin verb «creare,» «criar» in Spanish primarily conveys the concept of nurturing, breeding, or raising. It encompasses the act of fostering growth or development, particularly in the context of caring for living beings, such as children, animals, or plants. For instance, «criar a un hijo» translates to «to raise a child,» emphasising the ongoing process of providing guidance, support, and sustenance for someone’s upbringing. Additionally, «criar» can extend to the rearing of animals or the cultivation of plants, reflecting a broader sense of nurturing and fostering life.

Crear = to create/ to cause / to found

  • He creado un documento con una lista de tareas

  • Su presentación ha creado mucha confusión en el departamento

  • Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak y Ronald Wayne crearon Apple en 1976

Derived from the same Latin root as «criar,» «crear» diverges in meaning to signify the act of creating or bringing something into existence. Unlike «criar,» which focuses on nurturing existing life forms, «crear» pertains to the initiation or fabrication of something new. This could encompass a wide array of endeavours, ranging from artistic expressions like painting, writing, or composing music to practical innovations such as designing, inventing, or constructing objects. For example, «crear una obra de arte» translates to «to create a work of art,» highlighting the transformative process of generating something original and expressive.

Creer = to have faith / to believe

  • Mucha gente cree en Dios
  • Creo que Juan está de vacaciones

While phonetically similar to «criar» and «crear,» «creer» embodies an entirely different semantic domain, revolving around the realm of belief, faith, or conviction. Stemming from the Latin verb «credere,» meaning «to believe,» «creer» encapsulates the act of placing trust or confidence in something, whether it be a religious doctrine, an ideology, or a personal conviction. This distinction is crucial, as «creer» denotes a mental or emotional state rather than a tangible action. For instance, «creer en el destino» translates to «to believe in destiny,» illustrating the subjective acceptance of a philosophical or metaphysical concept.

In summary, the trio of «criar,» «crear,» and «creer» exemplifies the rich diversity of meanings found within the Spanish language. While they may share phonetic similarities, their semantic distinctions are profound, encompassing the realms of nurturing, creating, and believing, respectively. By understanding these nuances, one can navigate the linguistic landscape with greater clarity and appreciation for the intricacies of expression.

¿Conoces la conjugación del presente de indicativo de estos verbos? Want to learn the present tense conjugation of these verbs?

Creer Criar Crear



¿Conoces la conjugación del presente de indicativo de estos verbos? Want to learn the present tense conjugation of these verbs?


Creer, criar, crear

Completa la frase con el verbo correcto. Fill in the gaps with the correct verbs:

1 / 5

Susana dice que no ________ en Dios ni en ninguna religión.

2 / 5

Mario no está en casa, _______ que fue al supermercado.

3 / 5

Hay muchos padres que __________ a sus hijos en el campo.

4 / 5

Marta ________ caballos en su establo.

5 / 5

Este año Juanjo y yo _________ una empresa de software.

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