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Manejar - To Handle and Other Uses


Y la fruta es pura, natural. No manejamos ni un químico, nada.

And the fruit is pure, natural. We don't use even a single chemical, nothing.

Caption 3, Yabla en Yucatán - Naranjas

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Esta ahí, no manejamos ni un químico.

It's there, we don't use a single chemical.

Caption 8, Yabla en Yucatán - Naranjas

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Wait a second... Manejar is supposed to mean “to drive!” If you’re used to Latin American Spanish, you’re right and you’re in your right to be confused. Spaniards go for conducir whenever cars are involved. In fact their word for car is coche, when Latin-Americans use carro, auto or automóvil. (For more differences between Spanish from Spain and Spanish from Latin America, click aquí.)


Manejar is a verb whose meaning is broader than “to drive.” Basically, it means “to use or have control over something.” That something could be a tool, a product or a car. Check out these examples:

En nuestra fábrica sólo manejamos productos de la más alta calidad.
In our factory we only use products of the highest quality.


Hay cosas que las maneja solamente Dios. -¿Sí?

There are things that only God handles. -Yes?

Caption 2, Muñeca Brava - 33 El partido - Part 1

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Jairo maneja muy bien el martillo.
Jairo handles the hammer really well.


La preparación, el manejo mismo, cada nacionalidad.

The preparation, the very handling, each nationality.

Caption 89, Comunidad Tsáchila - Ayahuasca y plantas curativas

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El gobernador manejó la situación con mucha discreción.
The governor handled the situation with a lot of discretion.


When the object of the verb is a person, manejar morphs to "manipulate" or even "behave," like so:

Mi novia me maneja como ella quiera.
My girlfriend manipulates me any way she wants.

Mi hijo se manejó muy bien en el desfile.
My son behaved really well at the parade.


Manejar shares the same Italian roots (maneggiare) with the English verb "to manage," and can take this meaning as well, as shown in these examples:


Tu papá maneja las operaciones de crédito del banco.

Your dad manages the bank's credit operations.

Caption 1, Los Años Maravillosos - Capítulo 3

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Humberto maneja las exportaciones de algodón.
Humberto manages the cotton exportations.




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