Difference between verbs "Atravesar" and "Cruzar"

Hot Cross BunA2Kwiziq community member

Difference between verbs "Atravesar" and "Cruzar"

When to use and with examples. Thank you.

Asked 3 weeks ago
SilviaKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hola Steven

Your question is very interesting! The verbs "atravesar" and "cruzar" both involve movement from one side to another but are used in slightly different contexts and have nuances in their meanings.

Let's see how each of them is used with examples:


It means to go through something, indicating a motion that involves passing through the interior or inside of a place or object. It often implies a more comprehensive or thorough action and it's typically used when something is moving across or through a more substantial area, space, or length of something else. It can also be metaphorical, indicating going through an experience or situation.

El tren atravesó el túnel. (The train went through the tunnel.)
La bala atravesó la pared. (The bullet went through the wall.)
Tenemos que atravesar esta crisis juntos. (We have to go through this crisis together.)


This verb means to cross, indicating a motion from one side to the other, often in a more straightforward or direct manner. It implies crossing paths, intersections, or borders and it's usually employed when referring to crossing streets, borders, rivers, or other barriers. It can be used for physical movements as well as for abstract concepts.

Vamos a cruzar la calle en el semáforo. (We're going to cross the street at the traffic light.)
El río que cruza la ciudad es el Sena. (The river that crosses the city is the Seine.)
La mirada de ambos se cruzó en la habitación. (Their gazes crossed in the room.)

In conclusion, while both verbs deal with the action of moving from one side to another, atravesar is more about moving through something, indicating a path or journey through an interior space or situation.

Cruzar, on the other hand, typically involves crossing over something from one side to the other, suggesting a more surface-level or direct passage.

The choice between the two depends on the context of what is being crossed or traversed and the nature of the movement or experience being described.

I hope you found this explanation helpful, and if you have any other questions that we can assist you with, please let us know.



Difference between verbs "Atravesar" and "Cruzar"

When to use and with examples. Thank you.

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