In Spanish, we can use the verb aprovechar with or without a reflexive pronoun. The meaning changes depending on how it is used.
Spanish verb aprovechar: to make the most of something/to make good use of something
In the examples above, we use "aprovechar" with no reflexive pronoun. It is a transitive verb and as such you find a direct object right after it (e.g., un rato libre, este trozo de tela, la ocasión). Note that despite the presence of the preposition "of" in English, we do not use any preposition in Spanish in this context.
With the preposition, this is incorrect:
Sometimes we can use "aprovechar" with the same meaning as above but with no direct object. The words "la ocasión", "el momento" are implicit. For example:
Using "aprovechar" this way tends to have a positive or neutral nuance.
A direct object after "aprovechar" could also be expressed with a clause:
Spanish verb aprovecharse de: to take advantage of someone or something/to use someone
As a pronominal verb (using the reflexive pronouns) it has the same meaning but indicates taking advantage of people or something specific, in which case it has a negative connotation.
In this case, we need the preposition "de" before the direct object.
Remember that if it is used with pronouns (of me, of you, of her...) you need: mí, ti, él, ella, usted, nosotros/as, vosotros/as, ellos/as, ustedes.
Note that "aprovecharse de alguien" can also imply taking advantage of someone sexually. For example:
Carmen lo denunció a la policía porque él se aprovechó de ella.
Carmen reported him to the police because he took advantage of her [sexually].
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