Translating ‘to spend’: passer or dépenser? in French

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Translating ‘to spend’: passer or dépenser?

The verbs passer and dépenser can both translate to ‘to spend’ in English. They should be used in different contexts.
•  When referring to durations of time, we use passer:
J’ai passé 3 heures à t’attendre ! I spent 3 hours waiting for you!
Victor a passé sa vie à écrire. Victor spent his life writing.
Muriel va passer 3 jours à la plage. Muriel is going to spend 3 days at the beach.
•  For money, purchases, or energy, we use dépenser:
J’ai dépensé 200 euros pour acheter ces chaussures ! I spent 200 euros on these shoes!
Victor dépense son argent sans compter. Victor spends his money without thinking (literally ‘without counting’).
Tu dépenses trop d’énergie dans ton travail, repose-toi ! You spend too much energy in your work, take a break!

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