Beyond the dictionary: acercarse
Yesterday, my wife told me that she had tried to call her aunt who lives just up the street and had got no answer. Since I knew that the aunt is frequently in the back part of the house and the phone is in the front, we had the following exchange:
yo: ¿Por qué no te acercas?
ella: Sí, ya me voy a acercar.
which translated into everyday English would be something like:
me: Why don't you go to her house?
her: Yeah, I'll go in a moment.
It suddenly occurred to me that this use of "acercarse" might not be obvious to an English speaker learning Spanish. I looked at "acercarse" on a couple of online dictionaries and they defined the verb as:
1. To approach, to come near, draw near, to come close to.
2. To be reconciled (amantes).
3. Acercarse a (Comp.), to close in on.
You really have to stretch your imagination to correlate the dictionary definition to the way we used the verb in our little conversation.
The point is that dictionaries are wonderful, necessary aids in learning a language but they can and do fall short at times when showing common usages. Frequently they just point you in the right direction, and you'll have to go beyond what the dictionary says out there in real life, in one way or another.