Archives For spelling

FALSE FRIENDS

April 16, 2014

Learning English for Spanish speakers can seem quite simple at first because as much as 40% of English words have cognates in Spanish. Cognates are words that sound similar, have similar spelling and have the same meaning in the two languages. Examples of cognates are: teléfono-telephone; persona- person; invitar-invite.  However, there are many words called FALSE COGNATES or FALSE FRIENDS. In the case of False Friends, the English word sounds like a word in Spanish but the two words do NOT have the same meaning. Here is a list of FALSE COGNATES with translations of the words in Spanish and English:

English word Spanish Translation Spanish word English Translation
Actually En realidad Actualmente Currently
to Advertise Anunciar Advertir Warn/Caution
Advice Consejo Aviso Warning
Argument Discusión Argumento (film) Plot
to Assist Ayudar Asistir Go to, Attend
Billion Mil millones Billón Trillion
Cap Gorra Capa Layer
Career Carrera professional Carrera (universitaria) Degree
Carpet Alfombra Carpeta Folder
Cartoon Dibujos animados Cartón Cardboard
Casualty Víctima o herido Casualidad Coincidence
Collar Cuello (prendas de vestir) Collar Necklace
College Universidad, facultad Colegio School
Complexion Tono de piel Complejo Complex
Conductor Director de orquesta Conductor Driver
to be Constipated estar Estreñido estar Constipado to have a Cold
Contest Concurso Contestar Answer
Deception Engaño Decepción Disappointment
Dessert Postre Desierto Desert
Embarrassed Avergonzado Embarazada Pregnant
Exit Salida Éxito Success
Fabric Tela Fábrica Factory
Idiom Modismo Idioma Language
Intoxicated Ebrio Intoxicado Food poisoning
Jam Mermelada Jamón Ham
Large Grande Largo Long
Lentil Lenteja Lentilla Contact lens
Letter Carta, letra de abecedario Letra Lyrics
Library Biblioteca Librería Book shop
Mayor Alcalde Mayor Older
Notice Notar, aununcio Noticia piece of News
Office Oficina Oficio Job or trade
Pan Cazuela Pan Bread
Pie Tarta Pie Foot
Place Lugar Plaza Square
Prize Premio Precio Price
to Quit Abandonar Quitar Remove, take away
Quote Cita/presupuesto Cuota Fee
to Realize Darse cuenta Realizar to Do/Make
to Record Grabar Recordar Remember
Relative Pariente Relativo (adj) Relative
Remove Quitar Remover Stir
Rope Cuerda Ropa Clothes
Sane Cuerdo Sano Healthy
Sensible Sensato Sensible Sensitive
Soap Jabón Sopa Soup
Spade Pala Espada Sword
Stranger Desconocido Extranjero Foreigner
to Stretch Estirar Estrechar to become narrow
Suburb Barrio rico periférico ciudad Suburbio de casas pobres Slum
to Support Apoyar Soportar to Handle/ Put up with
Sympathetic Comprensivo Simpático Nice
Target Objetivo Tarjeta Card
Terrific Fenomenal Terrorífico Terrifying
to Translate Traducir Trasladarse to Move (house)
Vacuum Vacío Vacuna Vaccine
Spanish Translation

Homophones

June 27, 2013

Big question mark on blackboardHow do you pronounce these two words: BLUE and BLEW? Which of these two grows in a garden: FLOWER or FLOUR? Have you ever read a word in English and you are not sure how it is pronounced? Or you need to write a word in English but you can’t remember how it’s spelled?

Homophones are two words that have the same pronunciation but have different spellings and different meanings. The English language has many homophones and they often cause a lot of confusion to English learners.

Here is a list of some of the more commonly used homophones and some examples to help you understand the different meanings:

Allowed-Aloud
Children, you are not allowed to stand up on the chairs!
Don’t say it aloud, it’s a secret!

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