20 Spanish English false friends you must know

False friends can create many misunderstandings and funny mistakes. So let’s learn some of the most common.

First, you must know that a false friend is a word from a language that resembles, in writing or pronunciation, another from another language, but that has different meanings. FALSE FRIENDS

List of Spanish English false friends

01. actual (current, present-day) actual (real, efectivo)
02. asistir (to attend or assist) asist (ayudar)
03. atender (to pay attention) attend (asistir)
04. carpeta (folder) carpet (alfombra)
05. colegio (high school) college (universidad)
06. constipado (a cold) constipated (estreñido)
07. desgracia (mistake, misfortune) disgrace (vergüenza)
08. disgusto (annoyance, worry) disgust (asco, repugnancia)
09. embarazada (pregnant) embarrassed (avergonzada)
10. éxito (success, hit) exit (salida)
11. introducir (insert) introduce (presentar)
12. largo (long) large (grande)
13. lectura (reading) lecture (conferencia)
14. librería (bookstore) library (biblioteca)
15. sensible (sensetive) sensible (sensato)
16. sopa (soup) soap (jabón)
17. soportar (tolerate, put up with) support (apoyar)
18. suceso (event) success (éxito)
19. últimamente (recently, lately) ultimately (al final)
20. vaso (drinking glass) vase (jarrón, florero)

False cognates examples

Here you have some sentences in which you can see the false friends in context:

Carlota está embarazada de tres meses (Carlota is three months pregnant).

La reunión fue un gran éxito (The meeting was a great success).

Pon agua en el jarrón de las flores (Put water in the vase of the flowers).

Enrique es un niño muy sensible (Enrique is a very sensitive child).

Guarda los papeles en la carpeta (Save the papers in the folder).

Últimamente estoy siempre muy cansado (Lately I’m always very tired)

False friends exercises

Now let’s practice the vocabulary with some interactive activities. Please leave us a message if you want we prepare more quizzes for this post and remember to contact your tutor if you have any question. Don’t you have a Spanish tutor yet?

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