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Posts Tagged ‘cognates’

by Jake Beus

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October 17th, 2011

Spanish Cognates

Cognates are words that have a similar spelling and similar meaning in two languages. False cognates, often called falsos amigos, look similar in both both languages but they don’t share similar meanings. It’s not surprising that these false cognates are often falsely used. They will fake you out much like a fake friend will fake you out. I don’t want you to be false or fake. I want you to say what you mean and mean what you say. Here are some of the most common false Spanish cognates:


Spanish Noun English Meaning English Noun Spanish Meaning
arena sand arena estadio
carpeta folder carpet alfombra
colegio high school college universidad
costumbre custom costume disfraz
decepción disappointment deception engaño
disgusto argument disgust asco, repugnancia
éxito success exit salida
idioma language idiom modismo
librería bookstore library biblioteca
parientes relatives, kinfolk parents padres
snetencia verdict, sentence sentence frase, oración
vaso glass vase florero

Those are just a few of the false cognates or falsos amigos. Practice using them correctly. It is very common for people to use these words incorrectly. Set yourself apart from those people. Be better. Have you made any of these mistakes? Now you know better. Good luck!

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