Today we’re going to talk about ‘false friends’, words in English that, given their similarity with Spanish ones, are often confusing for students. Let’s start with, probably, the most common false friend:
Sensitive vs Sensible
When students want to say ‘Sara es muy sensible’ they often write ‘Sara is very sensible’. However, it should be written ‘Sara is very sensitive’ as ‘sensible’ in English means sensata/o.
Now, take a look at the following list of words in Spanish, how would you say them in English?
- Asistir (a un evento)
- Estar constipado
- Carrera (universitaria)
The correct answers are:
- To have a cold
Notice the difference between the correct word and the false friend:
- Disappointment vs Deception (engaño)
- Pregnant vs Embarrased (avergonzada/o)
- Currently vs Actually (en realidad)
- Attend vs Assist (Ayudar)
- To have a cold vs To be constipated (Estar estreñido)
- Bookshop vs Library (Biblioteca)
- Folder vs Carpet (Alfombra/moqueta)
- Degree vs Career (Carrera/trayectoria profesional)
- Long vs Large (Grande)
- Friendly vs Sympathetic (compasivo)
- Terrifying vs Terrific (genial, fantástico)
- Factory vs Fabric (tela/tejido)
Now that you know the difference, fill in the gaps with the correct word:
- Jamie is ___________ studying a __________ in Biology.
- It is a ____________ way from Coruña to Barcelona.
- I’m going to the _____________ to study because it is quieter than in my house.
- Sara is a very __________ person, everyone likes her.
- Insidious is a ____________ movie, I was really scared when I watched it
- Please, don’t forget to take your __________ at the end of the class.
- Are you going to ___________ the meeting?
- Silk is said to be the softest ___________
- Losing the game was a huge _______________
- I am going to stay at home today as I have a terrible __________
How did it go? Scroll down to check your answers at the end of the post!
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Have a great January everyone!
- Jamie is CURRENTLY studying a DEGREE in Biology.
- It is a LONG way from Coruña to Barcelona.
- I’m going to the LIBRARY to study because it is quieter than in my house.
- Sara is a very FRIENDLY person, everyone likes her.
- Insidious is a TERRIFYING movie, I was really scared when I watched it
- Please, don’t forget to take your FOLDER(S) at the end of the class.
- Are you going to ATTEND the meeting?
- Silk is said to be the softest FABRIC
- Losing the game was a huge DISAPPOINTMENT
- I am going to stay at home today as I have a terrible COLD