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Tip of the month. False cognates

A cognate is a word that is very similar in pronunciation, spelling and meaning. For example, the word doctor, has the same spelling in English and Spanish and its meaning is the same in these two languages.

So, when we talk about false cognates, we are referring to very similar words, but with different meanings in English and Spanish.

You can find here a list of false cognates:
  • asistir = to attend // to asist = ayudar
  • actual (Spanish) = current // actual (English) = real
  • actualmente = at present // actually = en realidad
  • carpeta = folder // carpet = alfombra
  • discusión = argument // discussion = debate
  • nudo = knot // nude = desnudo
  • pie = foot // pie = pastelo
This list contains some examples but you can find more information and words here:

- Appendix:Spanish false cognates and false friends with English
- Obvious ... But Wrong
- Falsos Amigos - False Cognates

There is also a book about Spanish cognates with very good reviews on Amazon:

Hope this helps!

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