Category Archives: False cognate

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  • False Cognates 19: She is a very educated person… in what way?!

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    My friend, Zianne, told me that her mom was well educated. “Mi mamá es muy educada.” I thought that that meant she had a college degree. Then I found out later that her mom never went to college. I was confused. “Why did Zianne say her mom was an educated person?” The Spanish word, “educado […]

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  • False Cognates 18: Whose fault is it?

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    Let’s create story about a car accident. Yesterday Maria was (1) driving to school and she got into an accident. She (2) crashed her car against the school gate. She almost ran away from the scene but she realized that running away would be (3) a crime so she stayed there until the police arrived. […]

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  • False cognates 17: Sopa, por favor…

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    When I first heard the word “sopa”, I thought it meant “soap”. Well, “sopa” is “soup”, “jabón” is “soap”. Confusing, isn’t it? Why does it have to be so different?! Well, Spanish speakers are probably feeling the same. la sopa = soup el jabón = soap Another interesting false cognate is the word for “fabric”. […]

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  • False cognates 16: Absolutely not! or Yes?!

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    Today I will introduce one of the most confusing phrases:  “¡En absoluto!” How do you translate the following conversation? – ¿Le importa ayudarme a cargar las maletas? (Do you mind helping me carrying the suitcases?) – En absoluto. (Not at all.) Yes, as English speakers we think that this person does mind (is bothered by) […]

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  • False cognates 15: Deceive or ?

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    Do you know what “decepcionar” means?  It means “to disappoint” or “to let down”.  It doesn’t mean “to deceive”. decepcionar = to disappoint, to let down Su comportamiento decepcionó a sus padres. (Her behavior disappointed her parents.) You can use it as self-reflective verb:  “I disappoint myself… = I am disappointed” Me decepciono siempre cuando […]

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  • False cognates 13: To make it real… or what??!!

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    The Spanish word “realizar” doesn’t mean “to realize”. It means “to become real” or “to execute”. If you want to say “to realize”, the Spanish language has a very commonly used expression with the verb “dar”; darse cuenta. You hear this expression often yet it is hard to guess its meaning: “Dar what? What do […]

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  • False cognates 12: Record taking

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    ¿Recuerdas cuando tú y yo fuimos a la playa juntos? (Do you remember when you and I went to the beach together?) The Spanish word “recordar” means “to remember”, but it looks more like “to record”. Well, I guess you mentally “record” the events so that you can “remember”. If you want to say “to […]

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  • False cognates 11: Tuna! Tuna! Tuna?

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    Let’s learn a couple of easy false cognates today. tuna = cactus fruit v.s. atún = tuna “¿Te gusta tuna (Do you like ‘tuna’) ?”, my friend Carmenci asked me.  “Sure.” I answered thinking she would make me delicious tuna salad.  She served me a fruit which looked like a baby watermelon, green skin with […]

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