Spanish Cognates and False Cognates  

Spanish Grammar Common Errors Cognates and False Cognates

The good news is that Spanish cognates will help you learn the language more quickly. The bad news is that there are also false cognates! But, what exactly are Spanish cognates and false cognates? Spanish cognates are Spanish words which are are similar to English words. Spanish cognates are a wonderful tool for learning Spanish vocabulary. A few examples are shown below:

los apartamentos - apartments
el hotel - hotel
el aeropuerto - airport
el mapa - map
el operador - operator
el tomate - tomato
el melón - melon

Unfortunately, some Spanish words look like English words but they have a very different meaning. These words are called Spanish false cognates. False cognates are not the same thing as false friends, which are sometimes related but have very different meanings. A few examples are shown below:

actual - current (NOT actual)
asistir - to attend (NOT to assist)
la carpeta - file folder (NOT carpet)
embarazada - pregnant (NOT embarrassed)
la fábrica - factory (NOT fabric)
la librería - bookstore (NOT library)

Although false cognates lack a common root, there might still be an indirect connection between them.

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Popular Phrase: big numbers in spanish | Spanish Future Tense | Conjugated Verb: similar - similar [ click for full conjugation ]