How Spanish Is Similar To English - include  

Cognates and False Cognates

Nouns

There are many Spanish nouns that are instantly recognisable to an English reader. With slight modifications (usually with some change to the word ending and pronunciation) many Spanish nouns can easily be converted into English nouns.

English nouns ending in '-or' are very often identical in Spanish:

#1. -or = -or
English Spanish
actor
color
favor
tutor
error
ac'tor
co'lor
fa'vor
tu'tor
e'rror

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English nouns ending in '-al' are very often identical in Spanish.

#2. -al = -al
English Spanish
animal
capital
hospital
metal
moral
ani'mal
capi'tal
hospi'tal
me'tal
mo'ral

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Many English nouns ending with '-ist', can be converted into Spanish nouns by adding an 'a' to the end of the word.

#3. -ist = -ista
English Spanish
artist
dentist
novelist
optimist
tourist
ar'tista
den'tista
nove'lista
opti'mista
tu'rista

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#4. -ism = -ismo
English Spanish
idealism
sexism
budhism
tourism
optimism
idea'lismo
se'xismo
bu'dismo
tur'ismo
opti'mismo

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#5. -nce = -ncia
English Spanish
assistance
licence
experience
distance
intelligence
asis'tencia
li'cencia
experi'encia
dis'tancia
inteli'gencia

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#6. -ty = -dad
English Spanish
variety
society
electricity
city
university
varie'dad
socie'dad
electrici'dad
ciu'dad
universi'dad

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Adjectives

Many Spanish adjectives can be converted into English simply by changing the word ending.
Almost all Spanish adjectives are either masculine (ending in o) or feminine (ending in a). An adjective's gender is usually dictated by the gender of the noun to which it is refers.

#1. -ive= ivo
English Spanish
negative
expressive
positive
effective
offensive
nega'tivo
expre'sivo
posi'tivo
efec'tivo
ofen'sivo

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#2. -al= -al
English Spanish
final
usual
local
normal
natural
fi'nal
us'ual
lo'cal
nor'mal
natu'ral

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#3. -ous = -oso
English Spanish
famous
nervous
delicious
generous
ambitious
fa'moso
nervi'oso
delici'oso
gene'roso
ambici'oso

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#4. -ic = -ico
English Spanish
romantic
fantastic
electric
artistic
automatic
ro'matico
fan'tastico
e'lectrico
ar'tistico
auto'matico

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#5. -ble= -ble
English Spanish
horrible
impossible
terrible
probable
notable
ho'rrible
impo'sible
te'rrible
pro'bable
no'table

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#6. -nt= -nte
English Spanish
ignorant
convenient
patient
important
excellent
igno'rante
conveni'ente
paci'ente
impor'tante
exce'lente

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#7. -id= -ido
English Spanish
stupid
rapid
splendid
valid
solid
estu'pido
'rĂ¡pido
esplen'dido
va'lido
so'lido

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#8. -ile= -il
English Spanish
fertile
hostile
mobile
juvenile
sterile
fer'til
hos'til
mov'il
juve'nil
este'ril

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#9. -ary= -ario
English Spanish
secondary
literary
ordinary
necessary
voluntary
secun'dario
lite'rario
ordi'nario
nece'sario
volun'tario

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Verbs

There are many English verbs that can be converted into Spanish, usually by changing the ending of the English verb and adding 'ar', 'er' or 'ir'.
Almost every English infinitive verb ending in '-ate' (eg. celebrate) can be coverted into a Spanish infinitive by replacing the final '-ate' with '-ar' (eg. celebrar).

English Spanish
create cre'ar
calculate calcu'lar
concentrate concen'trar
demonstrate demo'strar
estimate esti'mar
exaggerate exage'rar
negotiate negoci'ar
operate ope'rar
participate partici'par
terminate termi'nar

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Many English verbs (infinitive) ending in VOWEL + CONSONANT + T (eg. result) can be converted into Spanish verbs (infinitive) by adding '-ar', 'er' or 'ir' to the end of the English verb (eg. resultar).

English Spanish
insult insul'tar
consult consul'tar
present presen'tar
represent represen'tar
comment comen'tar
import impor'tar
export expor'tar
convert conver'tir
insist insis'tir

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Many English infinitive verbs (of more than one syllable) ending VOWEL + CONSONANT + E (eg. examine) can be converted into Spanish infinitive verbs by dropping the final E and adding 'ar'. (eg. examinar).

English Spanish
accuse acu'sar
adore ado'rar
authorize autori'zar
complete comple'tar
converse conver'sar
escape esca'par
ignore igno'rar
invite invi'tar
imagine imagi'nar
prepare prepa'rar
organize organi'zar
utilize utili'zar

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Almost every English infinitive verb ending with '-ify' (eg. signify) can be converted into a Spanish verb by replacing the final 'ify' with '-ificar' (eg. significar).

English Spanish
unify unifi'car
simplify simplifi'car
solidify solidifi'car
amplify amplifi'car
notify notifi'car
modify modifi'car
gratify gratifi'car
justify justifi'car
pacify pacifi'car
certify certifi'car

Nouns | Adjectives | Verbs | Top

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Adverbs

In Spanish, "mente" combines with (feminine) adjectives to form Spanish adverbs.

In English, "-ly" combines with many adjectives to form adverbs.

Adjective Adverb
English Spanish English Spanish
normal nor'mal normally normalmente
natural natu'ral naturally natural'mente
final fi'nal finally final'mente
probable pro'bable probably probable'mente
absolute abso'luta absolutely absoluta'mente
exact e'xacta exactly exacta'mente
evident evi'dente evidently evidente'mente
complete com'pleta completly completa'mente

What are cognates?

The 'convertable' English to Spanish words are known as cognates, words in both languages which share the same Latin root and which are visibly and often audibly very similar. It is important to bear in mind that these cognates do not always translate from one language to another precisely. For example: "inferior" in Spanish may be used to refer to a subordinate in the work-place, without carrying any of the derogatory meaning in the English usage. In Spanish, "informal" means unreliable rather than casual. In spite of these 'false cognates', there are thousands of English words which can be converted into Spanish along with much of their English meaning (especially the literal) by following a few simple steps.




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