We really need to be careful with False Friends.  Just as we emphasize the importance of pronunciation over and over again, it is also important to know the difference between words that we call False Friends, which confuse us especially when we are translating them from Spanish into English.  False Friends (also known as false cognates) are words in two languages that look or sound similar but differ in meaning.

False Friends can get us into trouble or make the person we are speaking to feel confused.  Here is a list of some of these words and their meanings:

Actually (in reality)          vs           Actualmente (nowadays)

Assist (to help)                  vs            Asistir (attend)

Avocado (fruit)                 vs            abogado (lawyer)

Carpet                                  vs            carpeta (file)

Casualty (victim)               vs            casualidad (coincidence)

Constipation (can’t go to the bathroom)               vs            constipado (cold)

Embarrassed                      vs            embarazada (pregnant)

Exit                                         vs            exito (success)

Large (big)                           vs            largo (long)

Parents (mum &dad)     vs            parientes (relatives)

Sensible (makes sense) vs           sensible (sensitive)

So my advice to you before telling somebody before you are “constipated” after sneezing five times, give it some more thought.

Have a good weekend!!!