Posted by: Idioma Extra | September 30, 2010

False Cognates Sept. 30 2010


False cognates

False cognates are pairs of words in different languages that have a similar sound or spelling, but have different meanings. There are thousands of false cognates between English and Spanish. Here are some of the more common ones that are generally confused.

English word and definition Spanish word and definition (in English)
Actually – in fact Actualmente – currently, presently
Sensible – having good sense or judgment Sensible – sensitive
Realize – to become aware of something Realizar – to make or do
Compromise – to reach an agreement between two or more parties Compromiso – a commitment; engagement
Pretend – to fake; to act differently than what you are Pretender – to plan
Deception – to make someone believe the opposite of what is true Decepción – to disappoint; let someone down
Assist – to help Asistir – to attend
Introduce – to present someone to others Introducir – to insert
Argument – an angry discussion Argumento – plot of a story
Absolutely – completely En absoluto – at all; no way

Check Yourself

Look at the following sentences and decide if the italicized word is correct or not by highlighting “yes” or “no.” If “no”, change it to the correct word.

1. When do you pretend to finish the project? (yes/no)  _________________

2. I plan on assisting the university next year. (yes/no)  _________________

3. Mary is a sensible person. She never makes foolish decisions. (yes/no)  _________________

4. I can’t go to the party tonight because I have a previous compromise. (yes/no)  _________________

5. The documentary was realized right here in Costa Rica. (yes/no)  _________________

6. She said she was going to move, but she actually decided to stay another year. (yes/no)  _________________

7. I don’t agree with his opinions absolutely. (yes/no)  _________________

8. After you introduce the key, turn it two times to the right. (yes/no)  _________________

9. I thought the movie’s argument wasn’t very clear. (yes/no)  _________________

10. Everyone said the food at the restaurant was good, but I thought it was a real deception. (yes/no)  _________________

Last week’s Check Yourself

1. I would like to present my friend. _oO_

2. He has no record of his past taxes. _Oo_

3. She only buys produce because she is a vegetarian. _Oo_

4. He always projects his negative attitude on others. _oO_

5. I don’t want to subject my friends to my problems. _oO_

6. I hate talking to him because he objects to everything you say. _oO_

8. The architect surveyed the ruins for artifacts. _Oo_


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