False Friends” are terms that sound or are spelled similarly in two different languages, but their meaning is completely different. Sometimes, we tend to interpret the meaning of unfamiliar words, as the two terms sometimes coincide. However, this coincidence is not always so obvious.
The differences are mainly due to variations in the usage of the words, and in many cases, both come from a common root but have evolved differently over time.
Therefore, understanding “False Friends” is tantamount to effective vocabulary acquisition. One strategy for mastering them involves incorporating them into sentences or using them whenever feasible. This practice facilitates a faster assimilation of their meanings, allowing you to learn them almost imperceptibly.
50 examples of “False Friends”
Actually (en realidad) – Realmente
Agenda (orden del día) – Citas
Apology (disculpa) – Disculpa
Arena (estadio) – Arena
Argument (discusión) – Argumento
Assist (ayudar) – Asistir
Avocado (aguacate) – Abogado
Bland (soso) – Blando
Camp (campamento) – Campo
Career (carrera profesional) – Carrera
Carpet (moqueta) – Carpeta
Casualty (víctima) – Casualidad
Commodity (producto) – Comodidad
Compliment (piropo) – Complemento
Conductor (director de orquesta) – Conductor
Constipation (estreñimiento) – Constipado
Currant (grosella) – Currante
Date (cita) – Fecha
Deception (engaño) – Decepción
Dessert (pobre) – Postre
Dinner (cena) – Cena
Discussion (debate) – Discusión
Disgust (asco) – Disgusto
Diversion (desviación) – Diversión
Embarrassed (avergonzado) – Avergonzado
Eventually (a largo plazo) – Eventualmente
Excite (emocionar) – Excitar
Exit (salida) – Éxito
Fabric (tejido) – Fábrica
Facilities (instalaciones) – Facilidades
Jam (mermelada) – Atasco
Large (grande) – Largo
Lecture (conferencia) – Lectura
Library (biblioteca) – Librería
Misery (tristeza) – Miseria
Molest (agredir/acosar) – Molestar
Once (una vez) – Once
Parents (padres) – Parientes
Preservative (conservante) – Preservativo
Resume (reanudar) – Resumir
Rope (cuerda) – Ropa
Sanity (cordura) – Sanidad
Sensible (sensato) – Sensible
Spectacle (gafas) – Espectáculo
Support (sostener/apoyar) – Soporte
Sympathy (compasión) – Simpatía
Target (objetivo) – Tópico
To realize (darse cuenta) – Recordar
Topic (tema) – Tema
To record (grabar) – Grabar
- Get to know common false friends.
- Consult a good dictionary.
- Pay attention to the context.
- Learn complete sentences rather than just words.
- Practice with people who speak the language.
- Listen actively and speak in the language.
- Keep a record of your mistakes.
- Read a lot in the language.
- Ask for feedback from native speakers.
- Be patient and consistent in your learning.
In short, it is crucial to understand and avoid false friends when learning a new language such as English. Constant practice, attention to context and the use of reliable resources are key to mastering them, which will enrich your vocabulary and improve your ability to communicate in the language. This will enrich your vocabulary and improve your ability to communicate in the language – keep learning and practising to achieve fluency!
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