What are false friends?
No, false friends have nothing to do with friends who are false, but rather with English words that are known to Spanish people because they are very similar to Spanish, but don't mean what they think they mean. For example, if an English person asks a Spaniard "How often do you hoover the carpet? they will understand "how often do you hoover the folder? because they have the word "carpeta", which in English is "folder".
We will show you 10 very common false friends:
- Good morning, I’m constipated”, have you got anything for that?
- Well, this laxative is really effective.
- A laxative? No, I need some cough mixture.
- Oh, sorry! You’ve got a cold!
- Did you know that some preservatives are toxic?
- No way! ¡Preservatives can’t be toxic!
- Of course, they are chemical substances. They put them in the food we eat.
- Oh, you mean “conservantes”!
- Can I have a spoon to remove my coffee?
- Why do you need to remove your coffee? Is there anything in it?
- No, I need to dissolve the sugar.
- Then, you need the spoon to stir your coffee.
- Do you record where you put the car keys?
- Why should I record that?
- I need the keys and I can’t find them.
- Oh, you are asking me if I remember where I put the car keys.
- I wish you exit in your new project.
- If you don’t like my project you can tell me without being rude.
- I do like your project and I hope it goes well.
- So you wanted to wish me success.
- I have something to tell you. I’m embarrassed.
- Why are you embarrassed? What have you done?
- You don’t understand. You are going to be a father.
- You are pregnant!
- I have some parents in Brazil, some in Australia and some in Japan.
- How strange! How many mums and dads have you got?
- A mum and a dad. I’m talking about uncles, aunts, cousins…
- You mean your relatives!
- Have you read the notices?
- Is there a notice on the door? I haven’t seen it.
- No, in the newspaper, about the earthquake in Italy.
- Oh, that piece of news! I haven’t read it but I’ve heard it on the radio.
- Harry, come to the bathroom! I’ve lost my lentils!
- Your lentils? Are you cooking in the bathroom?
- No, my lentils. I can’t see without them!
- You’ve lost your lenses darling, not your lentils.
- You are under arrest. You have the right to remain silent.
- I want an avocado.
- If you are hungry, you’ll get something to eat at the police station.
- No, an avocado, a person that can handle my case.
- What you need is a lawyer.
We have given you a sample of false friends, if you want to know more about them, we recommend that you enter lewolang, an online course where you will find among many other topics, one about false friends. Try it for free for 10 days.