Appendix:Spanish false cognates and false friends with English

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This is an initial list of false cognates and false friends between Spanish and English. They therefore look similar but respectively either they do not actually come from the same root or they have different meanings, despite their similarities.

Spanish term ("translation") English term that seems to be a cognate but is not
  • Spanish translation of English term
actual (current), actualmente (currently) actual, actually
adecuado adequate
aprension apprehension
asistir (to attend) assist
atender (to pay attention) attend
balde (bucket) bald
basamento (base of a column) basement
bigote (moustache) bigot
billón (trillion)
(when given on the long scale, i.e. 1,000,000,000,000)
billion
(when given on the short scale, i.e. 1,000,000,000)
bizarro (brave, noble) bizarre
boda (wedding) body
campo (countryside) camp
carpeta (folder) carpet
chocar (strike) choke
cita (appointment) city
complexión (physical constitution) complexion
compromiso (commitment) compromise
condescender (to comply, agree) condescend
conclusión conclusion
constipación (cold (sickness)) constipation
contestar (answer) contest
corresponder (to correspond to) to correspond with
criterio criteria
decepción (disappointment) deception
delito (crime) delight
delincuencia delinquency
denunciar denounce
despertar (to awake) desperate
designación (postulación) designation
disgusto (annoyance) disgust
destituido (fired) destitute
dormitorio (bedroom) dormitory
embarazada (pregnant) embarrassed
enviar (send) envy
éxito (success) exit
fábrica (factory) fabric
fútbol (soccer) American football
fútil (insignificant) futile
ganga (bargain) gang
importante (significant) important
impresionar impress
inconsecuente (inconsistent) inconsequential
industrial industrial
introducir (insert) introduce someone
largo (long) large
molestar (annoy) molest
norma norm
once (eleven) once
pacífico pacific
pariente (relative) parent
patrimonio patrimony
planta (edificio) plant
pie (foot) pie
pretender (woo) pretend
preocupado (worried) concerned
profundo profound
rapista (barber) rapist
realizar (carry out) realize
recordar (remember, remind) record
registrar Register
ropa (clothes) rope
revolver (revolve) revolver
sano (healthy) sane
sensible (sensitive) sensible
sopa (soup) soap
soportar (put up with) support
suceso (event) success
tuna (prickly pear) tuna
últimamente (recently) ultimately
vaso (drinking glass) vase