Appendix:False friends between English and Spanish

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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 have the same meaning but is not
  • Spanish translation of English term
actual (current), actualmente (currently) actual, actually
adecuado (suitable) adequate
aprensión (detention) 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)
(when given on the short scale, i.e. 1,000,000,000)
bizarro (brave, noble) bizarre
boda (wedding) body
campo (countryside) camp
cancelar (cancel OR pay) cancel or pay
carpeta (folder) carpet
chocar (strike) choke
cita (appointment) city
complexión (physical constitution) complexion
compromiso (commitment) compromise
condescender (to comply, agree) condescend
constipación (cold (sickness)) constipation
contestar (answer) contest
corresponder (to correspond to) to correspond with
decepción (disappointment) deception
delito (crime) delight
delincuencia (crime) delinquency
denunciar (report) denounce
despertar (to awake) desperate
designación (nomination) designation
disgusto (annoyance) disgust
destituido (fired) destitute
dormitorio (bedroom) dormitory
deporte (sport) deport
embarazada (pregnant) embarrassed
enviar (send) envy
estuve (I was) stove
eventualmente (by chance, occasionally) eventually
excitado (aroused) excited
éxito (success) exit
fábrica (factory) fabric
fastidioso (annoying) fastidious
fila (rank)
(in chess)
(in chess)
fútil (insignificant) futile
ganga (bargain) gang
impresionar (to shock) impress
inconsecuente (inconsistent) inconsequential
industrial (manufacturing) industrial
introducir (insert) introduce someone
largo (long) large
moho (mildew, mold, mould) moo
molestar (annoy) molest
once (eleven) once
pariente (relative) parent
planta (factory or small tree) plant
pie (foot) pie
pretender (intend, woo) pretend
profundo (exhaustive, detailed) profound
pulpo (octopus) pulp
quince (fifteen) quince
rapista (barber) rapist
realizar (carry out) realize
recordar (remember, remind) record
registrar (record) 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