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Las idiomas español y el inglés comparten muchas palabras con raíces latinas, es fácil de entender españolas frases como, “Seattle aprobó un salario mínimo de $15 la hora.” Pero a veces palabras con el mismo origen toman un camino por separado en cada idioma, o palabras con orígenes diferentes asemejan por coincidencia. Eso puede significar problemas. Para tu protección, aquí está una lista de Español-Inglés “False Friends”.

¿Quieres saber más?

Las palabras de la primera columna se asemejan a los ingleses que en la tercera columna, pero tienen significados diferentes.

Listado de False Friends:

Spanish word English translation English word Spanish translation
ACTUAL current, present-day ACTUAL real, efectivo
AMERICANO person from North or South America AMERICAN estadounidense
ASISTIR to attend, be present at OR to assist ASSIST ayudar
BILLóN (US) trillion, (UK) billion BILLION (US) mil millones
BIZARRO dashing, brave, gallant BIZARRE extraño
BOMBERO firefighter BOMBER bombardero
CARPETA folder CARPET alfombra
CASUALIDAD coincidence, chance CASUALTY víctima
CHOCAR strike, collide CHOKE ahogar
CODO elbow CODE código
COLEGIO high school COLLEGE universidad
COMPROMISO obligation, commitment COMPROMISE componenda
CONDESCENDER to comply, agree CONDESCEND dignarse
CONSTIPADO (n.) a cold CONSTIPATED constipado (adj.)
CONTESTAR to answer CONTEST (v.) contender
CORRIENTEMENTE fluently, plainly, flatly CURRENTLY actualmente
DELITO crime DELIGHT delicia, deleite
DESGRACIA mistake, misfortune DISGRACE vergüenza
DISGUSTO annoyance, worry DISGUST asco, repugnancia
DESTITUIDO fired, deprived DESTITUTE indigente
DORMITORIO bedroom DORMITORY residencia universitaria
EMBARAZADA pregnant EMBARRASSED avergonzada
EMPRESA business enterprise, company EMPRESS emperatríz
ENVIAR send ENVY (v.) envidiar
ESTRECHAR to narrow, bring closer together STRETCH estirar, alargar
ESTIMADO esteemed ESTIMATE estimacíon, presupuesto
ÉXITO success, hit EXIT salida
FÁBRICA factory FABRIC tela
GROSERÍA grossness, crudeness GROCERY abarrotería, tienda de comestibles
INTRODUCIR insert INTRODUCE (someone) presentar
LARGO long LARGE grande
LECTURA reading LECTURE conferencia
LIBRERÍA bookstore LIBRARY biblioteca
MANTEL tablecloth MANTEL manto, mesilla
MOLESTAR bother MOLEST abusar (sexualmente)
NUDO knot NUDE desnudo
PARADA stop, e.g. bus stop PARADE desfile
PARIENTE relative PARENT padre
PRETENDER to attempt, to woo PRETEND fingir
REALIZAR to come true REALIZE darse cuenta
RECORDAR to remember, remind RECORD grabar
ROPA clothes ROPE cuerda
SANO healthy SANE cuerdo
SOPA soup SOAP jabón
SOPORTAR tolerate, put up with SUPPORT apoyar
SUCESO event SUCCESS éxito
TUNA prickly pear TUNA atún
VASO drinking glass VASE jarrón, florero

Gracias a Susana Hernández Araico, Ph. D., por comprobar esta lista de false friends.
Informacion procediente de: Mental Floss


How to Practice Your Pronunciation

The best way to use this poem to practice/test your pronunciation is to:

  1. Read the poem out loud [speaking]. Do your best to read with a good rhythm as it will help your pronunciation.
  2. Look at the definitions of any of the bolded words below that you don’t know.
  3. Listen closely to my recording of the poem while you read along. Do your best to notice any errors you made in pronunciation.
  4. Read the poem out loud again. Focusing on speaking with the same rhythm and flow as the native speaker.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you can read the poem flawlessly [without making any mistakes]
  6. Study the poem more carefully, examining the strange pronunciation of the words


The Poem

I take it you already know
Of tough and bough and cough and dough
Others may stumble, but not you
On hiccough, thorough, laugh, and through.

And cork and work and card and ward
And font and front and word and sword
Well done! And now if you wish, perhaps
To learn of less familiar traps.

Beware of heard, a dreadful word
That looks like beard and sounds like bird.
And dead: it’s said like bed, not  bead–
For goodness sakes don’t call it deed.

Watch out for meat and great and threat,
They rhyme with suite and straight and debt.
moth is not a moth in mother,
Nor both in bother, broth in brother.

And here is not a match for there,
And dear and fear for bear and pear.
And then there’s dose and rose and lose–
Just look them up–and goose and choose,

And do and go, then thwart and cart.
Come, come, I’ve hardly made a start!
A dreadful language? Man alive!
I’d mastered it when I was five.



  • I take it – I assume
  • Tough – strong, difficult to break
  • Bough – a main branch of a tree (uncommon)
  • Cough – to shoot air out from your lungs with a harsh sound, generally when sick.
  • Dough – the mixture of ingredients used to make bread, before being cooked
  • Stumble – make mistakes while speaking
  • Hiccough – an involuntary spasm that makes a funny noise and is almost impossible to stop.
  • Thorough – when something is done carefully and completely
  • Cork – the brown stopper in the top of a wine bottle
  • Ward – a room for patients in a hospital
  • Font – a type/style of text. Examples: Times New Roman, Arial, Georgia, etc.
  • Dreadful – extremely bad
  • Bead – a small piece of glass, stone, or other material, usually round and used in jewelry or clothing.
  • For goodness sakes – to be surprised or annoyed by something
  • Deed – a brave or noble act
  • Threat – promising to inflict pain, injury, or death to someone
  • Suite – a fancy room in a hotel
  • Debt – when you owe money to someone
  • Moth – a colorless butterfly
  • Bother – to annoy someone
  • Broth – the liquid part of a soup
  • Dose – a quantity of medicine or drug
  • Rose – a beautiful flower (see photo)
  • Goose – a large white bird, similar to a duck (see photo)
  • Thwart – to prevent someone from accomplishing something
  • Cart – a vehicle used for carrying stuff.
  • Man alive – used to express shock (not very common)