How not to go wrong with false friends?
To learn to write, the first thing you will have to bear in mind is that it will be necessary to establish the foundations of English well. To do an immersion abroad, apply for a summer job or get your first job, you already know that any recruitment agency will ask you for a series of documents written in English.
Do not trust yourself and always check the meaning of the words.
A letter of recommendation, a spontaneous application, a CV in English … Regardless of the type of document you have to write, try not to make serious mistakes. Although spelling errors are easy to detect, it is possible to make mistakes with famous false friends :
Some words in English are very similar to other words in Spanish, however, their meaning is completely different. Therefore, you will have to take it into account to avoid saying any nonsense.
These terms are what we call “false friends” in English or “false friends” in Spanish (also called “false cognates”).
The important thing with these words is that you have to take note of them, know them and learn to use them in the correct context.
We find three types of false friends:
Words that have the same origin but have evolved differently; so the base of the word keeps the same meaning but Spanish and English have used it differently over time.
Words that have the same spelling, but have nothing in common.
Words that have the same meaning but are not used in the same context.
How can you avoid the mistakes of false friends in English ?
First of all, it is important to identify and learn them . Once you have seen the true meaning of a word (and retain it), it will be almost impossible to go wrong. You can resort to some mnemonic rule so as not to forget them.
Do you think learning false friends is mission impossible? Take note of our tips to make it “mission possible.”
False friends are present in all the grammatical categories of English (nouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives …). Don’t worry, the same thing happens to Anglo-Saxons when they want to learn Spanish.
Here is a small list with some examples of these categories:
Verbs Nouns Adjectives Adverbs
To abuse: insult,
To accommodate: stay, adapt,
To achieve: achieve,
To advertise: advertise,
To apologize: ask for forgiveness, apologize,
To argue: discuss,
To assist: help,
To attend: attend,
To intend: have the intention,
To introduce: introduce,
To annoy: sexually harass,
To presume: suppose,
To pretend: pretend,
To realize: realize,
To record: record,
To remove: remove, delete,
To resume: resume,
To stay: stay ,
To supply: supply,
To support: support,
To survey: survey,
To take an exam: take an exam. Advertisement: Announcement,
Collar: Garment Collar,
Contest: Contest ,
Costume: suit, disguise,
Fabric: cloth, fabric,
Mayor : Mayor,
Notice: Note, Announcement,
Eleven – Once,
Bread – Casserole,
Parents – Parents,
Pie – Pie, Pie,
Relative – Relative,
Signature – Signature,
Success – Success,
Trillion – Trillion. Actual: real,
Blank: blank (not “white”, which is said white),
Gentle: soft, subtle,
Prodigious: huge, vast,
Terrific: phenomenal, great,
Ultimate: final. Actually: actually,
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The best solution to avoid making mistakes is to learn to speak English in an English-speaking country and therefore put what you have learned into practice. By staying for a time in a country where the locals speak English, you will surely make some mistakes, but you won’t make the same mistake again! By putting things into practice, things enter our brain.
In addition, you can always choose to prepare review cards, where you can write your own rules and use mnemonic resources so as not to forget those false friends. You can take a look on the way to work, on the bus, between classes, etc. How not to go wrong with false friends?
In turn, we recommend that when you learn a false friend, you learn it with an example, because that way you will see it in context and the learning will be more specific.
When we are wrong, there are times when we will lead to comic situations. They will always be anecdotes that you can tell your family at your next meeting! How not to go wrong with false friends?
Do not forget, mistakes are where we learn the most and if it helps you to be in contact with English, all the better. How not to go wrong with false friends?
As an alternative to the English academy Madrid, opt for one of our Superprofes How not to go wrong with false friends?