4 Spanish false friends

don’t let these Spanish English false friend trick you.

When you are learning a new language there are so many things you need to learn and keep in mind, and one of those are false friends. False friend are those words that might make you very happy when you see them as they look very similar to one you probably know, and they can trick you to think you know what they mean, but in fact they mean something very different.

In today’s blog I am going to talk about 4 Spanish words that they are specially confusing to English speakers as they look similar to an English word but their meaning has nothing to see with their similar word. The words today are:





Before keep reading, stop and have a think, see if they look familiar to any English word,  and then try to guess the meaning of these Spanish words.

4 Spanish English false friends

Spanish false friends are very common in students and normally they give them very embarrassing (and funny) moments. I have many stories particularly with the famous false friend “embarazada” because a lot of students use it when they really mean embarrassed, ignoring that in Spanish embarazada means pregnant J  are you familiar with this misunderstanding?


Opposite of what it might look, the Spanish word “argumento” does  not mean “argument” but plot or story line. For example you could talk about “el argumento de una película” J


Carpeta is a very common word using to describe a carpet in Spanish, but besides their similarities, carpeta is not a carpet but a folder.


Although it looks exactly like the English word sensible (with the obvious pronounciation diference) the meaning is a bit different, the Spanish word sensible means sensitive. For example: Tienes que tener cuidado con Nuria, es una persona muy sensible, se toma todo de forma personal


A lot of Spanish students use this word, “actualmente” when they mean “actually”, but actually, actualmente means currently. For example “en Edimburgo actualmente hace frío” Those are the false friends I wanted to mention you today. I hope you found this blog helpful, if you want to watch this lesson in video you can have a look here.

Now as always I would love to hear from you:

  • have you confused these Spanish English false friends in the past?
  • do you have any other false friend that keep tricking you?
  • do you have any funny stories that involve false friends?

I am looking forward to hearing from you.

Buen día

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