An English speaker’s perspective

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» by June 25th, 2008 at 10:54 pm » Comments (0)

Constipado probably does not mean what you immediately think. It is to have a cold or a stuffy nose. Estreñimiento means to be constipated.


» by June 10th, 2008 at 9:24 pm » Comments (0)

Carpeta is not what you put on your floor to cover up the 1970’s linoleum. A carpeta is a folder, as in something to hold paper. Typically it is a folder with pockets in it. Not a file folder. A file folder is an archivador. The stuff you put on your floor is an alfombra.

Colegio / Escuela

» by November 21st, 2007 at 11:08 pm » Comments (0)

Colegio does not mean college necessarily. It can be if applied to a group of people, but typically it is used to mean school, and usually school up to the American English understanding of college. An American English college would be universidad in Spanish. However, there are times when colegio can be applied to mean […]


» by October 4th, 2007 at 10:32 pm » Comments (1)

This is a word that falls into the false friends category. Lectura does not mean lecture. It is closely tied with the word escritura in that it refers to reading. Lectura, escritura y arithmética. Reading, writing and arithmetic. Lectura de las palmas would be a palm reading. But, to read is leer. The gerund reading […]

Darse cuenta

» by August 31st, 2007 at 10:42 am » Comments (6)

The verb dar is very flexible and is used in conjunction with many other words to form idiomatic expressions both figurative and literal. The phrase darse cuenta is used to mean to realize. Pedro se dió cuenta que se le olividó su tarea. (Peter realized that he forgot his homework). The word realizar does not […]

False Friends / False Cognates

» by August 30th, 2007 at 10:39 pm » Comments (4)

While doing some research for a couple of words, I learned that false cognates and a false friends are not the same thing. False cognates are two words which have no etymological connection, but are similar in form and meaning. An example of this is the English word day and the Spanish word día. Their […]

Asistir / Atender

» by August 30th, 2007 at 10:14 am » Comments (1)

These are two words that can be really confusing for the English speaker because they are false friends. First let’s review what the meanings are in English of assist and attend. Assist is to help. This could be used to help another person or it could be a machine that lends support. Attend is to […]