Near-Perfect Cognates: English To Spanish

Flag
Antonio AlegretEnglish
December 17, 2016
2193
3 minutes

Eureka!


I know many more Spanish words than I realized!

If you are an English speaker, you have a huge advantage, because what you have is a huge, long list of what is known as English to Spanish cognates.

So what is a cognate? Strictly speaking, cognates are words that have the same etymological origin. That means, when you see one word in one language and it looks a lot like another word in another language and they share the common root from an old language such as Latin, thus these two words are cognates.

In this article, we are going to stray a little bit from the strict linguistic definition of the word cognate because of situations such as English word much which came from proto-germanic, which is the language they used in Northen Europe around 500BC. Then take the Spanish word mucho, which actually came from Latin, so therefore under the technical definition of cognates, these two words are actually cognates but, they are extremely similar, they are almost spelt and sound exactly the same and almost mean exactly the same thing.

The main difference between two cognates is their pronunciation….in this respect, you have to be careful!

So, in this article we are going to define two terms:

Perfect English to Spanish cognates

Near perfect English to Spanish cognates


For perfect English to Spanish cognates we have words that are spelled exactly the same in both in English and Spanish, and they mean exactly the same thing but their pronunciation is different.

So, for example:

English ~ Spanish

Chocolate > Chocolate

Animal > Animal

Regular > Regular

Please, read and, most importantly, listen to the list-based words here

Now, the next group of words are near perfect English to Spanish cognates. These are words that mean the same thing in both English and Spanish but are not quite spelt the same but almost the same. You will be able to see that there are certain patterns that form with near perfect cognates that allow you to potentially predict when a near cognate is likely to exist if, of course, you don’t have this list handy.

The main difference between two near perfect cognates is the pronunciation and this is where you have to be careful!.

So, for example you have the English word ‘basic’ which in Spanish is básico.

Also, you have the English word ‘information’ which in Spanish is información.

And the last example in this category ‘vocabulary’ which in Spanish is vocabulario.

So the question is, how can you predict when English to Spanish near perfect or perfect cognate is likely to exist?

There are few rules that can help you to think about for near perfect cognates:



1st Rule


For English nouns ending -tion in English, these can be converted to Spanish by replacing with -ción


Abstraction = Abstracción

Celebration = Celebración

Formation = Formación

Please read, and most importantly listen to the list based words here

2nd Rule


For English nouns ending -ary, these can be converted to Spanish by replacing with –ario


Adversary = Adversario

Commentary = Comentario

Secretary = Secretario

Please read, and most importantly listen to the list based words here

3rd Rule


For English adjectives ending with -ic, these can be converted to Spanish by replacing with a -ico.


Artistic = Artístico

Classic = Clásico

Economic = Económico

Again, please read, and most importantly listen the list based words here

4th Rule


For English adjectives ending -ous, these can be converted to Spanish by replacing with -oso.


Curious = Curioso

Numerous = Numeroso

Delicious = Delicioso

Please read, and most importantly listen to the list based words here

5th Rule


For English nouns ending in -ct, these can be converted to Spanish by replacing with a -cto.


Artefact = Artefacto

Conflict = Conflicto

Except = Excepto

Please read, and most importantly listen to the list based words here

6th Rule


For English adverbs ending -ly, these can be converted to Spanish by replacing with -mente.


Absolutely = Absolutamente

Completely = Completamente

Directly = Directamente

Please read, and listen to the list based words here

7th Rule


For English nouns ending -ty, these can be converted to Spanish by replacing with -dad.


Atrocity = Atrocidad
University = Universidad
Variety = Variedad

Please read, and most importantly listen to the list based words here

There is also a heap of false cognates or false friends, which will be a topic for another post but note here that they are words that are spelt the same or similar but mean completely different things. For example one of the most famous Spanish-English false friends is embarazada which doesn’t mean embarrassed, it means pregnant!

Now, are you feeling that you know more Spanish words than you ever realized?
Great! Now is the time to go and practice them…

I am glad if this cognates and near perfect cognates could help you to easily increase your Spanish vocabulary.

What have I missed? Can you think of any others?

Please feel free to add any others in the comments.

Kind Regards.

Antonio
$18.00
USD/h
Flag
Spanish
globe
Spain
time
252
Spanish
Native
,
English
C2
,
Portuguese
C1
► About me. ¡Hola! I am from Madrid. I am a certified Spanish teacher. I know what problems you may encounter through your studying process and I will help you overcome them. Learning a new language is an exciting journey, not only because we are learning how native speakers talk, in addition we are learning their culture, what in some way it transforms and enriches us. I experimented it while I was studying English and Portugues and currently studying French. I am working exclusively as online Spanish teacher, so I am full time available to follow your learning process. ► Training & Experience I have a Master´s Degree as Spanish Teacher for foreigners / Second language at "Spanish Educational University" (UNED) I am certified Spanish Expert Teacher for business or specific purposes at "Complutense University of Madrid" I follow my training through various specialized courses supported by "Instituto Cervantes" I have taught Spanish language since 2005 in different countries: Portugal, Ireland, Ecuador and Spain. Do you know who is the best teacher? "Your last mistake". Why? It's simple: You can learn a lot from them! I’ll make sure that you enjoy the lesson, because if you have fun you are at ease and not worrying about making mistakes. ►Learning Focus. My approach is communicative, aimed at making students talk & talk as much as possible by using a variety of materials, such as: audios, videos, pictures, stories, press articles, etc. I design my own materials based in the best Spanish learning books. We can decide together what your priorities are, in order to achieve quickly your goals. Of course, you will learn grammar topics, but not worries, they have not to be bored, you will catch them from context and simplified schemes. Learning contents are provided before the lessons. Also prepare DELE or SIELE exams. All levels are welcome! I am more than happy to help you for improving you Spanish communications skills.! ►Material de enseñanza Google docs Archivos de audio Archivos de imagen Archivos de vídeo Artículos y noticias Presentación de diapositivas / PPT Cuestionarios Plantillas y ejemplos de exámenes Tareas
Flag
Spanish
globe
Spain
time
252
Spanish
Native
,
English
C2
,
Portuguese
C1
► About me. ¡Hola! I am from Madrid. I am a certified Spanish teacher. I know what problems you may encounter through your studying process and I will help you overcome them. Learning a new language is an exciting journey, not only because we are learning how native speakers talk, in addition we are learning their culture, what in some way it transforms and enriches us. I experimented it while I was studying English and Portugues and currently studying French. I am working exclusively as online Spanish teacher, so I am full time available to follow your learning process. ► Training & Experience I have a Master´s Degree as Spanish Teacher for foreigners / Second language at "Spanish Educational University" (UNED) I am certified Spanish Expert Teacher for business or specific purposes at "Complutense University of Madrid" I follow my training through various specialized courses supported by "Instituto Cervantes" I have taught Spanish language since 2005 in different countries: Portugal, Ireland, Ecuador and Spain. Do you know who is the best teacher? "Your last mistake". Why? It's simple: You can learn a lot from them! I’ll make sure that you enjoy the lesson, because if you have fun you are at ease and not worrying about making mistakes. ►Learning Focus. My approach is communicative, aimed at making students talk & talk as much as possible by using a variety of materials, such as: audios, videos, pictures, stories, press articles, etc. I design my own materials based in the best Spanish learning books. We can decide together what your priorities are, in order to achieve quickly your goals. Of course, you will learn grammar topics, but not worries, they have not to be bored, you will catch them from context and simplified schemes. Learning contents are provided before the lessons. Also prepare DELE or SIELE exams. All levels are welcome! I am more than happy to help you for improving you Spanish communications skills.! ►Material de enseñanza Google docs Archivos de audio Archivos de imagen Archivos de vídeo Artículos y noticias Presentación de diapositivas / PPT Cuestionarios Plantillas y ejemplos de exámenes Tareas

Articles You May Like

¿Cómo aprendemos?
Carmen Romero Padilla
October 18, 2018
Phrasal verbs.
Elizabeth Bufton
October 18, 2018