My favorite Spanish/English false friends (word pairs that look like they might mean the same thing but don't) are:

actually: en realidad vs actualmente:nowadays, at present
to apologise: disculparse vs apología: defence
carpet: alfombra vs carpeta: folder
cartoon: dibujos animados vs cartón: cardboard
casualty: víctima o herido vs casualidad: coincidence
contest: certamen,concurso vs contestar: to answer
deception: engaño,fraude vs decepción: disappointment
diversion: desviación vs diversión: fun,entertainment
exit: salida vs éxito: success
large: grande vs largo: long
lecture: conferencia,discurso vs lectura:reading
library: biblioteca vs librería: bookshop
luxury: lujo vs lujuria: lust
misery: sufrimiento, tristeza vs miseria: poverty
to quit: abandonar, dejar de vs quitar: to remove , to take off, to take away(steal)
relatives: familiares,parientes vs relativo: relative (adjective)
rope: cuerda, soga vs ropa: clothes
to realize: darse cuenta vs realizar: to make, to accomplish
soap: jabón vs sopa: soup
sympathetic: comprensivo, vs simpático: likeable, nice

P.D.¿Conocéis alguno más que sea bastante común entre ambos idiomas?
1 2
Sure - here's one:
constipated: estreñido vs constipado: a cold (to catch a cold)

Sometimes my Spanish students (who are learning to speak English with me) miss a class and explain it was because they were 'constipated'! (not realising what they have said, of course!)

I have done this the other way around as well when I was learning Spanish.
One thing for sure - you tend not to make the same mistake twice Emotion: surprise

Anna
I have this one:
molest
: molestar, inquietar, vejar, faltar al respeto [a una mujer] VS molestar: disturb, annoy, displice, offend, to bother
Emy
In my country, students usually confuse "noticia" and say "notice" when the correct word is "news."
When trying to say "idioma," Spanish speakers say "idiom" instead of "language."
Yes Anon ,both "idioma" and "lengua" both mean language in Spanish but "idioma" is masculine and lengua is "feminine",

"la lengua" and "el idioma"
to refrain (abstenerse) vs. refrán (proverb, saying)
embarrassed (avergonzado/-da) vs. embarazada (pregnant)
fabric (tela, tejido, estructura) vs. fábrica (factory)
preservative (conservante) vs. preservativo (condom)
cask (barril, tonel) vs. casco (helmet)
tenant (arrendatario, inquilino) vs. teniente (lieutenant)
Most English learners confuse actual vs currently.
actual means: real and currently actualmente
Very useful and interesting thread, thank you OP!
Mostrar más