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100 common Spanish cognates: Nouns

Cognates are words that are similar, or even identical, in two languages. Spanish and English share many of these. For example: capital/capital, banana/banana, restaurant/restaurante, impossible/imposible, etc.

Although pronunciation and spelling may vary slightly, knowing a good number of cognates can help you communicate more easily and effectively.

English Spanish
accident accidente
activities actividades
adult adulto
agent agente
air aire
alarm alarma
animal animal
area área
artist artista
atmosphere atmósfera
attention atención
banana banana
blouse blusa
cabin cabina
cable cable
cafeteria cafetería
camera cámara
canal canal
capital capital
center centro
cereal cereal
class clase
coast costa
color color
company compañía
concert concierto
construction construcción
continent continente
debate debate
directions direcciones
director director
disaster desastre
distance distancia
dragon dragón
elephant elefante
error error
explosion explosion
factor factor
family familia
festival festival
fruit fruta
funeral funeral
galaxy galaxia
group grupo
helicopter helicóptero
hippopotamus hipopótamo
history historia
hospital hospital
hotel hotel
hour hora
human humano
idea idea
identification identificación
independence independencia
information información
insects insectos
inspection inspección
intelligence inteligencia
invitation invitación
lemon limón
leopard leopardo
lesson lección
line línea
list lista
magic magia
manner manera
map mapa
memory memoria
metal metal
million millón
minute minuto
moment momento
music música
object objeto
observatory observatorio
occasion ocasión
ocean océano
palace palacio
panic pánico
park parque
part parte
patience paciencia
perfume perfume
photo foto
piano piano
planet planeta
plans planes
plants plantas
problem problema
radio radio
ranch rancho
restaurant restaurante
reunion reunión
series serie
sofa sofá
television televisión
tourist turista
traffic tráfico
uniform uniforme
vegetables vegetales

Do you know any other English/Spanish cognate? Did you find any of these cognates interesting or specially useful?

September 7, 2017



In English, elefant is actually spelled elephant. But other than that, these are so cool! :)


Great list! It gives me some hope that I may be fluent someday. How about a list of common FALSE cognates or false friends?
These are land mines for English speakers learning Spanish.
The typical example:
"actualmente" in Spanish means "currently" in English, not "actually" (that's a real toe popper!).
Then there's the diabolically symmetrical "peste" in Spanish means "plague" in English AND "plaga" in Spanish means "pest" in English. That's a real Bouncing Betty. A list of false cognates would be very helpful!


The list of false friends/cognates is coming soon! :)


I want to share these cognate flashcards with you my friends, thank U :)



If anyone is interested in a website with the rules for Spanish cognates here is one (http://spanishcognates.org/cognate-ending). It gives some examples of the rules as well.


This topic is very interesting!


Shouldn't explosion have an accent on the o? Explosión in Spanish?


Yes: "Explosión".


Is the word "explosion" accented ( Explosión in Spanish) ?

Yes, it is:)


Acute word that is formed by 3 syllables. The prosodic accent with tonic vowel in the second "o" is analyzed.

CONCLUSION The word explosion, with a tonic vowel in the second "o", carries accent mark.

Reason: Sharp words ending in 'n', 's' or vowel are accented. consequently ""Explosión"


Maybe to specify and to avoid future misunderstandings for learners it should be:

Cognates are words that share a common root.


Here's one I happen to know: anesthesia - anestesia

(And, speaking of "-esthesia" words, I also know synesthesia - sinestesia)


all greek or latin words like those you posted are cognates between many languages, not just english and spanish.


Very difficult word


i took a spanish course in which the instructor said there were over 2000 words that are similar in spanish and english


There are! That's because English and Spanish share some latin roots and nowadays globalization is promoting languages to "borrow" terms from each one another. This is a list of the most common ones.


others: religion religión, professor profesor, computer computador, province provincia , fascinated fascinado, interesting interesante ..etc


Hi Duo,

you should add that most nouns ending in 'tion' can easily be translated to spanish form 'ción'. With this simple trick you are boosting your vocabulary by a huge amount of words.

option -> opción

situation -> situación

direction -> dirección

education -> educación



Great contribution, Gerald! Thanks


This is because all these English words come from Latin and Spanish is just a modern form of Latin so it has almost all of these words. You might think it's odd that English pronounces the consonant in question with a /sh/ sound and Spanish a /s/ but also, Iberian Spanish pronounces it with a /th/ so there is quite a range of interpretations!


As beginners, we should help each other :)


gracias eso fue muy interesante


nice thank for the info


Thanks / Gracias. Helpful Info


a doubt: I read once that reunion isn´t a synonym of meeting, that is more like when you stopped seeing your school friends for years and then everyone make a party or something to remember old times. Is that true?


Correct.. Reunion means meeting of people who have not seen each other for a fairly long time..


you are welcome, de nada.. :-)


What somewhat annoys me about Duolingo is that 90% of the time I feel like I'm learning English/Spanish cognates instead of learning words I actually need to remember.


Considering how many cognates there are, it might be more useful to list the false cognates. 'el exito' doesn't mean 'the exit'.


Agree with you Chak. Some other are confusing when you know French and learning Spanish. For example, 'contestar' in Spanish is 'to answer'. While in English 'to contest' is 'to call to witness, bring action'. The origin on the word is still latin, contestāri to call to witness (in a lawsuit). Con- is with and "together"+ "testārī" to bear witness (noun).

Also, enviar in to send, while in French is to regard (something) with envy. Lot of confusion at the beginning.


Enviar makes me think of envoy in English which is like a messenger.


Here is a list of ten false cognate:

English word: actually - Spanish word: en realidad Confused with: actualmente - English translation: currently

English word: assist - Spanish word: ayudar Confused with: asistir - English translation: to attend

English word: attend - Spanish word: asistir Confused with: attender - English translation: to attend to

English word: bizarre - Spanish word: extraño Confused with: bizarre - English translation: gallant

English word: carpet - Spanish word: alfombra Confused with: carpeta - English translation: folder

English word: choke - Spanish word: estrangular Confused with: chocar - English translation: to collide

English word: deception - Spanish word: engaño Confused with: decepción - English translation: disappointment

English word: embarrassed - Spanish word: embarrassed Confused with: embarazada - English translation: pregnant

English word: exit - Spanish word: salida Confused with: éxito - English translation: success

English word: idiom - Spanish word: modismo Confused with: idioma - English translation: idioma


I was under the impression that 'lima' is lemon and 'limón' is lime

Is that incorrect?


No, it's incorrect 'lima' is Lime https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lime_(fruit)

And Limón is Lemon. lemon, Citrus limon https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lemon


"Una lima" = "a nail file" as well as "a lime"


I want to share these cognate app with you my friends, thank U :) https://www.memrise.com/course/1426529/cognados-en-ingles/


Hi Guys! I have more Spanish Cognates! they are 1011. I hope this information is useful. https://blania.co/spanish-cognates/


WOW! These 100 cognates helped me with my grades in school!


Others: vision - visión violin - violín tablet - tableta tornado- tornado tension - tensión trumpet - trompeta program - progama person- persona office- oficina origin - origen fruit- fruta sensitive- sensitivo hurricane- huracán


Actually, 'sensitivo' is an 'amigo falso' in Spanish. 'Sensitive' (ENG) = 'Sensible' (ESP) and to confuse things a little further, 'Sensible' (ENG) is 'Sensato' (ESP).


¡Genial! Gracias. :)


Have simple and simple(in Spanish) and normal and normal( in Spanish) been mentioned?


maybe a seperate tool that lets us practice the words, just like Anki. the Space repetition app. It would expand the whole duolingo package.


El gato maulla un miau.


can you give a list of false cognates? like "sopa", which means soup, not soap. That'd be helpful. heh.


¡Gracias! Esto es útil.


This was super helpful! Thanks Duo!

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