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100 common Spanish cognates: Nouns

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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?

1 year ago

45 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/JoshuaDean108705

Lord Help my spanish.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MilenaColQC

I can help you ;)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Anna_B_Arya
Anna_B_Arya
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As beginners, we should help each other :)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/selinamuneca

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

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JossDuggan

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

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HelpfulDuo
HelpfulDuo
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¡Genial! Gracias. :)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Casanovafamily8

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

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MichaelGHenry

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!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HelpfulDuo
HelpfulDuo
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The list of false friends/cognates is coming soon! :)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MichaelGHenry

Gracias!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jesus849123
Jesus849123
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I want to share these cognate flashcards with you my friends, thank U :)

https://tinycards.duolingo.com/decks/7cb56665-0342-42f2-82c9-25b7856d3ae3

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ben429452

Thx

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Juan0703
Juan0703
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This topic is very interesting!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LeviPolasak

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

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/-.Edwin.-
-.Edwin.-
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Yes: "Explosión".

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Beatles-Musician
Beatles-Musician
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Maybe to specify and to avoid future misunderstandings for learners it should be:

Cognates are words that share a common root.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/owlhell

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.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/P-Code
P-Code
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Here's one I happen to know: anesthesia - anestesia

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

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Vernunftstimme

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

11 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Roni.T
Roni.T
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idea/idea

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/juldat
juldat
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buena esa

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MilenaColQC

Very difficult word

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EvanJamesWalters

...

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ben429452

same

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CarolLynnC1

Very helpful.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ben429452

I agree

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ethanhyde2412

gracias eso fue muy interesante

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ben429452

nice thank for the info

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MaverickMonu

Thanks / Gracias. Helpful Info

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tomviner1

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

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HelpfulDuo
HelpfulDuo
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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.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ChiantyEvy

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?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MaverickMonu

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

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ChiantyEvy

thank you :)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MaverickMonu

you are welcome, de nada.. :-)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/C_R_A_Z-Y1273

wow!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlaaR

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

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HelpfulDuo
HelpfulDuo
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great!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GeraldRe
GeraldRe
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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

etc.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HelpfulDuo
HelpfulDuo
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Great contribution, Gerald! Thanks

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/somelauw
somelauw
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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.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Chak278071

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

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Canejito
Canejito
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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.

8 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Canejito
Canejito
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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

8 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Pugsandpandas111

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

7 months ago