FALSE FRIENDS: ADJECTIVES

Some new CAE strategies soon! First, however, I’d like to share with you the lists I’ve prepared for my Spanish-speaking students here in San Sebastian. The knowledge of false friends is essentialĀ for many aspects of the Advanced Exam – from Use of English (especially 1 and 3) to Writing.

The following adjectives have different meanings (all or some) in Spanish and English. Read their complete dictionary definitions to be sure you know the difference.

http://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/

“punctual” is not “sporadic”

“habitual” is not “typical”

“familiar” is not “of a family”

“educated” is not “well-mannered”

“ancient” is not “elderly”

“actual” is not “current”

“eventual” is not “alternative”

“ordinary” is not “usual”, “regular” or “low-quality”

“sensible” is not “sensitive”

“sympathetic” is not “nice”

“primary” is used with the word “school” – “primary school teacher”, not ” a primary teacher”

“secondary” – see above

“infantile” is not “kindergarten”

“dairy” is not “daily” (or “diary”)

“blond” is not “lager”

“crude” is not “raw” or a colour

“comprehensive” is not “understanding”

“gaseous” is not “fizzy”

“trending” is not “trendy”

“political” is not “in-law”

“green” is not “filthy” and “pink” is not “tabloid”

“fit” is also “sexy”

“hot” is not “horny”

“large” is not “long”

“commercial” is not a person (you are looking for “sales rep”)

 

“excited” is usually not “horny”

“dated” usually means “old-fashioned” in a negative sense

and “famous” is not “a celebrity”

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