Confusing English Words

Confusing English Words

Confusing English Words

Confusing English Words

English can be a confusing language for people who grew up speaking Spanish. Many words sound the same, but are spelt differently. Sometimes these words have very different meanings, and sometimes there is only a small difference. Sometimes, two words that are pronounced the same are spelt differently in order to keep them separate. People who want to learn English will come across some of these difficult words as soon as they start studying. Upon learning the numbers from one to ten, they will realise that the word ‘one’ is different from the word ‘won,’ which is the past tense of the word ‘win.’ ‘Win’ is an English verb that means ‘ganar.’ The word ‘two,’ sounds exactly the same as the preposition ‘to,’ which means ‘a,’ as well as the adverb ‘too,’ which can be translated as ‘también’ or ‘demasiado.’ Finally, the number ‘four,’ sounds the same as the preposition ‘for,’ and the number ‘eight,’ sounds the same as the verb ‘ate,’ which is the past tense of ‘eat.’

Confusing English Words

“I have two boats we can take to the sea.”

There are other simple English words that are easy to confuse. The word ‘see,’ which is translated as the verb ‘ver’ sounds the same as ‘sea,’ which means ‘mar.’ The English word for ‘yo,’ ‘I,’ sounds the same as the word for ‘ojo,’ ‘eye.’ The word for ‘comprar,’ ‘buy,’ sounds the same as the preposition ‘by,’ and the word for ‘aqui,’ ‘here,’ sounds the same as the word for ‘escuchar,’ ‘hear.’ The common verb ‘know,’ which is translated as ‘conocer’ or ‘saber,’ can be confusing, because it is pronounced the same as the word ‘no.’ In the past tense, ‘know,’ becomes ‘knew,’ which sounds like the word for ‘nuevo,’ ‘new.’ In the present third-person, it becomes ‘knows,’ which sounds like the word for ‘nariz,’ ‘nose.’

Some common nouns are easy to confuse as well. ‘Desert’ with one ‘s’ means ‘desierto,’ while ‘dessert,’ with two s’s, means ‘postre.’ A ‘principal’ is the first or highest of something, often used to refer to the person in charge of a school. A ‘principle,’ is a rule of conduct or morals. The English word ‘flour,’ sounds similar to the Spanish word ‘flor,’ but it actually refers to ‘harina.’ The word for ‘flor’ is ‘flower.’ ‘Peace’ is the English word for ‘paz,’ and ‘piece’ is a ‘pedazo.’ ‘Sight’ can be translated as ‘vista’ or ‘visión,’ while a ‘site’ is a ‘sitio.’

Confusing English Words

“Would you like some dessert in the desert?”

Some English words are changed from a noun into a verb by replacing the letter ‘c’ with the letter ‘s.’ ‘Advice,’ is the English word for ‘consejo,’ while ‘advise,’ is a verb that means to give advice. ‘Counsel,’ has a similar meaning to ‘advise,’ and means to give someone an opinion or instructions. If you change the ‘se,’ to a ‘ci,’ you get the word ‘council,’ which refers to a group of people whose job is to give advice. Finally, you can ‘practise,’ the violin, or ‘practicar tocando el violín,’ but the word ‘practice,’ is a noun, and refers to a deliberate habit or a profession.

Some of the most confused English words are contractions, or two words joined by an apostrophe. Even native English speakers sometimes forget the difference between ‘your’ and ‘you’re,’ and ‘its’ and ‘it’s.’ ‘Your’ is the possessive form of ‘you,’ and ‘you’re’ is actually a contraction of the words ‘you are.’ ‘Its,’ is the possessive form of it, while ‘it’s,’ is a contraction of the words ‘it is.’

The History of The English Alphabet

“You’re going to practise your violin. It’s beautiful to hear its sound.”

Our last example is made up of two words that Spanish speakers often find difficult. The Spanish word ‘prestar,’ can be translated as either ‘lend,’ or ‘borrow.’ In English, ‘lend,’ means that you are giving someone something for a time, while ‘borrow,’ means that you are taking something from someone for a short time. Just think ‘lend,’ ‘dar’ and ‘borrow,’ ‘tomar.’