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Similar words in English and Spanish with different meanings - Part 1

For this first article will cover the words “Actually, Embarrassed and Realize”. As you know, there are many words that are the same or almost the same in English and Spanish, as soon as you hear it, you already know its meaning and even its pronunciation. But there are some exceptions that make Spanish language students confuse.


Logically and as a natural part of the language learning process is the association of meanings in similar words, and this occurs a lot between English and Spanish. Some simple examples are radio / radio, map / map, planet / planet, correct / correct and many other examples. Therefore, it is easy to associate other very similar words with another meaning.

Here we list 3 words with different meanings.

1.- ACTUALLY …

It is immediately confused with the Spanish word "actualmente", however, the word is correctly translated into Spanish as "en realidad". The word "actualmente" on the other hand, is translated into English as "currently".


2.- EMBARRASSED …

This word easily causes confusion and may lead to misunderstandings, for this word translation is somewhat tricky since it has two translations. The word "embarrassed" is continually confused with "embarazada (in Spanish)", which means "pregnant" in English. The Spanish translation of "embarrassed" is "avergonzado(a)." NEVERTHELESS, this adjective is translated in two different ways according to the situation. The objective of the adjective is to qualify or determine the noun ... if the noun is a personal subject, then it is translated as "avergonzado", but if the noun is circumstantial or state, then it is translated as "embarazoso". Examples :

  • For a subject : I feel a little embarrassed by the situation (Me siento un poco avergonzada por la situación).
  • For a circumstantial noun : The performance my players are showing on the field is embarrassing (El rendimiento que mis jugadores están mostrando en el campo es embarazoso).

3.- REALIZE …

The similar version in Spanish for this word is "realizar" (to do, to fulfill, to carry out), which is rather a transitive verb, since it describes the action of transforming something into "real." However, the correct translation of "realize" is "darse cuenta" or "enterarse de". The word "realize" in English is also a transitive verb, since it refers to an action of being aware of something.



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