Cognates and their comprehension

Cognates with their Classifications and examples


The cognates are words that have similarities in the way they are written and have the same meaning.

Cognates are words that share similar meaning, spelling and pronunciation in two languages. While English shares very few cognates with a language like Chinese, 30% to 40% of all English words have a related word in Spanish. For ELL Spanish speakers, cognates are an obvious bridge to the English language.

Not surprisingly, researchers studying the acquisition of first and second languages ​​have discovered that students benefit from recognizing cognates. Cognate recognition is the ability to use cognates of the mother tongue as a tool to understand a second language. It is possible to teach the use of cognates to children already in preschool. As students progress through school grades, they may be presented with more sophisticated cognates and cognates that have multiple meanings in both languages, although some of those meanings may not overlap. An example of a cognate with multiple meanings is to attend, which means to assist (same meaning) but also to attend (different meaning).

Perfect Cognates or perfect cognates

To start, I am going to leave you a list with the so-called perfect cognates or perfect cognates. These are those words that are exactly the same in both languages ​​(sometimes with some more tilde in Spanish. And different pronunciation, of course). And, of course, with the same meaning (at least one of them, which you already know that a word can have more than one meaning). Both in this list and in the following are not all that they are. There are many more cognates, since English is a very lively language that is constantly acquiring words from other languages. But, as they say, they are all who are.

Actor Actor
Admirable Admirable
Diary Diary
Alcohol Alcohol
Altar Altar
Animal Animal
Area Area
Artificial Artificial
Car Car
Balance Balance
Banana Banana
Pub Pub
Base Base
Brutal Brutal
Cable Cable
coffee Coffee

Classification of Cognates

Cognates can be classified into true and false cognates

The true cognates are words that are written in the same way or the like or sound like or resembles two different languages and they mean the same , an example of which is that in Spanish is written ” chocolate ” and the English “chocolate ». On the other hand there are the false cognates that are the words that are written and sound similar in two different languages, but they do not equal the same, for example: in English “arm” is equal to “arm” and in Spanish “gun” is ” weapon”.

List of false and true cognates in English and Spanish

True Cognated Examples:

  1. actor, actor
  2. Angel Angel
  3. art, art
  4. artistic, artistic
  5. banana, banana
  6. bank, bank
  7. balance
  8. bus, bus
  9. car, car
  10. channel
  11. collection, collection
  12. concert, concert
  13. culture
  14. curious, curious
  15. detail
  16. distance, distance
  17. divide, divide
  18. enormously huge
  19. essential, essential
  20. excellent, excellent

False cognates examples:

  1. actually actually current
  2. to advertise, announce, warn
  3. arm, arm, weapon
  4. to complain, complain, please
  5. driver, director, driver
  6. contest, contest, answer
  7. curse curse course
  8. date, date, fact
  9. deception, cheat, disappointment
  10. dinner dinner money
  11. embarrassed, embarrassed, pregnant
  12. exit, exit, success
  13. fabric, fabric, factory
  14. form, form, shape
  15. grocery store rude
  16. Horn horn oven
  17. lecture conference reading
  18. library, library, library
  19. senior mayor higher
  20. notice, announcement, News



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