Beginner Lessons
Spanish Words You Don’t Know That You Know (Cognates)

Spanish Words You Don’t Know That You Know (Cognates)

Video to supplement Lesson 18

How to Conjugate Verbs in Spanish

If English is your native language, you’re in luck!

English and Spanish share a lot of words. These are called cognates. Although, the linguistical definition is a bit tighter than what we’re going to use.

For this lesson, we’ll use two types of cognates:

    1. Perfect cognates
    2. Near perfect cognates

Perfect cognates are words in English that are spelled exactly the same in Spanish and have roughly the same definition.

The only change is the pronunciation. It may be obvious, but do NOT use English pronunciation, as tempting as it is with identical words.

Near perfect cognates are words in English that are spelled close enough that you can guess their Spanish equivalents.

These words usually follow a pattern and become easier to identify.

28 perfect cognates

perfect spanish cognates

No, you’re not seeing things. Yes, those are Spanish words.

I am 100% confident that you already knew these 30—you just didn’t know you knew them.

Next, near perfect cognates are similar in spelling, but follow different patterns.

71 near perfect cognates

English words ending in –tion tend to end in –ción in Spanish

Spanish Cognates

English words ending in -ic tend to end in -ico in Spanish

spanish cognates

English words ending in -al tend to end in -al in Spanish, with minor spelling changes

spanish cognates

English words ending in -ous tend to end in -oso in Spanish

spanish cognates

English words ending in -ct tend to end in -cto in Spanish

spanish cognates

English words ending in -ate tend to end in -ar in Spanish

spanish cognates

This is an example of how easy it can be to pick up new words. There are a lot more of these patterns that you can learn.

However, there’re 99 words here—28 have the same spelling. Memorizing perfect and near perfect cognates can give you a good return on your investment.

The next lesson shows you how you can further increase your vocabulary, while not wasting time with useless words.

We’ll look at the most frequently used words and you’ll be able to see 175+ example sentences of how these words are used, all with audio for practicing.