Word of the day

company

We’ve heard so many people in Spain saying enterprise when they mean company because they’re thinking of empresa.

An established commercial organisation is a company, not an enterprise.

However, we use enterprise in English for Spanish empresa when it refers to iniciativa.

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bear

Bear    (noun)- is a big wild animal that lives in the mountains (un oso)

bear-bore-born  (verb)- means carry BUT it’s only used in certain special cases.

EXAMPLES:

bearer cheque- is one made to the person who carries it, el portador

You can say:

I can’t bear with this pain. (to tolerate- soportar)

To bear a child (dar a luz) – is where most Spanish people make mistakes as the way to say nacer is passive in English. Montse was born in 1984.

Queen Anne ...

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battery

In English, battery corresponds to both pila and batería.

 

  • batteries (AA) that you use in a remote control for a TV and in other small things
  • small battery in your watch or in a clock that is like a thick coin
  • battery of your car

 

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doubt (duda)

Doubt means you don’t know whether something is true or will be possible.

It does NOT mean that you are uncertain about something, or don’t know it, or don’t know what to do.

Examples:

I’m not sure what to say. (NOT I doubt what to say.)

If your teacher says something that isn’t clear, say There’s something I don’t understand or I have a question (NOT I have a doubt).

 

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do and make

Both of these words correspond to Spanish HACER.

The basic difference:

do– is used for actions; usual word with work; used with your best, business, damage, your duty, an exam, a favour, good, harm a TEST, work

make– has the idea of producing or creating; is used with these words: an appointment, arrangements, an attempt, a bed, the best of, certain, a choice, a complaint, a decision, a discovery, an effort, an exception, an excuse, ...

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couple

The Spanish word pareja means two different things and yes, one of them is couple.

But couple refers to two things seen as ONE UNIT.

I went out with a couple (un par) of friends.

Leo has a couple of dogs. 

If you’re talking about the one person you share your life with, that is the other meaning of pareja, your partner.

I went out with my partner. (NOT I went ...

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cooker

Many people make mistakes by saying that someone is a good cooker. Please don’t say that to someone. Cooker is the apparatus in the kitchen you use for cooking and the person who cooks is a cook.

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conductor

Buses used to have conductors as well as drivers. The conductor went round the bus collecting money and selling tickets while the driver was driving it.

Also, an orchestra has a conductor, who stands in front of the musicians and CONTROLS what they are playing.

Conduct is another word for behaviour, Spanish conducta.

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concrete

Every dictionary will tell you that concrete means concreto in Spanish. That is perfectly correct. The problem is that it also means hormigón, that is used for building. So if you’re talking about cooking, or medieval architecture, or anything else, it is best not to ask for a concrete example- !un ejemplo en hormigón! Very definitely, you must avoid sentences like We’ll meet on Tuesday, in concrete at ten o’clockNos vemos el martes, a las diez en hormigón. The ...

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carpet

Carpet is the thing on the floor, a moqueta or alfombra. The thing you keep your papers in is a folder or file. The computer operating system Windows calls it a folder.

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