Welcome to twominuteenglish.com. Teaching you English through two-minute lessons.
In this lesson we will learn about some false friends.
Angela: A ‘false friend’ is a word that sounds or looks similar to a word of different meaning in another language.
Evelyn: Can you give us an example, Angela?
Angela: Sure, Evelyn. The French word ‘actuellement’ and the English word ‘actually’ are examples of false friends.
Evelyn: What is ‘actually’?
Angela: It means ‘in fact’. For example: My daughter loves “Pink Floyd”. Actually, she has all their CDs.
Evelyn: Do you know some other examples of false friends?
Angela: Sure. The English word ‘embarrassed’ and the Spanish word ‘embarazado’.
Evelyn: I know the English word. It means that you feel ashamed or shy.
Angela: That’s right, Evelyn. Another word that some Portuguese speakers mix up is ‘pretender’. It sounds like the English word ‘pretend’, but the meanings are different.
Evelyn: In English, the verb ‘pretend’ means ‘make believe’, as in your imagination. If you are bored at work, you can close your eyes and pretend you’re at the beach…
Angela: That’s right, Evelyn, but you have to be really creative for that one!
Evelyn:I know! But, actually, I like my job. By the way, that reminds me of another false friend, Angie.
Angela:Which one, Eve?
Evelyn: The English adjective ‘sympathetic’ and the Portuguese adjective ‘simpático’.
Angela: Oh, of course. ‘Sympathetic’ means showing that you understand and care about someone’s problems. But why does that remind you of your job?
Evelyn: I had to miss work the other day because of a personal problem and my boss was very sympathetic.
Angela: That’s good, Eve. It’s very important to have a job you like. Now let’s see some conversations.
Yuri: What happened? Your clothes are all dirty!
Sophia: I am so embarrassed! I was running to catch a bus, but I tripped and fell…stop laughing!!
Yuri: Sorry!! I didn’t intend to laugh!! It’s just that you look so…
Sophia: Don’t say it!!
Yuri: Oh, come on, Sophia!!
Yuri: Hi. Are you feeling better?
Sophia: Yes. But I just wish you would be more sympathetic.
Yuri: You’re right. I’m just happy you didn’t get hurt.Actually, you should remember that your health comes first. Next time you should wait for another bus.