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Homophones Posted by on Jan 10, 2008 in Spanish Vocabulary

[editor: Today we welcome a new contributor, Adir Ferreira to the Spanish Blog. Adir has many years experience teaching both English and Spanish; I am sure you will enjoy his helpful and thorough approach to language learning!]

Homophones (from Greek homós ‘same’ y phoné ‘sound’) are words that have exactly the same sound (pronunciation) but different meanings and (usually) spelling. Spanish is not different when it comes to homophones. There are several words which, written as one mean one thing and written as two words, mean another. Let´s have a look at some of them:

Avemaría : Hail Mary (the prayer)

¡Ave María! : type of informal greeting or an exclamation of surprise

Cumpleaños: birthday

Cumple años: conjugated form of the verb “cumplir años” (be someone´s birthday) María cumple años hoy. (It´s Maria´s birthday today.)

Sobretodo: a kind of overcoat

Sobre todo: especially

A sí mismo: to himself, to herself Él es incapaz de analizarse a sí mismo. (He´s incapable of analyzing himself.)

Asimismo: therefore, thus Asimismo, como les he dicho antes los deberes deberán ser entregados hasta el día 15. (Therefore, as I have told you beforehand, your papers are supposed to be turned in by the 15th.)

Apropósito: a small theater play, usually about a current topic

A propósito: appropriate

Acuestas: conjugated form of acostarse (to lie down, go to bed) Tú te acuestas temprano. (You go to bed early.)

A cuestas: on one´s back, carrying something

Medianoche: midnight, twelve o´clock a.m. Ya es la medianoche. (It´s already midnight). In Spain it´s also a kind of sweet bread usually dipped into coffee or chocolate).

Media noche: a half night. Es increíble, ya ha pasado media noche, y aún no hemos ido a dormir. (It´s incredible, half night has passed and we still haven´t gone to bed.)

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Comments:

  1. Peta Gray:

    very helpful thank you

  2. C Marshall:

    Excellent, a great help, thank you.

  3. Vince:

    Good. I want more… por favor.

    Vince

  4. Ron:

    very interesting. Do you know of a list of spanish/english homophones? Eg., say – se, I – hay, see – si, etc.?