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Learning English in your spare time is really helping you, but what happens when you need to use it at work? We’ve been studying for ages and yet do not speak fluently. Time to speak more English if we want to speak better English.

Here are some easy ways to practice your English at work:

Try to use English at work every day: you can start slowly but steadily, do something in English as part of your work, send a mail, make a phone call, book an appointment, etc. Start with easy tasks and increase difficulty gradually. Have some of your colleagues help you when preparing and/or to check your message.

Interact on social networks in English, especially in professional ones, where you get to practice vocabulary related to your field. Interacting means to get actively involved, not just read and share, so follow specialised/professional blogs, news, media and write comments, participate in groups, report news, express your point of view, etc.

Do you have a foreign co-worker? Make friends with him/her. Take advantage and try to have casual conversations first, before moving into more professional ones.

Or just do it the other way around, some people feel more confident when they know the subject they are talking about. Do whatever feels right for you.

You don’t have a multicultural work environment where you get the chance to practice your English skills? Create one!! agree on a day/time and try to get your team involved in communicating in English for that time span. Or do a regular progress meeting in English, to get used to speaking it in a “safe” environment at the work place. Certainly, you don’t want to start on it with that very important meeting at the client, but you’ll be better prepared and more confident if you’ve already had some practice.

Probably some days you just won’t feel like it, or you’ll have too much workload to focus on English but keep it mind and create a habit. The most important thing is that it becomes a regular practice and not something that feels awkward.

Easy, peasy!

To care is to share (o dicho de otra forma, si te ha gustado comparte!)

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No dejes que los false friends te jueguen una mala pasada

Hey buddies, hoy os hablamos de los false friends y os dejamos una lista de los 25 más comunes.

Los false friends o falsos amigos son esas palabras que son parecidas en inglés y español pero que pueden crear malentendidos porque en realidad significan cosas distintas.

Éstos son algunos de los false friends con los que más metemos la pata. Presta atención y toma nota.

 

Actually

Actually no es actualmente, actually significa “de hecho”, “en realidad”.
Para decir actualmente utilizamos currently o nowadays.

E.g.
Currently I work in the marketing department.
Actually, I was just promoted.

 

Advertisement

Advertisement no es advertencia, una advertencia es un warning. Un advertisement (o un ad, en su versión abreviada) es un anuncio.

E.g.
They created a fantastic ad for the new perfume.
The warning said beware of the dog.

 

Assist

Assist no es asistir, sino ayudar. Asistir, por ejemplo a un evento o una reunión es attend.

E.g.
I’ll be happy to assist (=help) you if you need anything.
They didn’t attend to the last sales meeting.

 

Be constipated

Be constipated no es estar constipado, ojo! sino estar estreñido y no solemos ir hablando a la ligera de estos temas, no? Si lo que quieres decir es que estás resfriado utiliza to catch / have a cold.

E.g.
I had a cold last week / I caught a cold last week.
To avoid constipation you should eat lots of fruits and vegetables.

 

Bland

Bland no es blando. En inglés utilizamos bland para decir que una comida está sosa. Para decir que algo es blando podemos utilizar soft, pero también otros adjectivos dependiendo del contexto.

E.g.
Can you pass me the salt, please? This food is bland.
It was a very soft and fluffy cushion.

 

Carpet

Carpet no es carpeta, sino alfombra o moqueta. Para decir carpeta podemos decir file o folder.

E.g.
We have a new red carpet on our living room.
I usually keep important documents on a file.

 

Colleague

Colleague no es un colega, sino un compañero de trabajo. También puedes decir co-worker, work mate para referirte a personas que trabajan contigo. Para referirte a tu amigos puedes utilizar friend, y/o pal, buddy, de una manera más informal.

E.g.
My colleagues are really helpful.
Hey pal, what’s up? / Hey buddy, what’s up.

 

College

College hace referencia a la universidad, no al colegio. Para referirnos al colegio o instituto decimos school / high school (or primary/secondary school).

E.g.
They have three children, two of them attend high school.
Their oldest daughter started college last year.

 

Compromise

Compromise no es compromiso como tal, en el sentido de una persona comprometida (con su trabajo) sino, a committed person. Pero sí podemos utilizar compromise en el sentido de alcanzar un acuerdo/ compromiso.

E.g.
We promote employees that are committed to our company.
Goverment says they are firmly commited to improving the health system.
They reached a compromise about number of working hours.

 

Disgust

Disgust no es disgusto. Si estás disgustado, en inglés puedes decir upset. Disgusting se utiliza para hablar de algo asqueroso.

E.g.
I was upset after she told me the truth.
They served us a disgusting food.

 

Embarrased

Embarrased no es estar embarazada sino estar avergonzado. Para decir estar embarazada utilizamos to be pregnant.

E.g.
He felt very embarrassed when he fell on the ground.
She is 5 months pregnant.

 

Eventually

Eventually no se refiere a eventualmente sino a finalmente. Para decir eventualmente podemos decir occasional(ly) o para un trabajador eventual utilizamos a temporary employee.

E.g.
We had an occasional difficulty but everything is fine.
I worked and studied hard and eventually I got my certificate.
He worked on a series of temporary jobs before getting his current job.

 

Exit

Exit no es éxito. Exit es la salida de un lugar que vemos en los carteles. Tener éxito en inglés es to be successful (no to have success, cuidado).

E.g.
Could you please tell me where the nearest exit is?
He is a successful entrepreneur.

 

Fabric

Fabric no es fábrica. Una fábrica es una factory, donde se producen coches, por ejemplo. Fabric es tela, tejido.

E.g.
Many people stopped working at factories during the crisis.
The designs are printed on the fabric by hand.

 

Large

Large no es largo sino grande. Careful! con estos adjetivos, long sí se refiere a la longitud o duración de algo.

E.g.
I have always wanted a large house.
It was a pretty long and boring speech.
There was a long road to arrive to the beach.

 

Library

Library no es una librería o tienda de libros. Library es una biblioteca. Una tienda de libros es una bookshop / bookstore. Y una papelería, donde comprar otros materiales como cuadernos, bolis y demás, es una stationery’s.

E.g.
On a library you can borrow all types of books and also films, music, etc.
They went to the bookshop to buy some of the course books.

 

Molest

Molest no es molestar y mucho, mucho cuidado con esta palabra. To molest en inglés es acosar (sexualmente). Si lo que quieres decir es que algo o alguien es una molestia o que no te molesten, puedes utilizar bother, annoy.

E.g.
Please don’t bother me with silly things, I’m doing something important.
He can be a really annoying person.
The man has been arrested for molesting young boys.

 

Parent

Parent no es pariente, sino uno de tus progenitores. Un pariente o miembro de tu familia es un relative. Por cierto, esas comidas familiares donde se reunen todos tus parientes, son family meals (no familiar meals).

E.g.
We arranged a family meal to get together and many relatives came.
My parents (my mother and my father) lived in Boston before I was born.

 

Presume

Presume no es presumir de “fardar” sino de asumir o dar algo por sentado (con más o menos acierto). Para referirnos a una persona a que le gusta presumir decimos to brag, to show off.

E.g.
Sorry, I presumed you were not coming today.
He is always bragging about his new beach house.

 

Pretend

Pretend no es pretender. Pretend en inglés es fingir. Para indicar algo que pretendes hacer o lo que es lo mismo, tu intención de hacer algo (o no) utilizamos intend.

E.g.
She pretends she is not interested on it but we know she is.
Children pretended to be robots when playing.
We intend to go to Australia next summer.
I didn’t intend to hurt them (it was not my intention).

 

Resume

Resume no es un resumen. En inglés to resume significa continuar algo donde lo dejaste o retomar (una reunión, un proyecto). Para decir resumir podemos utilizar to summarise o to sum up.

E.g.
After some months, I resumed my personal project of creating a blog.
We went to have lunch and then, we resumed our annual meeting.
At the end, we summarised the most important decisions made.

 

Sensible

Sensible no es sensible. Éste es muy popular y aún así, no nos aclaramos. A sensible person es una persona con sentido común, incluso razonable. A sensitive person es una persona que experimenta las emociones más profundamente, por decirlo así. También puedes utilizar sensitive para hablar de temas delicados o más “peliagudos”.

E.g.
I think the sensible thing to do is to ask for help.
You can trust her decisions, she’s a sensible person.
Be careful with what you say, they are very sensitive.
Sex education is a sensitive issue in many countries.

 

Support

Support no es soportar sino demostrar tu apoyo. Si no soportas a alguien, puedes utilizar to tolerate, to put up with.

E.g.
All the team supported his decision to move to a different location.
I really can’t put up with them, they are always making fun of everybody.

 

Sympathy

Sympathy no se utiliza para referirse a simpatía o a una persona simpática. Para esto utilizamos nice, kind, friendly. A sympathetic person en inglés es una persona compasiva.

E.g.
When travelling, you will find friendly people in all places.
Nurses are some of the most sympathetic people because of their job.

 

Ultimately

Ultimately, que no últimamente sino finally. Si utilizamos ultimately quiere decir al final, finalmente. Pero para decir últimamente utilizamos recently, lately.

E.g.
Ultimately, they had to leave their house and move to the countryside due to health problems.
I have recently started a new hobby, gardening.

 

Bueno pues con esto terminamos este post sobre false friends, esperamos que os haya sido de gran utilidad y que a partir de ahora los tengáis en cuenta cuando practiquéis vuestro inglés.

Queremos ampliar la lista de false friends, si conoces algún otro que no esté en la lista, déjanos un comentario con tu aportación. Thanks!

 

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