Monday, August 20, 2012

False Friend: Terrorífico vs. Terrific

Hello! I've been pretty busy lately, so instead of a (longer) Common Error post, I decided to do a False Friend post today (especially since we talked about this word in my class this evening). If you're not sure what a False Friend is, check out this post. Today we'll look at the difference between terrorífico in Spanish and terrific in English. 

Is this clown terrific or terrorífico? I guess it depends on your point of view, but read on to find out the difference between these two words (they're very different)! Image by Graeme Maclean via Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license.

False Friend: terrorífico vs. terrific 
This SPANISH word...
Looks like this ENGLISH word...
...but they are DIFFERENT because...
In Spanish, something that is terrorífico is very scary; the English equivalent is terrifying:

"La foto del payazo es terrorífica!"
("The photo of the clown is terrifying!")

In English, terrific is a synonym for words like excellent, wonderful, or amazing:

"I had a terrific time on my vacation. I can't wait to show you the pictures I took!"

So, I think this is pretty easy. Just remember that "terrorífico" and "terrifying" are bad, and "terrific" is good!

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions for other False Friends or Common Errors, please tell me.

Thanks for reading, and have a great day!

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