Commonly confused words in Spanish
There are some words in Spanish that are easily mixed up; maybe they have a similar meaning, a similar pronunciation or maybe they are false friends with another language.
Luckily, we’ve collected some of the most common confusing words in Spanish and explained the difference. Check them out then test yourself in the free interactive exercises!
hay, ay, ahí
hace, desde, desde hace
pero, sino, si no
deber, deber de
Words that change meaning with an accent
An accent is sometimes placed on words that would not normally have an accent. We do this to distinguish them from words that are written the same but have a different meaning. This is known as a
Solo me dirán que
sí si les conviene. They will only say yes if I convince them.
Homonyms (palabras homónimas) are words that are pronounced in the same way but have a different meaning, such as the English there/their or here/hear.
No creo que en este parque
haya muchos hayas. I don’t think that there are many beech trees in this park. ¡
Vaya! Hay una valla que nos impide entrar. Oh! There’s a fence that stops us from getting in.