Common (& very funny) mistakes when learning Spanish (pt1)

One of the most important things to do when learning Spanish is to practice on the street or with friends. It builds confidence, helps with pronunciation and increases your understanding of the Spanish language. However, mistakes are almost always going to be made. Most of the time, these small mistakes will go unnoticed, or at most cause the other person to smile. However, there are occasions when the mistake leads to everyone present rolling around on the floor in laughter. Here are some examples of those Spanish language mistakes which are extremely common and very funny!

In this first part of our 3 part series on these funny mistakes, we’re going to be looking at alliteration. Words that begin with the same letter and have a similar sound in Spanish but don’t mean the same thing…

Miedo vs Mierda

An obvious one but a very common one! For those of you that don’t know, mierda literally translates as sh*t, whilst the very similar word miedo means to be scared.

Example of funny mistake:

¡Ayudarme! Tengo miedo.    /   ¡Ayudarme! Tengo mierda.

Help! I’m scared. / Help! I have sh*t.


Peine vs Pene

Another one to be careful of as getting it wrong can cause lots of laughter! Peine is pronounced “pay-neh” and means comb, whilst pene is pronounced “peh-neh” and means penis.

Example of funny mistake:

He perdido mi peine, necesito uno nuevo.   /  He perdido mi pene, necesito uno nuevo.

I lost my comb, I need a new one.   / I lost my penis, I need a new one.

Coser vs Cocer

This mistake would be a lot more innocent as there are no “rude” words involved. Coser is a verb meaning to sew, Cocer is a verb meaning to cook. However, mixing these two up could lead to some very funny sentences.

Example of funny mistake:

Voy a coser un delicioso estofado / Voy a cocer un delicioso estofado

I’m going to sew a delicious stew / I’m going to cook a delicious stew


Afeitar vs Aceitar

Another innocent mistake, however, saying it will make you sound like a weirdo! Afeitar means to shave, aceitar means to put oil on something (like seasoning).

Example of funny mistake:

Me aceito la barba cada mañana / Me afeito la barba cada mañana

I put oil on my beard every morning / I shave my beard every morning



Well that’s all we have for you today but keep your eyes peeled for part two of this series in a couple of weeks. Until then, practice your Spanish and make don’t worry if you make some embarrassing mistakes…we’ve all done it!



Blogger: Narelle

  1. David Hammond
    747 days ago

    Good post. I will share my newbie Spanish learning experience in Uruguay. Once I went to a barbecue restaurant and asked for caballos (horses) when I meant cebollas (onions)on my salad.

  2. nellie
    747 days ago

    Haha. Were you laughed at and corrected or did the waiter manage to keep a straight face?

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