Wednesday, 6 May 2009

The importance of vocabulary 2

Continuing on the topic of the importance of vocabulary, we can see some more examples of tricky words.

COMMEMORATE - Only very important people and dates are "commemorated" in English. For example, a statue can commemorate a person, or a celebration can be held to celebrate the independence of a country. Otherwise, in English, it's simply "celebrate".
EX: The statue was built to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the writer's birthday.

RENOVATE - The word renovar in Portuguese simply means "to make new again", but renovate in English is mostly used to talk about making an old house or building look new again.
EX: They had trouble renovating the ancient temple.

ENCHANTED - When someone is encantado in Portuguese, it usually means that they are very pleased, but in English when someone or something is enchanted it or they are under a spell or haunted by spirits.
Ex: They say the forest is enchanted.


  1. But can I use "celebrate" for very important people and dates too? If I can, I will only use "celebrate" so I will never be wrong :)

    "Enchanted" is a very beautiful word with a very ugly meaning :(

    FCE - Patricia

  2. I do not know why google thinks my name is Lala ¬¬'

    FCE - Patrícia

  3. Nice hints Patrícia. Even though these words look like some Portuguese ones, we'd better know their exact usage to avoid mistakes. More examples are welcome :D

    Thanks for sharing ;)

  4. Definetely, really good words as they are false friends since in Portuguese they mean sth completly different.

  5. I love the vocabulary topics, because sometimes I get really confused with the meanings. "Enchanted" for example isn't what I thought it was.
    This blog is really helpful! :)


  6. @Patricia
    Dear Pat,

    Thanks for the tips! Words such as the ones above are often tested on FCE, CAE and CPE.
    Do you have others that you'd care to share with us?

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  8. "The audience was clearly ENCHANTED by her perfomance". In this example "enchanted" means pleased. Vocab can be very tricky.

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