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Do You Have a Romantic Date Coming Up? Here Are Some False Friends in English to Avoid

It’s finally happened! For the past few months you’ve been in a small English town. Your English may still be in its infancy, but you can’t stop thinking about that girl who works in the bookshop close to your home. You’ve spent all of your money buying atlases and vegan cookbooks, hoping that she would notice you. At first your improvised English with its poor grammar seemed like it could be a weapon of seduction. Between verbs in the infinitive and constant short conversations, she seemed to think that you were nice. But now that she has accepted your invitation to go out on date, panic has set in.  

What are you going to say? What can you talk about? Will you be able to maintain a conversation without knocking over everything on the table when you have to resort to gesturing to make yourself understood? There is no need to worry, the secret to success is in good preparation.

In a special way, the way in which we express ourselves during the seduction phase of meeting someone is more important than in other types of interactions. An effective way to avoid embarrassing situations is to prepare yourself to recognize false friends in English. Due to false friends, you could mess everything up and never see her again. ABA English is here to help you out! We are going to introduce you to some false friends that you ought to know if you have met the person of your dreams and they just happen to be an Anglo-Saxon. Keep in mind that false friends like these vary depending on the native tongue of the speaker. The false friends that we are going to talk about now apply to Romance languages such as Spanish, French, and Italian.

At Dinner

Let’s start with dinner. If you have invited your date to a restaurant, it’s important that you know that some words in the gastronomic lexicon are, in fact, false friends. It is best to avoid making mistakes while ordering dinner!


Your date is a vegetarian. You know this because she told you so when you asked her for information about vegan cookbooks. So, if you want to order her a delicious vegetarian sandwich on wholegrain bread, do not ever ask for a sandwich with wholegrain pan. In English, a pan is the metal object you cook food in.


Since she is a vegetarian, a seafood dinner might be a good idea. In that case, ordering octopus is a good option. It is a lovely and refined food, suitable for dinner and even better by candlelight. Great! So, make sure that you don’t order pulp, because pulp is the juicy part of a plant. While the pulp of a fruit or a vegetable can be a delicious part of a dish, in this case it is not what you were looking for. Use the word octopus instead.


Imagine that the waiter forgot to bring a drink for the girl of your dreams. You feel uncomfortable, because she had mentioned before coming to the restaurant that she was thirsty. So, you decide to get the waiter’s attention and to ask him to bring a vase. Imagine the surprised faces of both the waiter and your guest. Unless you brought her some flowers, you should probably ask for a glass.

During Conversation

Now we will move on to the conversation. You have said the fateful: Tell me about yourself, and, after listening to her very carefully, it’s your turn! Obviously, you will try to be sincere, natural, and, above all, you will try to not transmit a distorted idea of your personality. Be careful with the words you choose! Let’s look at some false friends for personality characteristics.


One of your strengths, which everyone always calls a highlight of your personality, is that you are very understanding. Don’t use comprehensive! It’s not a bad word, but instead of meaning understanding in English, it means extensive or exhaustive.


You are a very kind and polite person, and you want her to understand that about you. Very good! Do not use the word educated, which in English does not mean polite, but means cultured instead. The word in English that you are looking for is polite. Otherwise, you might come off as a bit presumptuous! If you’re not especially passionate about literature, it’s a term to avoid.

Other false friends that may come up during a romantic relationship, especially on the first date, are corpse, delicate, sympathetic, and rope. Let’s take a look at them, one by one.


Corpse seems like a word that belongs to the body. If you would like to compliment her by saying that she has a beautiful figure, you must definitely remember to not use this false friend! The word body is very common and this seems like an unlikely mistake to make, but you might be mistaken in thinking that corpse is an elegant synonym for body. Corpse really means cadaver, so nothing could be more wrong!


Did you want to compliment her way of expressing herself? The correct term is nice, not delicate. Something delicate requires tact to be handled correctly. A person whose manner of expression requires tact to be handled is not exactly what one expects in a romantic relationship!


She is a very nice girl, and you would like to tell her that. Don’t use the word sympathetic, which in reality means compassionate or understanding. It’s not a bad expression to use, because they are all good characteristics, but we don’t think that sympathetic is the feeling you wanted to convey. Try kind, friendly, or thoughtful instead.


This word is another one that can result in an embarrassing moment. If you like what she is wearing and want to tell her that you love her style, don’t use the word rope, because it really means cord or string. The word you are looking for is clothes.

These are some of the false friends that you should avoid in romantic situations. For a romantic dinner, it is important to know how to express yourself well to give yourself the best possible chance. Whether you are thinking of courting a cute English-speaking girl or simply wanting to improve your English, you can count on ABA English. Our natural learning method is simple, effective, and appealing. Don’t wait until you fall in love to start!

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