I am looking for words in Spanish that have common roots as that of English. Words like Father-Padre Mother-Madre etc. Is there any good resource on that topic.

  • 1
    A lot of that will just be that both Languages have a lot of words that are ultimately derived from Latin. The field of linguistics spends a lot of time looking at the ways that languages have evolved, broken away from each other, and recombined. Check out the Linguistics SE.
    – wordsmythe
    Jul 17, 2014 at 15:04
  • 1
    Lots. Even the title has one ("common")
    – leonbloy
    Jul 17, 2014 at 15:30
  • Bienvenido a Spanish.SE! Questions about lists are discouraged because there could be many possible correct answers. Please check our FAQ.
    – JoulSauron
    Jul 18, 2014 at 8:24

2 Answers 2


Those are called cognates with the same meaning, and, since both English and Spanish are Indo-European languages many words utimately share their etimology, even when they look different.

See for example the numbers:

  • One - Uno
  • Two - Dos
  • Three - Tres
  • Four - Cuatro
  • Six - Seis
  • Seven - Siete
  • Eight - Ocho
  • Nine - Nueve
  • Ten - Diez

Some of them are obvious cognates, but some are difficult to recognize. According to the Wiktionary, "five" derives succesively from "vif", "fif", "fīf", "*fimf", from Proto-Indo-European "*pénkʷe". While "cinco" derives from Latin "quinque", and that from the same Proto-Indo-European "*pénkʷe".

So, answering your question would require about half the dictionary. Maybe you'll prefer to rephase it as: "Words in English of Latin origin, with a Spanish cognate with the same meaning".

PS: Beware of the false cognates! My favourite is "much" and "mucho": they are not related at all!

  • Didn't know about "mucho" and "much" not being related, that's a weird coincidence since the meanings are so similar. Jul 17, 2014 at 21:14

Cognates are words that mean the same and are spelled the same in 2 languages. The site spanishcognates.org has many cognates for English to Spanish, but probably not all, there are a LOT!

The reason that there are so many is because Spanish and English both have Latin and Greek roots. There is a list of English words derived from Latin words on Wikipedia called List of Latin words with English derivatives. There is also a list of English words derived from Greek, called List of Greek words with English derivatives. You will be able to see some similarities between all lists, which show the roots of the similarities between words.


Greek to English:

ἄβαξ abax ἀβακ- abac-
reckoning-board, used for counting votes
abacus, abaculus, abax

English and Spanish cognate:

abacus - ábaco

As you can see the Spanish and English words for abacus both share a Greek root.

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