Comparison of Italian and Spanish

Completely Different Vocabulary

I do not want to give the impression that all words are similar in the two languages! Here are some examples of sentences where the two languages become mutually incomprehensible: Italian-speakers may find the following Spanish verbs difficult to learn: quedar, quejar, quemar, querer and quitar. (These are approximately equivalent to rimanere, lamentare, bruciare, volere and togliere, respectively.)

They may also find the following verbs difficult: llegar, llenar, llevar, llover and llorar (approximately equivalent to arrivare, riempire, portare, piovere and piangere).

Finally, Italian has only three verbs meaning 'to become': diventare, divenire, and the less common farsi. Spanish has several ways of saying it, with slightly different meanings: convertirse en, hacerse, llegar a ser, pasar a ser, ponerse, quedar(se), volverse.

Last updated July 2012 by Adam N. Letchford.