"Giving Advice" and "Avisar" in Spanish

“Giving Advice” and “Avisar” in Spanish: Understanding False Friends

"giving advice" and "avisar"

Learning a new language is an exciting journey, but it can also be full of pitfalls, especially when it comes to false friends—words that sound similar in two languages but have different meanings. One common example for English speakers learning Spanish is the confusion between “giving advice” and “avisar.”

What Does “Avisar” Mean in Spanish?

The word “avisar” in Spanish does not mean “to give advice.” Instead, it means “to notify” or “to warn.” This can lead to some humorous or confusing situations if you use it incorrectly. For example, if you say “Voy a avisar a mi amigo,” you are saying “I am going to notify my friend,” not “I am going to advise my friend.”

False Friends: “Advice” vs. “Avisar”

Understanding that “avisar” is a false friend is crucial for clear communication. Here’s how you can correctly express “giving advice” in Spanish:

  1. Dar Consejos
  2. Aconsejar
  3. Recomendar

Let’s dive into each of these options with examples to illustrate their correct usage.

Correct Ways to Say “Giving Advice” in Spanish

  1. Dar Consejos
    • Translation: To give advice
    • Example: “Mi abuela siempre me da buenos consejos.” (“My grandmother always gives me good advice.”)
  2. Aconsejar
    • Translation: To advise
    • Example: “El médico me aconsejó que dejara de fumar.” (“The doctor advised me to quit smoking.”)
  3. Recomendar
    • Translation: To recommend
    • Example: “Te recomiendo que estudies todos los días.” (“I recommend that you study every day.”)

Using “Avisar” Correctly

To avoid misunderstandings, it’s important to use “avisar” in the right context. Here are some examples to show its proper use:

  • Example 1: “Voy a avisar a mis padres que llegaré tarde.” (“I am going to notify my parents that I will be late.”)
  • Example 2: “Necesitamos avisar al jefe sobre el problema.” (“We need to notify the boss about the problem.”)
  • Example 3: “Me avisaron de un posible retraso en el vuelo.” (“They warned me about a possible delay in the flight.”)

Mastering a new language involves learning its nuances and avoiding common pitfalls like false friends. Remember, “avisar” is not about giving advice but about notifying or warning someone. When you want to talk about giving advice, use “dar consejos,” “aconsejar,” or “recomendar.”

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