Spanish Cognate Rules by Ending

There are a number of rules on word endings that will make it easier to associate English words with their Spanish cognates or vice versa. Although these rules are not applicable in every single case, they can be taken as general guidelines for understanding cognates in Spanish and English. It should be noted that these rules are only applicable to the specific word form (i.e. verb, noun, adjective, etc.) indicated in the description of the rule.

Cognate Rule: tion->ción

Many English nouns ending in -tion can be converted to Spanish by replacing the -tion ending with the -ción ending.

Cognate Rule: ate->ar

Most English verbs ending in -ate can often be converted to Spanish by replacing the -ate ending with -ar.

Cognate Rule: al=al

English nouns ending in -al are often identical to their Spanish equivalent.

Cognate Rule: ism->ismo

Many English nouns ending in -ism can be converted to Spanish by replacing the -ism ending with the -ismo ending.

Cognate Rule: ist->ista

Many English nouns ending in -ist can be converted to Spanish by replacing the -ist ending with the -ista ending.

Cognate Rule: ble=ble

English adjectives ending in -ble are often identical to their Spanish equivalents.

Cognate Rule: ly->mente

Many English adverbs ending in -ly can be converted to Spanish by replacing the -ly ending with the -mente ending.

Cognate Rule: nce->ncia

Many English nouns ending in -nce can be converted to Spanish by replacing the -nce ending with -ncia.

Cognate Rule: nt->nte

Many English adjectives ending in -nt can be converted to Spanish by replacing the -nt ending with the -nte ending.

Cognate Rule: ic->ico

Many English adjectives ending in -ic can be converted to Spanish by replacing the -ic ending with -ico ending.

Cognate Rule: y->ia

Many English nouns ending in -y can be converted to Spanish by replacing the -y ending with the -ia ending.

Cognate Rule: y->io

Many English nouns ending in -y can be converted to Spanish by replacing the -y ending with the -io ending.

Cognate Rule: Drop -e and add -ar or -ir (infinitive verbs)

Many English infinitive verbs can be converted to Spanish by dropping the final -e and replacing it with either the -ar or the -ir ending.

Cognate Rule: id->ido

Many English adjectives ending in -id can be converted to Spanish by replacing the -id ending with -ido.

Cognate Rule: ct->cto

Words that end in –ct change to –cto

Cognate Rule: ive->ivo

Many English adjectives ending in -ive can be converted to Spanish by replacing the -ive ending with the -ivo ending.

Cognate Rule: ty->dad

Many English nouns ending in -ty can be converted to Spanish by replacing the -ty ending with the -dad ending.

Cognate Rule: or=or

English nouns ending in -or are often identical to their Spanish equivalents.

Cognate Rule: ary->ario

Many English adjectives ending in -ary can often be converted to Spanish by replacing the -ary with -ario.

Cognate Rule: Add -ar or -ir

English verbs ending in vowel+consonant+t can often be converted to Spanish by adding the endings -ar or -ir.

Cognate Rule: ence->encia

Words that end in –ence change to –encia.

Cognate Rule: ile->il

Many English adjectives ending in -ile can be converted to Spanish by replacing the -ile ending with the -il ending.

Cognate Rule: y->ía

Many English nouns ending in -y can be converted to Spanish by replacing the -y ending with the -ía ending.

Cognate Rule: ar=ar

Words that end in –ar are usually the same in English

Cognate Rule: ous->oso

Many English adjectives ending in -ous can be converted to Spanish by replacing the -ous ending with -oso.

Cognate Rule: ment->mento

Cognate Rule: Drop -ify and add -ificar (infinite verbs)

Most English infinitive verbs ending in -ify can be converted to Spanish by replacing the -ify ending with the -ificar ending.