Quick answer
"False" is an adjective which is often translated as "falso", and "true" is an adjective which is often translated as "cierto". Learn more about the difference between "false" and "true" below.
false
An adjective is a word that describes a noun (e.g. the big dog).
1. (not true)
a. falso
His life was ruined by false accusations.Su vida quedó arruinada como resultado de falsas acusaciones.
2. (incorrect)
a. equivocado
He clings to his false beliefs despite all evidence to the contrary.Se aferra a sus creencias equivocadas a pesar de todas las pruebas en contrario.
b. falso
She blushed when she sang a false note.Se sonrojó cuando cantó una nota falsa.
c.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
A false move might mean the candidate's complete failure.Un movimiento en falso podría significar el fracaso total del candidato.
The referee didn't penalize him for a false start.El árbitro no lo sancionó por la salida nula.
3. (artificial)
a. postizo
After losing his teeth in an accident, he's had to use false teeth.Después de perder los dientes en un accidente, ha tenido que usar dientes postizos.
b.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
The ducting is hidden above the false ceiling.Los ductos están escondidos arriba del cielorraso.
The secret agent smuggled the documents out in a briefcase with a false bottom.El agente secreto pasó los documentos de contrabando en un maletín con doble fondo.
4. (meant to deceive)
a. falso
Immigration authorities stopped him when they detected that his passport was false.Las autoridades de inmigración lo detuvieron cuando detectaron que su pasaporte era falso.
5. (disloyal)
a. infiel
Josie turned out to be a false lover, only interested in Kevin's money.Josie resultó ser una amante infiel, sólo interesada en el dinero de Kevin.
6. (unlawful)
a. ilegal
Susana sued the police for her son's false arrest.Susana demandó a la policía por la detención ilegal de su hijo.
7. (linguistics)
a. falso
Second language learners need to be careful with false friends.Los estudiantes de un segundo idioma tienen que tener cuidado con los falsos amigos.
8. (insincere)
a. forzado
Anthony looked at her sadly, and gave her a false smile.Anthony la miró con tristeza y le hizo una sonrisa forzada.
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true
An adjective is a word that describes a noun (e.g. the big dog).
1. (correct)
a. cierto
Is it true that they plan to build a road through the swamp?¿Es cierto que planean construir un camino por el pantano?
b. verdadero
I don't think that's the true result.No creo que ese sea el resultado verdadero.
c. verdad
Yes, it is true that she's getting married tomorrow.Sí, es verdad que se va a casar mañana.
d. real
If you want to know the true story, you have to promise to keep it secret.Si quieres conocer la historia real, debes prometer guardarla en secreto.
e. verídico
Do you swear to give a true account of the events to the best of your ability?¿Juras contar un relato verídico de los hechos a la medida de tu capacidad?
f. válido
Five years later, his comments still hold true for me.Después de cinco años, sus comentarios siguen siendo válidos para mí.
g.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
My birthday wish came true.Mi deseo de cumpleaños se hizo realidad.
The predictions of the minister concerning inflation have come true.Los pronósticos del ministro respecto de la inflación se cumplieron.
2. (genuine)
a. verdadero
Alfredo is so polite. He's a true gentleman.Alfredo es tan cortés. Es un verdadero caballero.
b. auténtico
Miguel finds true happiness being with his family.Miguel encuentra la felicidad auténtica estando con su familia.
c. de verdad
A true friend would have told me!¡Un amigo de verdad me hubiera dicho!
3. (faithful)
a. fiel
After 20 years of marriage, Martin remains true to Berta.Después de 20 años de matrimonio. Martín sigue siendo fiel a Berta.
b. leal
She is proud to claim that she is always true to her religion.Dice con orgullo que siempre es leal a su religión.
c.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
He was true to his promise, and gave us the tickets for the concert.Honró su promesa y nos regaló las entradas para el concierto.
True to form, Gloria was 15 minutes late.Como era de esperar, Gloria llegó 15 minutos tarde.
4. (accurate)
a. fiel
My inbox is a true portrait of how disorganized and chaotic my life is.Mi bandeja de correo es un fiel retrato de lo desordenada y caótica que es mi vida.
b. estricto
It was a fabulous evening in the true sense of the word.Fue una noche fabulosa en el sentido estricto de la palabra.
5. (straight)
a. derecho
The door won't close all the way because the handle isn't true.La puerta no cierra por completo porque el mango no está derecho.
b. centrado
My bike wobbles when I ride. I don't think the wheel is true.Mi bici se tambalea cuando pedaleo. No creo que la rueda esté centrada.
6. (musical)
a. afinado
I had the piano tuned, and now all the notes are true.Hice afinar el piano, y ahora todas las notas están afinadas.
An adverb is a word that describes a verb, an adjective, or other adverbs (e.g. to run quickly, very tired).
7.
A word or phrase restricted in usage to literature or established writing (e.g. sex, once upon a time).
(literary)
(honestly)
a. con sinceridad
The gentleman usually speaks true, but it is a very delicate situation.El señor suele hablar con sinceridad, pero es una situación muy delicada.
b.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
I've taught my children to always talk true.Les enseñé a mis hijos a decir siempre la verdad.
Please tell me true if our love was all an act.Dime la verdad si nuestro amor ha sido solo una farsa.
8. (accurately)
a. certeramente
She shot her arrow true, right into the middle of the bullseye.Lanzó su flecha certeramente, justo en el centro de la diana.
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
9. (to align)
Regionalism used in the United States
(United States)
a. alinear
I can change an inner tube and true a wheel, but if I had to do it in a race, I'd lose.Puedo cambiar una cámara y alinear una rueda, pero si tuviera que hacerlo en una carrera, perdería.
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