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Fal­ta and Fault

Fal­ta (“lack of”) is an in­ter­est­ing word in Span­ish be­cause, it is one of those words, along with cor­nudo that is a gram­mat­i­cal con­struc­tion that, lit­er­al­ly, is less com­mon in the Eng­lish but rather, in Eng­lish, the same point is made very com­mon­ly in a dif­fer­ent way. Fal­ta is very com­mon in Span­ish: La casa fal­ta cale­fac­ción is lit­er­al­ly “the house lacks heat­ing” but the way an Eng­lish speak­er would make that point — since few to­day says “lacks” in every day speech! — would be, The house does­n’t have heat­ing.

Fal­ta comes from the Latin Fal­li­ta, which mean, “a fault.” In­deed, Fault it­self comes from the same root — and we can see that with the f‑l-t map­ping in both. Fal­li­ta it­self comes from the old­er Fall­ere (“to dis­ap­point”) from which we get many Eng­lish and Span­ish words such as fail and fal­lar.


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