False Friends: Suburbs Slum

False Friends: suburbs vs slum

False Friends: Suburbs Slum

False Friends: Suburbs vs slum. Interestingly enough, in Spain, (not in México or other Spanish Speaking countries) people often get confused by the word ‘suburbs’ in English. This is because the word suburbio in Spain has a very different meaning.


  • an area where people live that is outside of the city center.
  • In Spain, they would refer to this as ‘las afueras‘.
    • Would you rather live in the city center or in the suburbs?
    • In the city center you are closer to everything, but in the suburbs you are usually able to have a bigger home for better value.

Slum / Shantytown

  • A poor and crowded area of a city that is usually in poor condition and run-down.
  • It is also referred to a neighborhood that may have poorly built homes along the outskirts of a city.
  • Every culture has their own words for referring to these types of areas. In the US they may say slum or ghetto. In England, they may use shantytown.
    • She went on a controversial tour of the Brazilian slums while on vacation.
    • Mexico City continues to grow, but it is mainly expanded by shantytowns being set up along the outskirts.

False Friends

Now that you have read about False Friends: suburbs vs slum, have a look at our other False Friends posts.
Vocab Rehab: False Friends: Sensible vs Sensitive
Vocab Rehab: False Friends: Comprehensive vs Understanding

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