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Special focus - information and contents
English is a Germanic
language, that is, it belongs to the same family of languages as German, Dutch,
Swedish, Norwegian and Danish and shares a core vocabulary with these languages.
However, a very large proportion of words in English derive from Latin, which is
the mother language of French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and Romanian.
result, English has many synonym pairs, with one from Germanic and one from Latin or
French. Usually, if the Germanic synonym is informal or colloquial, the
Latin synonym is neutral or more formal. If the Germanic synonym is neutral,
the Latin synonym is either also neutral or more formal than the Germanic
This worksheet explores
some of these synonyms and aims to familiarise the student with the
contexts in which they are used. Each of the sentence pairs has a gap to
be filled by either a Germanic or a Latin verb. First, match the synonyms
in the table and then fill the gaps.
commence, consume, criminal, crook, domesticate, eat, embrace, empty, end,
folk, grab, hug, people, sight, start, tame, terminate, vacant,
____________________ applied for the ____________________ position of
2. When she opened the door
after the burglary an awful ____________________ met her eyes.
3. The announcement came that
the day's proceedings would ____________________ an hour late at 10.00.
4. "Come here and give
your grandmother a big ____________________ ," she cried. "I
haven't seen you for so long."
5. Last year the population
of Great Britain ____________________ 10 million tonnes of potatoes.
6. They said that the game
would ____________________ late.
7. When he arrived at the
hall for the meeting it was ____________________ . "Where is everybody?" he thought.
8. Humans long ago realised
that it was more advantageous to capture and keep animals in their care
than to hunt them. Thus, the first animals were ____________________ .
9. The ____________________
around here are very friendly. You'll like them a lot.
10. The president said that
he had a ____________________ of life in a country where everyone would
have work and no one would go hungry.
11. "The exam will
____________________ at 4.00," the teacher announced. "Please leave your papers on your tables and
12. After they had signed
the peace agreement the two presidents ____________________ each other.
13. "Right, I'm ready,
" said Detective Jones. "Let's go and ____________________ these
____________________ your food so quickly," Mary's mother said.
15. "When I grow up I
want to join the circus and ____________________ lions," said
16. The police decided to
____________________ the operation when it became evident that they could
not ____________________ the ____________________.
© Marc Loewenthal, eflworksheets.com, 2000-2010