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 derives ultimately from Latin, which is the mother language of French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and Romanian.
As a 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 one.
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 word. In general, the choice is one of style, register and usage, although some words can be used in both sentences of each pair. Type one of the words in each gap in the correct form, and indicate if it is of Latin or German origin, e.g. for the adjectives lucky and fortunate, you write: and .
apprehend, commence, consume, criminal, crook, domesticate, eat, embrace, empty, end, folk, grab, hug, people, sight, start, tame, terminate, vacant, vision