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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.  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.The sentences below are in pairs, with sentence a) in each pair expressed in informal or colloquial language , and sentence b) expressed in more formal or official language. 

After reading through the sentence pairs to get the gist, for each pair select a phrasal verb (which are mostly Germanic in origin) from box A and put it in sentence a and then choose a Latin derived word from box B to put in sentence b

get off, go along, go off, join in, make up,  pay back, pick up, put up, put up with, run away, tip off, watch over abscond, accommodate, acquire, dismount, fabricate, inform, invigilate, participate, proceed, putrefy, reimburse, tolerate  

1a. I'm not going to ____________________ this noise any longer.

1b. The Prime Minister said today that he would no longer ____________________ benefit fraud.

2a. Urgh! Who left the milk out? It's ____________________. 

2b. After the flood dead animals lay everywhere, ____________________ in the hot sun.

3a. It's too late for me to go home. Can you __________ me ________ for the night?

3b. This hotel can ____________________ 56 guests.

4a. Could you ____________________ the kids for me for a few minutes?

4b. There will be no teaching in  the last week of term, but all the teachers are expected to ____________________ the examinations. 

5a. You can't ride on the pavement. ____________________ your bike and push it.

5b. Cyclists must ____________________ before crossing the road. 

6a. Can you __________ me _________ the £20 that you borrowed from me last week?

6b. If the goods are faulty we will ____________________ you on the production of a receipt. 

7a. Come here and ____________________ our game. We need another player.

7b. The organisers of the competition are looking for more people to


8a. His explanation is a pack of lies. He __________ it all __________.

8b. The defence lawyer told the court that the police had

____________________ the confession and that it was therefore invalid.

9a. Don't worry. It's very easy to learn. You'll __________ it __________ as we ____________________.

9b. The foreign students had to ____________________ the language as they ____________________ through their studies.

10a. There's nobody here. They've all ____________________. Someone must have __________ them __________ that we were coming.

10b. The forgers ____________________ because someone ____________________them that the police were going to raid the

warehouse that night.


© Marc Loewenthal,, 2000-2010