Preparing for the 'oposiciones': French borrowings


Throughout its history the English language has incorporated words from many other languages: from French (antique, chef, entrée, rouge), from Italian (opera, piano, umbrella), Spanish (guerrilla, hammock, mosquito, tobacco), German (hamburger, waltz), Dutch (cruise, yacht), Russian (vodka, steppe), Norwegian (fjord, ski), etc. You’ll find below some examples of French borrowings of a literary  character, which accounts for their keeping their French pronunciation and spelling.


Match the letters with the numbers:

a.- de rigueur
b.- savoir faire
c.- nom de plume
d.- enfant terrible
e.- cul de sac
f.- dèjá vu
g.- faux pas
h.- force majeure

1.- a street or passage closed at an end; a course or route leading nowhere
2.- a tactless mistake; a social indiscretion
3.- required by custom or etiquette
4.- an illusory feeling of having already experienced a present situation
5.- an assumed name under which a person writes
6.- an unforeseeable course of events excusing a person from the fulfilment of a contract/honouring an agreement, etc.
7.- a person who causes embarrassment by indiscreet or unruly behaviour
8.- the ability to act suitably in any situation


    a-3; b-8; c-5; d-7; e-1; f-4; g-2; h-6

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