Common Foreign Phrases

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Many foreign phrases have taken their place in English speaking and writing. Here are some of the most common. For each phrase, the language from which it comes and its meaning in English is shown. The phrase is then used in a sentence.

There is some confusion about whether foreign phrases should be italicized in English writing. There is no definitive rule regarding this. However, by convention, a foreign phrase should be italicized unless you have a strong expectation that your readers will know its meaning. This is a matter of judgment and it is safe to use italics when you write foreign phrases.

These are just some of the foreign phrases you will find used in English. Knowing their meanings and how they are used will help you in your reading, writing, and speaking.


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