Foreign expressions

Foreign expressions represent a part of the English language. Below you will find six foreign expressions commonly used in English.

1. De Facto
De facto comes from Latin and means “actual” (if used as an adjective describing a thing) or “in practice” (if used as an adverb describing an action). In legal terms, de facto is commonly used in contrast to de jure, which means “by law.”

2. Vis-à-Vis
The literal meaning of this French expression is “face to face” (adverb). It is used more widely as a preposition meaning “compared with” or “in relation to.”

3. Status quo
This Latin expression means “the current state of affairs.” If something changes the status quo, it is changing the way things presently are.

4. Cul-de-sac
This expression was originated in England by French-speaking aristocrats. Literally, it means “bottom of a sack,” but usually it refers to a dead-end street. Cul-de-sac can also be used metaphorically to express an action that leads nowhere.

5. Per se
Per se is a Latin expression that means “by itself” or “intrinsically.”

6. Ad hoc
Ad hoc, from Latin, can be used both as an adjective, meaning “formed or created with a specific purpose,” and as an adverb, meaning “for the specific purpose or situation.”