Foreign expressions represent an integral part of the English language (and of other languages).
Knowing the meaning and proper usage of the most prevalent foreign terms will help you understand passages that include them. You might also need or want to use those expressions in particular situations. (Avoid using them just to sound smart, though.)
Here are six foreign terms commonly used in English:
1. De facto
This Latin expression means “actual” (if used as an adjective) or “in practice” (if used as an adverb). In legal terms, de facto is commonly used in contrast to de jure, which means “by law.” Something, therefore, can emerge either de facto (by practice) or de jure (by law).
“And what of the plastic red bench, which has served as his de facto home for the last 15 years and must by now be a collector’s item?” (NY Times)
The literal meaning of this French expression is “face to face” (used as an adverb). It is used more widely as a preposition though, meaning “compared with” or “in relation to.”