John’s English Blog

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English—Latin cognates

Even more English—Latin cognates ending in -ary


Many English words which end in -ary have a Latin origin. They will be familiar if you speak a Latin language. Beware of false friends!

For example the English word vocabulary. Latin cognates are a rapid method to expand your vocabulary.

  • Spanish - vocabulario
  • Italian - vocabolario
  • French - vocabulaire
  • Valencian - vocabulari

Many words follow this pattern:

It’s normal to celebrate a wedding anniversary every year.

Kilts are customary for formal occasions in Scotland.

A glossary is an alphabetical list, with meanings, of the words or phrases in a text that are difficult.

Complete these sentences!

  1. The tour guide planned the itinerary.
  2. It’s a long report. Can you give me a summary?
  3. I used to do voluntary work for a charity.
  4. I saw something extraordinary, a man taking a rabbit for a walk.
  5. Does your new job have a good salary?
  6. An independent judiciary is important for democracy.
  7. Eye colour, height and wealth are hereditary.
  8. Everything was very ordinary. There was nothing unusual.
  9. Do you like classical, modern or contemporary art?
  10. Patience is necessary for a teacher.
  11. The prisoner was put in solitary confinement.
  12. The cavalry are soldiers who ride horses.
  13. The Thames estuary is where the river Thames meets the North Sea.
  14. My primary goal is to improve my Spanish.
  15. It’s not my main goal. It’s secondary.
  16. I don’t know if I’m free. I’ll check my diary.
  17. The patch is temporary. You really need a new tyre.
  18. If you don’t know a word look it up in the dictionary.
  19. An actuary calculates insurance rates.
  20. He was so unpopular that his imaginary friend left him.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. If you have any comments, questions or corrections please write them below.

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