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    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 212
    #1

    foreigner vs. stranger

    Dear Friends,

    In Headway Pre-Intermediate there is an exercise about confusing words. Now, look at the following fill-in:

    foreigner vs. stranger

    I'm English. I come from Brighton. In Paris I am a .. .
    I'm from Brighton. In Manchester, in the north of England, I am a .. .

    Most dictionary definitions use foreigner/stranger interchangebly for both meanings (1. somebody from a different country; 2. somebody from a different part of the country)

    Any ideas?

    Thank you.

    Palinkasocsi

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Oct 2008
    • Posts: 907
    #2

    Re: foreigner vs. stranger

    Dear palinkosocsi:

    In my mind, a stranger is a person with whom one has no previous acquaintance, and a foreigner is someone from a different country.

    I notice, however, that at dictionary.com there are definitions which give overlapping meanings, especially to foreigner.

    I think the exercise you quote is open to interpretation. One could, for example, say,

    I'm English. I come from Brighton. In Paris I am a stranger. I assume they are looking for foreigner as the best choice, since the speaker is from a foreign country. However, the speaker could wish to say that in Paris s/he knows no one and is, therefore, a stranger.

    I'm from Brighton. In Manchester, in the north of England, I am a
    One assumes they are looking for stranger here, but according to several sources cited in Dictionary.com, foreigner would work, since it is defined as someone from outside one's own community.

    I hope this is useful,

    Petra

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • German
      • Home Country:
      • Germany
      • Current Location:
      • Canada

    • Join Date: Nov 2008
    • Posts: 1,032
    #3

    Re: foreigner vs. stranger

    I think that if I go to Paris, or any other city in a foreign country, I am both a foreigner and a stranger.

    I would never consider myself as being a foreigner within any part of Canada.

    I am not a teacher.


    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 212
    #4

    Re: foreigner vs. stranger

    Dear Petra/Searching For Language,

    Thank you for your comments. And especially Petra - thanks for the detailed, profound answer.

    Palinkasocsi

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