A person or a thing that comes from outside of another place might be described as foreign.

The word "foreign" is an adjective:

  • I work with many foreign-born students. They were born outside of the United States.
  • As the U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry focuses on foreign policy.
  • Have you ever lived in a foreign country? (This is any country outside of the country where you were born and raised.)
  • John likes to watch foreign films. He gets bored by American-made movies.
  • Foreign species of plants and animals can cause problems for native species.
  • The little boy swallowed a foreign object which had to be removed from his stomach.
  • Foreign currency can’t be used inside the United States. It has to be converted to U.S. dollars.
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The word "foreigner" is used as a noun to describe a person who comes from another country. When you travel to a foreign country, you are a foreigner.

  • Foreigners who live in the United States are protected by the U.S. Constitution even if they aren’t citizens.
  • Many foreigners visit New York City when they come as tourists.
  • Bob said he felt like a foreigner when he visited a Latino neighborhood.

Note: The word "foreigner" sometimes has a derogatory or negative quality. It depends on the situation in which the word is used and who’s using it:

"These damn foreigners are ruining the country," said the man on the radio program.

Instead of using the word "foreigner," it might be better to use the adjective form and say "foreign visitor," "foreign guest," "foreign worker," or "foreign traveler."

Click here to learn more words.

June 1, 2013