Native words are words which belong to the original English word-stock (Old English). Borrowed words, loan words, or borrowings are words adopted from foreign languages. Loan words are modified in phonemic shape, spelling, paradigm or meaning according to the standards of the English language. There are different degrees of assimilation: fully assimilated words, partially assimilated and non-assimilated (barbarisms). Loan words can also be divided into translation loans and semantic loans. Native words form the «framework» of the English language as they make up the greatest part of its basic word-stock. They can be used in any style of speech. Native words are characterized by a developed polysemy. They are often monosyllabic, show great word-building power and enter a number of set-expressions.
According to their origin and their cognates in other languages native words are subdivided into 3 groups: Indo-European, Common- Germanic and specifically English words, or English words proper.