The English language has been shaped by a number of other languages over the centuries, and many English speakers know that Latin and German were two of the most important. What many people don't realize is how much the French language has influenced English.
Bill Bryson calls the Norman conquest of 1066 the "final cataclysm which awaited the English language." When William the Conqueror became king of England, French took over as the language of the court, administration, and culture - and stayed there for 300 years. Meanwhile, English was "demoted" to everyday, unprestigious uses. These two languages existed side by side in England with no noticeable difficulties; in fact, since English was essentially ignored by grammarians during this time, it took advantage of its lowly status to become a grammatically simpler language and, after only 70 or 80 years existing side-by-side with French, Old English segued into Middle English.
During the Norman occupation, about 10,000 French words were adopted into English, some three-fourths of which are still in use today. This French vocabulary is found in every domain, from government and law to art and literature. More than a third of all English words are derived directly or indirectly from French, and it's estimated that English speakers who have never studied French already know 15,000 French words.
English pronunciation owes a lot to French as well. Whereas Old English had the unvoiced fricative sounds [f], [s], [θ] (as in thin), and [∫] (shin), French influence helped to distinguish their voiced counterparts [v], [z], [ð] (the), and [ʒ] (mirage), and also contributed the diphthong [ɔy] (boy).
Another rare but interesting remnant of French influence is in the word order of expressions like secretary general and surgeon general, where English has retained the noun + adjective word order typical in French, rather than the usual adjective + noun used in English.
还有个在英语中比较少见但是很有趣的法语影响就是词组中的单词顺序，比如秘书长(secretary general)和卫生局局长(surgeon general)这样的词。英语中的这些词保留了法语中的一般名词+形容词的语序，而非使用英文中形容词+名词的顺序。