Word Classes

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·  Common: The name of an object, type of animal, person or idea. Can usually be used with the determiner ‘the’ and made into a plural, e.g. ‘the chair’ or ‘the waiter’

·   Proper: The name of a specific person, animal, place, work of art, day etc. Starts with a capital letter and can rarely be made into a plural, e.g. ‘Starbucks’ or  ‘Gemma’

·   Concrete: The name of a touchable, physical object that can be seen and felt. You use all five senses for this object e.g. ‘ice cream’ or ‘flowers’

·    Abstract: The name of an abstract idea, concept, nation or belief, e.g. ‘love’ or ‘peace’

·    Collective: A special class, named groups composed of members e.g. ‘army’ or ‘audience’

·    Count: A noun where you are able to put a number in front of it and put an ‘s’ at the end e.g. ‘seventeen cookies’ or ‘twelve books’

·    Non-Count: A noun where you cannot put a number in front of it and as ‘s’ at the end e.g. ‘weather’, ‘homework’

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Dynamic: Describes an activity or process e.g. ‘run’, ‘study’ or ‘sneeze

Stative: Describes a state e.g. ‘love’, ‘contain’ or ‘seem’

Regular: To be able to add ‘–ed’ at the end of the verb e.g. ‘walked’ or ‘smoked’

Irregular: Comes in two forms: Primary, Auxiliary or Main Verbs. Follows ‘to be’, ‘to have’, ‘to do’

Finite: Has a number, person and tense e.g. ‘you jump'

Non-finite: Has no number, person or tense e.g. ‘to jump’ or ‘jumping’

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Adjectives: Modifiers which add detail. They contribute significantly to a texts meaning and can do this in two ways: pre-modifying and post-modifying.

Adjectives fall into two main categories:

1.      Descriptors: e.g. colour, shape, size, quantity, extent, time descriptors, emotional etc.

2.      Classifiers: e.g. classificational (‘similar’, ‘original’), affiliative (‘American’, ‘Christian’, ‘United’) or topical (‘chemical’, ‘legal’, ‘medical’)


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Adjectives .cont.

Attributive: Pre-modify a noun as part of a noun phrase e.g. ‘the red bus’

Predicative: Post-modifying a noun (pronoun) following a stative verb as part of a clause e.g. ‘the bus is red’ or ‘it is red’

Absolute: An ordinary adjective e.g. ‘big’

Comparative: Inflected usually with ‘–er’ to show comparison e.g. ‘bigger’ or ‘smaller’

Superlative: Inflected usually with ‘–est’ to show superiority e.g. ‘biggest’ or ‘smallest’

Participial: Made from either the ‘–ing’ (present participial) or ‘–ed’ (past participial) form of a verb e.g. ‘a promising career’ or ‘an excited child’

Derived by affixation: Made by adding prefixes and suffixes such as ‘–less’, ‘-ive’ etc. For example ‘hopeless’, ‘lustful’ or ‘impressive’

Compounds: Combine with other adjectives or other words classes to form adjectival compounds e.g. ‘blue-black’ (adj+adj), ‘full-time’ (adj+noun) or ‘highly-sensitive’ (adv+adj)

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Adverbs: A modifying part of speech. Describes verbs, other adverbs, adjectives and phrases. Used to describe how, where, when, how often and why something happens.

·         Pre-modifying: Adverbs can modify an adjective (usually after a stative verb) or another adverb e.g. ‘I am almost ready’

·         Post-modifying (Adverbial): Adverbs can tell you more about how, where, when etc a verb is ‘done’ e.g. ‘he drove slowly’ or ‘he drove carefully.’ Usually end in ‘–ly’

·         Simple: These aren’t formed from another word but can sometimes function as a different word class, depending on the context, e.g. ‘too’ (how much), ‘here’ (where), ‘soon’ (when).

·         Compound: Formed by joining two pre-existing words together, e.g. no+where = ‘nowhere’

·         Suffixation: Adding a suffix to an adjective. The most common suffix is ‘–ly’ and others include ‘–wise’ and ‘-wards’  e.g. ‘carefully’, ‘afterwards’ and ‘otherwise’

·         Fixed Phrases: A whole short phrase is used as an adverb e.g. ‘of course’, ‘at last’ or ‘sort of’

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Definition of a sentence:

·         Largest unit of syntactic structure

·         Must consist of at least one clause

·         They provide complete information

Clause Elements

·         Subject: does (or feels, or is) the verb

·         Verb: Represents the doing (or feeling or being)

·         Object: Is done to by the verb

·         Complement: Tells you more about either the subject or object

·         Adverbial: Tells you more about the verb in terms of when (time), how (manner) or where (place)

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Declarative Sentances

A statement, e.g. ‘You’re wearing a new dress’

Most common sentence function

Has a subject, verb and some or all of the other elements

  S                         V                         O                                 A

Phil                  visited               his dentist                   yesterday


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Interrogative Sentances

 A question e.g. ‘Are you wearing a new dress?’

 Change of position from subject and verb which differs it from a declarative

 S               V          C                                                              V         S         C

You            are       rich                                                      Are      you      rich?


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Imperative Sentances

  An order e.g. ‘buy yourself a new dress’

 No subject

 Verb in its base form

   V            O

Have    a nice day

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Exclamative Sentances

Exclamation e.g. ‘what a lovely dress you are wearing!’

Only the wh- words, how and what are used at the front of the sentence

    Declarative                                                        Exclamative

  It is a lovely day                                            What a lovely day it is! 

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Simple Sentances

Only has one clause

‘Lloyd is/has been/will be overcoming his fear of spiders’

Gives it a tense

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Compound Sentances

Made up of two or more clauses

Each clause makes sense on its own

Joined by the coordinating conjunctions ‘and’, ‘but’ and ‘or’

‘I read a book and she watched a film’

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Complex Sentances

Made up of two or more clauses

·         One clause is the main clause and the others are subordinate to it, i.e. they make no sense on their own

·         Joined by subordinating conjunctions such as ‘whilst’, ‘instead of’, ‘before’, ‘when’, ‘since’, ‘that’

   Subordinate                                       Main Clause

Jo thought that                        her job offered excellent prospects

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