English Language


Exam A: Specification and Content

Questions A and B require the same skills. However question B involves the comparison of two texts, one spoken and one written.

Lexis and Semantics

Lexis refers to the language used. Semantics is the intent behind the lexis used.




A word opposite in meaning to another. These can be used to express opposite views. This is an example of juxtaposition.


These common phrases are shared human experience since they are known to everyone.


When words are habitually found together such as tall, dark and handsome.

Colloquial Language

Conventional language used to impact the readers. Often, this can be used without thinking however it can also be used as a ploy to appeal to readers

Common Register

Written as clear glass, with no poetic language to cloud the image.


The mirroring of other’s vocabulary, accent, speech rate, grammar etc. This improves the effectiveness of the conversation, makes the other person more likely to respond and more confident and engenders their approval.

Covert Prestige

Men, especially from the bottom three classes tend to lean towards covert prestige,  to gain the respect and admiration for their peers for standing out against the very ideals of respectability and good behaviour enforces by their girlfriends and wives.



Deviant collocations are where the words yoked together are unexpected. This is often used to make a point.


This is to speak in a different way to the other person. This accentuates differences, reinforces an individual identity, and can be used to discourage a relationship or conversation.


Words or phrases which act as substitutions to soften the harsh reality of a subject. They can also be used to talk about taboo subjects in a less obvious way.


French words are used in more sophisticated contexts.


/ Homonyms

Homonyms are words that are pronounced the same but differ in meaning, origin, and sometimes spelling. Homophones are one of a group of words pronounced in the same way but differing in meaning or spelling or both.


Idioms are common phrases used to illustrate an idea, though they are not taken literally. They can be used to place things in their wider context. They are often regional and this makes them more accessible to the audience. 


The expression of one's meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, typically for humorous or emphatic effect.


Set of phrases particular to an occupation. A kind of shorthand that is more exact and therefore increases communication.


The clichéd and stereotyped dialect of newspaper writers. This style of writing allows readers to distance themselves whilst still gaining the knowledge of the horrors in the article.


more abstract, metaphysical concerns

Metaphor / Simile

These are comparisons used to illustrate an idea. They can be used to place things in their wider context and make them more accessible to the audience.

Overt Prestige

Women tend towards over prestige, to change their behaviour to fit…


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