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Types and forms of word, clause or sentence

accusative

noun

the form of a noun or pronoun that shows that it is the direct object of a verb

adjunct

noun

a word or phrase that adds information to a sentence. In “I put the box on the table,” “on the table” is an adjunct.

allomorph

noun

one of the forms that a morpheme can have. For example, the plural ending “-s” has three allomorphs: /s/, /z/, and /iz/, as in the words “trucks,” “cars,” and “buses.”

allophone

noun

one of the slightly different ways that a phoneme can be pronounced. For example, the /p/ in the word “pill” is slightly different from the /p/ in the word “spill.”

antecedent

noun

the antecedent of a word is the noun or phrase nearer the beginning of the sentence that it refers to. In the sentence “I threw the keys to him and he caught them,” “keys” is the antecedent of “them.”

article

noun

a type of determiner (=word used before a noun) that shows whether you are referring to a particular thing or to a general example of something. The indefinite article is “a” or “an” and the definite article is “the.”

case

noun

a form of a noun, adjective, or pronoun in some languages that shows its relationship in grammar to other words in a sentence

clause

noun

a group of words that includes a verb and a subject and is a sentence or a main part of a sentence

cleft sentence

noun

a sentence that starts with a pronoun such as “it” or “that” and the verb “to be” in order to emphasize the next word, which is followed by another clause, for example “It’s you I wanted to talk to.” or “That’s my seat you’re in.”

collocate

noun

a word that is often used with another word

collocation

noun

a collocate2

combining form

noun

a form of a word that has its own meaning but is used only in combination with other words to make new words, for example -footed in “a four-footed animal”

complement

noun

a word or phrase after a verb, especially the verb “to be,” that tells you about the subject. For example, in “He was cold,” “he” is the subject, “was” is the verb, and “cold” is the complement. In “He was a nice man,” the complement is “a nice man.”

concessive clause

noun

a part of a sentence that usually begins with “although,” “though,” or “while” and contains a fact or idea that seems to oppose the information in the rest of the sentence

coordinate clause

noun

a clause that is a main part of a sentence and is as important as another main part. Co-ordinate clauses are connected by words such as “and,” “but,” or “or.”

dative

noun

the form of a noun, pronoun, or adjective that you use in some languages when it is the indirect object of a verb

declension

noun

a group of nouns, adjectives, or pronouns in some languages that all change their form in the same way depending on their relationship to other words in a sentence

definite article

noun

the word “the” in English, or a similar type of word in another language

deixis

noun

the use of words or phrases such as “you,” “there,” or “last month” whose meaning depends on the situation in which they are used

dependent clause

noun

a clause in a sentence that gives more information about the main clause but cannot exist without it

direct discourse

noun

the exact words that someone has said. In writing, they are shown inside quotation marks.

direct speech

noun

direct discourse

discourse marker

noun

words such as “however” or “furthermore” that provide a connection between ideas in written language

gender

noun

the gender of a word is whether it is masculine, feminine, or neuter. In English, only pronouns like “he” and “she” and possessive determiners like “his” and “her” have gender, but in other languages such as French all nouns, pronouns, etc. have gender.

indefinite article

noun

the word “a” or “an” in the English language, or a word in another language that is used in a similar way

independent clause

noun

a part of a sentence that can exist on its own as a separate sentence

indirect discourse

noun

the words you use to report what someone else has said, for example “She said that we must leave.”

indirect question

noun

the words that you use to report a question that someone else has asked, for example “She asked me where I was going.”

indirect speech

noun

indirect discourse

inflection

noun

the form of a word that is not the basic form

interjection

noun

a word or phrase used for expressing a strong emotion such as surprise or anger. “Oh” and “ouch” are interjections.

interrogative

noun

a word or phrase that you use for asking a question, for example “what?” or “how?”

lexeme

noun

a word or group of words that has a meaning that cannot be understood from the meaning of the parts of which it consists

loan translation

noun

a word or expression used in a language that has been translated from another language

locative

noun

the form of a noun, pronoun, or adjective that you use in some languages when you are talking about where someone or something is

locution

noun

a word or phrase, especially one used by people in a particular area or from a particular group

main clause

noun

a clause that can be a sentence on its own

masculine

noun

a word or form of a word that belongs to the masculine group of nouns, pronouns, or adjectives

minimal pair

noun

a pair of words that are different from each other in one sound only, for example pan and can

modifier

noun

a word or phrase that adds to the meaning of another word or phrase by giving more information about it

morpheme

noun

the smallest unit of meaning in a language. A morpheme can be a whole word, for example “the,” or part of a word, for example “un” in “unable.”

mot juste

noun

exactly the right word or phrase

negative

noun

a word or expression that means “no”

number

noun

the form of a word that shows whether you are referring to one thing or more than one thing

object

noun

a noun, pronoun, or phrase that is affected in a direct way by the action of a verb, for example “the report” in “I’ve read the report.”

object

noun

a noun, pronoun, or phrase that is affected in an indirect way by the action of a verb, for example “me” in “Give me the pen.”

object

noun

a noun, pronoun, or phrase that comes after a preposition, for example “the bed” in “He was lying on the bed.”

paradigm

noun

the complete set of the different forms of a word, for example student, student’s, students, and students’

partitive

noun

a word or expression used for showing that only part of something is being referred to, instead of all of it. In the sentence “Have a piece of cake,” “a piece of” is a partitive.

phrase

noun

a group of words that form a unit within a clause (=a group of words containing a subject and verb)

pl.

abbreviation

plural

the plural

noun

a word or form used for referring to more than one person or thing. For example “students” is the plural of “student,” and “mice” is the plural of “mouse.”

plurality

noun

the state of being plural

poss.

abbreviation

possessive

possessive

noun

a possessive word or form of a word

predeterminer

noun

a word that can come before a determiner (=a word such as “a,” “the,” “his,” or “this”), and gives more information about a noun. In the phrases “all my fingers” and “half a loaf,” the words “all” and “half” are predeterminers.

predicate

noun

the part of the sentence that contains the verb and its object or complements and gives more information about the subject, for example “was combing her hair” in the sentence “Francesca was combing her hair.”

prepositional phrase

noun

a phrase consisting of a preposition and the noun or pronoun that comes after it, for example “in the car” or “near her”

qualifier

noun

a modifier

quantifier

noun

a word or phrase such as “much” or “a few” that is used with another word to show quantity

question tag

noun

a word or phrase such as “isn’t it?” or “haven’t you?” that you can add to a sentence to make a question

relative clause

noun

a clause joined to a previous one by words such as “who,” “which,” or “that.” Relative clauses give extra information about a person or thing in a sentence.

reported speech

noun

the words that you use to report what someone else has said, for example “He said we shouldn’t leave town”

restrictive relative clause

noun

a part of a sentence that is added in order to make clear which particular person or thing in a group you are talking about. For example, in the sentence “The boys who arrived late sat at the back of the class,” “who arrived late” is a restrictive relative clause.

run-on sentence

noun

a sentence in which two main clauses are connected without any conjunctions, or without the correct punctuation

sentence

noun

a group of words, usually including a subject and a verb, that express a statement, question, or instruction. A written sentence begins with a capital letter and ends with a period, question mark, or exclamation point.

the singular

noun

the form of a word that is used for referring to one person or thing

speech act

noun

something that you say

subject

noun

in English grammar, the person, place, or thing that does what the verb describes. In the sentence “Mary threw the ball,” “Mary” is the subject.

subordinate clause

noun

a group of words that gives extra information about a sentence but cannot form a sentence by itself. For example, in the sentence “Marla stayed at home because she was tired,” “because she was tired” is a subordinate clause.

tag

noun

a tag question

tag question

noun

a word or phrase such as “isn’t it?” or “haven’t you?” that you can add to a sentence to make a question

valence

noun

the number of different types of clause that a word can be used with

polysemy

noun

food rave

a very large party where people eat, sell or share many different types of food, usually held outside or in a large public building

BuzzWord Article

Word of the Day

clapped-out

old and in bad condition, or no longer effective

Open Dictionary

dead white (European) male

a man … whose achievements may have been overestimated because he belonged to the gender and ethnic group … that was dominant at the time

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