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Describing words, clauses and sentences

anaphoric

adjective

relating to the use of a word such as a pronoun or the verb ‘do’ in a sentence instead of repeating the word used earlier

cataphoric

adjective

relating to the use of a word or phrase in a sentence that stands for a word or phrase that is used later

complex

adjective

a complex sentence contains one main clause and one or more subordinate clauses

compound

adjective

a compound noun, adjective, or verb is a combination of two or more words

conditional

adjective

a conditional clause usually begins with ‘if’ or ‘unless’ and says what must happen or exist in order for the information in the main part of the sentence to be true

declarative

adjective

a declarative sentence is expressed as a statement

deictic

adjective

relating to words or phrases whose meaning depends on the situation in which they are used, for example ‘you’, ‘there’, or ‘last month’

feminine

adjective

feminine nouns, pronouns, and adjectives have different forms from masculine or neuter words in some languages

feminine

noun

belonging to one of the groups that nouns, pronouns, and adjectives are divided into in some languages. The others are masculine and neuter.

frequentative

adjective

expressing an action that is often repeated

grammatical

adjective

a grammatical sentence follows the rules of grammar correctly

grammatical

adjective

grammatical words help to give sentences their structure, rather than expressing a particular meaning. Examples are words such as ‘of’ and ‘for’.

inflected

adjective

an inflected form of a word is a form that is different from the basic form, for example a plural form of a noun

irregular

adjective

not following the usual rules of grammar. For example, ‘eat’ is an irregular verb because its past tense is ‘ate’ and its past participle is ‘eaten’, not ‘eated’.

lexical

adjective

relating to words

lexical relation

noun

an association between different words or meanings in a language

masculine

adjective

masculine nouns, pronouns, and adjectives have different forms from feminine or neuter words in some languages

multiword

adjective

consisting of two or more words

neuter

adjective

neuter nouns, pronouns, and adjectives have different forms from feminine or masculine words in some languages

non-restrictive

adjective

non-restrictive clauses give extra information about a noun. In writing, they are separated from the rest of the sentence by commas.

objective

adjective

relating to the object of a verb or preposition

paradigmatic

adjective

referring to the relationship between a set of linguistic items that can replace each other in a particular context, for example ‘vase’ and ‘book’ or ‘on’ and ‘under’ in the sentence ‘The vase is on the table’.

participial

adjective

consisting of, containing, or used as a participle

passive

adjective

a passive verb or sentence has the person or thing being affected by the action as the subject. ‘He was examined by another doctor’ is a passive sentence.

performative

adjective

relating to something that someone says, when the words which they use perform a particular action, for example when someone says ‘I promise’ or ‘I now declare you man and wife’

plural

adjective

a plural word or form is used for referring to more than one person or thing

possessive

adjective

a possessive word or form of a word is a word such as ‘her’, ‘its’, ‘Jan’s’, or ‘dog’s’ that shows who or what someone or something belongs to or is connected with

regular

adjective

following the normal patterns of grammar

restrictive

adjective

limiting the meaning of another part of the sentence

simple

adjective

a simple sentence has only one subject and one verb

syntagmatic

adjective

referring to the relationships among linguistic elements that form a sequence in speech or writing, for example the relationship between ‘The girl’ and ‘is singing’ in the sentence ‘The girl is singing’

subjective

adjective

relating to the subject of a sentence

ungrammatical

adjective

not correct according to the rules of grammar

well-formed

adjective

a well-formed sentence follows the rules of a language correctly. This would usually be called a grammatically correct sentence.

accusative

adjective

dative

adjective

genitive

adjective

grammatically

adverb

locative

adjective

ungrammatically

adverb

pre-cation

a paid holiday given to a new employee before they start their job

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

selfie stick

an expandable stick which you attach to a mobile phone or camera to help you take a selfie …

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