Glossary of Terms
Spelling, Punctuation & Grammar - Glossary of Terms
This is a basic list of definitions and examples of terms used in spelling, punctuation and grammar.
|Adjective||A describing word that is added to nouns to describe what kind, colour, size, which one or how many.||The big, hairy, brown dog was taking a nap on the leather sofa.|
|Adverb||A describing word that is added to verbs to tell us where, when, how, in what way or to what extent an action is performed.||* Stacy carefully coloured in her art poster.|
* The bus arrived late.
|Antonym||A word that means the opposite to another word.||* Hot is an antonym of cold.|
* Fast and quick are antonyms of slow.
|Apostrophe||These are used to show missing letters and to show possession.||* It is becomes it's.|
* The dog chewed up Lenny's slippers.
|Article||The words the, a or an which go before a noun.||A cat ran across the road in front of a car.|
|Brackets||These are used to separate extra information in a sentence.||Jacob (in class 2B) had the main role in the school play.|
|Capital letter||These are used at the start of a sentence and for proper nouns. 'I' is always written with a capital letter.||There was a party at Mat's house on Saturday.|
|Clause||A part of a sentence that has a verb and someone doing the action.||Mark plays football every Sunday.|
|Colon||These are used to introduce some lists and to join sentences.||I need to get the following for the birthday party: balloons, a cake, candles, party hats and a card.|
|Comma||These are used to separate items in a list, separate extra information and to join clauses.||* Fred bought a pair of shoes, a cap, two pairs of socks and a magazine.|
* Ryan's brother, who is a year older than him, is always late.
* When the summer holiday is over, we will be starting secondary school.
|Compound Word||When two words are put together to form a new word with a new meaning.|
"Lady" and "bird" together makes "ladybird".
"Cup" and "board" together makes "cupboard".
|Connective||A word or words used to link two clauses or sentences.||I baked some cupcakes today and they tasted delicious.|
|Contraction||When two words are joined together with an apostrophe to make a new word.||'Do not' can be contracted to 'Don't'.|
|Dash||These are used to separate extra information in a sentence.||Best friends - Jo and Kev - loved building model cars.|
|Direct speech||The actual words that are said by someone.||John shouted, "Wait for me!"|
|Ellipses||These can be used to add suspense, leave a sentence hanging or to show an interruption in speech.||* Shelly turned the handle of the front door and it creaked open slowly...|
* "Er...I was hoping you could maybe...help me out?"
|Exclamation mark||These are used to show strong feelings and for some commands.||* The trapeze act at the circus was amazing!|
* Be quiet!
|Full stop||These are used to show the end of a sentence.||I went to dance class yesterday. We are performing at a gala next week.|
|Homophone||Words that sound the same but have a different meaning.||* Greg went to the park today.|
* I want a piece of cake too.
* There were two squirrels in the tree.
|Hyphen||These are used to join two words together to make a single unit or one meaning.||Isla bought some free-range eggs at the market.|
|Inverted commas||These are used to show direct speech.||"It's time to tidy up," said Miss Dale.|
|Main clause||The important part of a sentence that would make sense on its own.||Catherine played the piano until her fingers ached.|
|Noun||A "naming" word that names a person, place or thing.||Kerry went to the cinema on Tuesday to watch the new Disney film.|
|Phrase||A small part of a sentence that usually does not have a verb in it.||Selina watched a film at the cinema.|
|Plural||More that one of something.||There were lots of birds in the sky.|
|Prefix||Letters than can be put in front of a word to change its meaning.||Andy was unhappy that he had to miss the football match this week.|
|Preposition||A word that tells you how things are related.||Poppy roasted some marshmallows over the campfire.|
|Pronoun||A word that can be used instead of a noun.||Liam finished his homework quickly as it was due tomorrow.|
|Question mark||These are used at the end of a question.||What is your favourite food?|
|Reported speech||This is what someone has said but not in their own words.||Sam told me that he went to Blackpool last week.|
|Semi-colon||These are used to separate lists of longer things and to join sentences.||In school today, class 3 had literacy hour; played rounders; went on a nature walk; and made a poster.|
|Subordinate clause||The less important part of a sentence which would not make sense on its own.||The dog chased after the ball until it was out of breath.|
|Suffix||Letters that can be put after a word to change its meaning.||Mr Trussel marked class 7T's homework carefully.|
|Synonym||A word with the same or a similar meaning to another word.||Glad, cheerful, delighted and pleased are all synonyms of happy.|
|Verb||A doing or being word.||* Hannah was looking out of the window.|
* Danny is happy that it's finally the weekend.