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Describing language
Describing language

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5 Summary of Week 2

This week you have looked at nouns: the words we use to name things, places, people and ideas.

Think back to the shopkeeper you imagined at the start of this week. When thinking about how you would purchase the items you needed, you would still need to find out the actual words for what you wanted to buy in the local language, but you now know more about the type of words that you’d need. In most cases, the things on your shopping list would be common nouns, concrete nouns, and a mixture of count and non-count nouns, such as pimientos rojos (red peppers) and leche (milk).

An important part of this week has been starting to think about language as made up of a set of different classes of words that do different things. You’ve had an overview of the word classes you’ll cover in the first part of the course (nouns, verbs and adjectives), and also a peek ahead to pronouns, which are covered later. There are also a few more classes that will come up later, but these will certainly do for the present.

You’ve had some practice in assessing and classifying nouns using some of the categories linguists and grammarians use and you’re starting to build up the vocabulary you’ll need to accurately describe language. You may have found that it’s not always easy to apply the new labels you’ve come across to different nouns, but you’ve taken your first steps on the way to systematically analysing the language around us.

Next week you will consider another of the largest groups of words in English. These are the words we use to talk about actions, or what people and things are doing – the grammatical category called verbs.

You can now go to Week 3 [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .