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Describing language
Describing language

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Week 6: All the bits in between


A pair of hands playing with a pile of coloured blocks.
Figure 1 Now how do these fit together?

You started this course by looking at the classes of words that make up the vast majority of the words you find in dictionaries: nouns (from aardvark to zebra) and verbs (from abandon to zonk). Last week, you saw how adjectives (from abstract to zany) add more information to nouns and can be used to make language more interesting, informative, and potentially persuasive. But these big chunky words for things that exist and happen out in the world are, of course, not all there is to language. They have to fit together to make sense, and there are other types of words that help us do this. This week, you’ll learn about the smaller classes of words that help to connect words from the big classes.

By the end of this week, you should be able to:

  • explain the relationship between verbs and adverbs
  • understand the difference between open and closed class words
  • identify conjunctions, prepositions, determiners and pronouns.