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English: skills for learning
English: skills for learning

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1 Units of language

It is helpful to look at the organisation of texts by dividing language into six units: the word, the word group, the clause, the sentence, the paragraph and the text.

The table below illustrates each of these units with examples taken from the essay you read in Week 4.

Table 1
UnitExample

word

lives

noun group

verb group

fully independent lives

can lead

clause

they can no longer lead fully independent lives

sentence

The residents have all had to come to terms with the fact that, for reasons such as age or infirmity, they can no longer lead fully independent lives, but can happily accept this compromise.

paragraph

Paragraph 5: In a good residential home … happily accept this compromise.

text

The whole essay written by Fred

You have already looked at the way in which a whole text and its paragraphs are organised. You now need to focus on ways to organise word groups and sentences accurately so that you can use them to express ideas and convey information clearly and concisely.