Glossary (Version 8.4)

A description of an inanimate object as though it were a person or living thing (for example, ‘the last chance he had, just walked out the door’).

The smallest unit of sound in a word (for example, the word ‘is’ has two phonemes: /i/ and /s/; the word ‘ship’ has three phonemes: /sh/, /i/, /p/).

Involves forming a different word by removing a phoneme (for example, take the /t/ away from the word ‘train’ to make a new word ‘rain’).

Involves students manipulating spoken words by substituting certain phonemes for others (for example, changing the /r/ in the word ‘rat’ to /b/ to make new word ‘bat’.) Phoneme substitution can occur with middle and final phonemes (for example, changing the /a/ in ‘cat’ to /o/ to make new word ‘cot’.

An ability to hear, identify and manipulate separate, individual phonemes in words.

The term used to refer to the ability to identify the relationships between letters and sounds when reading and spelling.

A broad concept that relates to the sounds of spoken language. It includes understandings about words, rhyme, syllables and onset and rime. NOTE: the term ‘sound’ relates to a sound we make when we say a letter or word, not to a letter in print. A letter may have more than one sound, such as the letter ‘a’ in ‘was’, ‘can’ or ‘father’, and a sound can be represented by more than one letter such as the sound /k/ in ‘cat’ and ‘walk’. The word ‘ship’ had three sounds /sh/, /i/, /p/, but has four letters ‘s’, ‘h’, ‘i’, ‘p’. Teachers should use the terms ‘sound’ and ‘letter’ accurately to help students clearly distinguish between the two items.

Information about the sounds of language and letter–sound relationships when comprehending a text (for example, single sounds, blends).

A group of words often beginning with a preposition but without a subject and verb combination (for example, ‘on the river’; ‘with brown eyes’).

Particular patterns and techniques of language used in poems to create particular effects.

Refers to the viewpoint of an author, audience or characters in a text. Narrative point of view refers to the ways a narrator may be related to a story. A narrator, for example, might take a role of first or third person, omniscient or restricted in knowledge of events, reliable or unreliable in interpretation of what happens.

A possessive shows ownership, generally marked by an apostrophe followed by the suffix 's' (for example, 'woman's', 'Anne's'). The main exception is that in plural nouns ending in '-(e)s' the possessive is marked by the apostrophe alone. With proper nouns ending in '-s', there is variation between the regular possessive form and one marked by the apostrophe alone: compare 'James's' and 'James'. The regular form is always acceptable but a variant form without the second 's' is sometimes found (for example, 'James’s house' or 'James' house). The irregular form is often found with names of religious, classical or literary persons (for example, 'Moses' life', 'Sophocles' ideas', 'Dickens' novel).

A text that is easily navigated and read by beginning readers because they contain highly regular features such as familiar subject matter, a high degree of repetition, consistent placement of text and illustrations, simple sentences, familiar vocabulary and a small number of sight words.

An informed presumption about something that might happen. Predicting at the text level can include working out what a text might contain by looking at the cover, or working out what might happen next in a narrative. Predicting at the sentence level is identifying what word is likely to come next in a sentence.

A meaningful element (morpheme) added to the beginning of a word to change its meaning (for example, ‘un’ to ‘happy’ to make ‘unhappy’).

A word class that usually describes the relationship between words in a sentence. Prepositions can indicate:

  • space (for example, ‘below’, ‘in’, ‘on’, ‘to’, ‘under’. 'She sat on the table.')
  • time (for example, ‘after’, ‘before’, ‘since’. 'Í will go to the beach after lunch.')
  • those that do not relate to space and time (for example, ‘of’, ‘besides’, ‘except’, ‘despite’, ’He ate all the beans except the purple ones').

Prepositions usually combine with a noun group/phrase to form a prepositional phrase (for example, ‘in the office’, ‘besides these two articles’).

Typically consists of a preposition followed by a noun group/phrase. Prepositional phrases occur with a range of functions, including:

  • adverbial in clause structure (for example, ‘on the train’ in ‘we met on the train’)
  • modifier in noun group/phrase structure (for example, ‘with two children’ in ‘a couple with two children’)
  • modifier in adjective group/phrase structure (for example, ‘on golf’ in ‘keen on golf’).

A word that takes a place of a noun (for example, I, me, he, she, herself, you, it, that, they, few, many, who, whoever, someone, everybody, and many others).

There are different types of pronouns:

  • personal pronouns represent specific people or things (for example, I, he, she, it, they, we, you, me him, her, them). Example of personal pronoun use: David and Max (proper nouns) went to school. They went to school. Personal pronouns can also be objective (for example, David kicked the ball to Max. David kicked the ball to him.)
  • demonstrative pronouns represent a thing or things (for example, this, these, that, those). Example of demonstrative pronoun use: ‘Who owns these?’
  • possessive pronouns to refer to the belonging of one thing or person to another person or thing (for example, mine, hers, his, ours, yours, theirs). Examples of possessive pronoun use: ‘Max looked for the book. He could not find his own book but he did find yours.’
  • reflexive pronouns refer back to the subject of a sentence or clause. Reflexive pronouns end in ‘-self’ (singular) or ‘-selves’ (plural) (for example, myself,yourself,himself, herself, itself, ourselves, yourselves themselves). Example of possessive pronoun use: ‘David looked at himself in the mirror.’
  • reciprocal pronouns refer to two subjects acting in the same way toward each other. There must be two or more subjects involved and they must be doing the same thing (for example, each other, one another). Example of reciprocal pronoun use: David and Max like each other.
  • relative pronouns introduce a relative clause. They are called relative because they relate to the words that they modify. There are five relative pronouns: who, whom, whose, which,that. Example of relative pronoun use: ‘The car, which was in the garage, was damaged.’
  • interrogative pronouns represent things that we do not know and are asking the questions about (for example, who, whom, whose, which, what). Some interrogative pronouns can also function as relative pronouns. Examples of interrogative pronoun use: ‘Who told David?’ ‘Which of these would David like?’
  • indefinite pronouns do not refer to any specific person, thing or amount (for example, all, another, anybody, anyone, anything, each, everybody, everyone, everything, many, nobody, none, one, several, some, somebody, someone). Example of relative pronoun use: ‘Have you taken anything from the cupboard?’

A clear reference from a pronoun to a noun (for example, ‘Mary lost her phone’).

Humorous use of a word to bring out more than one meaning; a play on words.