Grammar & Composition Sitemap - Page 1 2016-09-26
Illeism: Referring to Yourself in the Third Person
Illeism is the act of referring to oneself (often habitually) in the third person. Someone who practices illeism is (among other things) an illeist.
Definitions and Examples of Debates
A debate is (1) a discussion involving opposing claims; an argument; (2) a regulated contest in which two opposing sides defend and attack a proposition.
Definition and Examples of Aphorisms
An aphorism is a tersely phrased statement of a truth or opinion, or a brief statement of a principle.
Definition and Examples of Apophasis in Rhetoric
Apophasis is the mention of something in disclaiming intention of mentioning it--or pretending to deny what is really affirmed.
Syllepsis - Rhetorical Definition and Examples
Syllepsis is a rhetorical term for a kind of ellipsis in which one word is understood differently in relation to two or more other words.
Definition and Examples of Light Verbs in English
A light verb is a verb which has only a general meaning on its own but that expresses a more complex meaning when combined with another word.
English Grammar & Composition: Tips, Terms, Examples
Join us as we take a playful look at the English language while learning to write effective sentences, paragraphs, essays, and reports.
Language in the News (Summer 2016)
Emojis, Donald Trump's rhetoric, and hated words are just a few of the topics covered in the summer 2016 edition of Language in the News.
Definition and Examples of Word Aversion (or Logomisia)
Logomisia (or word aversion) is the strong dislike for a particular word based on its sound, meaning, usage, and/or associations.
Definition and Examples of Pidgins
A pidgin is a simplified form of speech formed out of one or more existing languages and used by people who have no other language in common.
Language Varieties: Definition and Examples of Creoles
In linguistics, a creole is a type of language that developed historically from a pidgin and came into existence at a fairly precise point in time.
Argot - Definition and Examples
Argot is a specialized vocabulary or set of idioms used by a particular social class or group, especially one that functions outside the law.
Definition and Examples of Anti-Rhetoric
In argumentative speech or writing, anti-rhetoric is the disparagement of an opponent's use of language by characterizing it as rhetoric or oratory.
The History of the English Language
This timeline offers a glimpse at some of the key events that helped to shape the English language over the past 1,500 years.
Key Events in the History of the English - The Late Modern English Period
This timeline offers a glimpse at some of the key events that helped to shape the English language over the past 1,500 years. Page 3.
Key Events in the History of the English Language - The Early Modern English Period
This timeline offers a glimpse at some of the key events that helped to shape the English language over the past 1,500 years. Page 2.
patois - definition and examples of patois
Patois is an informal term for a dialect, especially one that is considered to have a low status in relation to a standard variety of a language.
Thesis Statements: Definition, Examples, and Guidelines
A thesis statement is a sentence in an essay, report, or speech that identifies the main idea and/or central purpose of the text.
Definition and Examples of Articles in Grammar
In English grammar, an article is a type of determiner that precedes a noun. Two articles are recognized in English: the definite and the indefinite.
Writing With Lists - Using the Series in Descriptions
In descriptive prose, writers sometimes use lists to bring a subject to life through an abundance of details. Enjoy these examples by five major writers.
Definition and Examples of Double Negatives in English
The double negative is (1) a nonstandard form using two negatives for emphasis where only one is necessary, and (2) a standard form using two negatives to express a positive.
Use and Utilize: Answers to Practice Exercises
The commonly confused words use and useful: answers to practice exercises. Page 2.
Commly Confused Words: Use and Utilize
The commonly confused words use and useful: definitions, examples, usage notes, and practice exercises.
Glossary of Usage: Index of Commonly Confused Words
In our Glossary of Usage you'll find more than 300 sets of commonly confused words--with links to definitions, examples, usage notes, and exercises.
The Top 25 Grammatical Terms in English
If you're in the mood to brush up on your grammar, this page is for you: brief definitions and examples of 25 of the most common grammatical terms.
Definition and Examples of Chronological Order
In composition, chronological order is a method of organization in which actions or events are presented as they occur (or occurred) in time.
Definition and Examples of Iteratives in English
An iterative is a verb or verb form indicating that an action is (or was) repeated.
Definition and Examples of Marginal Modals in English
A marginal modal is a verb that displays some but not all of the properties of an auxiliary.
Definition of Semi-Auxiliaries and Semi-Modals
A semi-auxiliary (or semi-modal) is a multi-word construction based on an auxiliary verb and having some of the same grammatical characteristics.
Definition and Examples of Modal (Auxiliaries)
A modal (or modal auxiliary) is a verb that combines with another verb to indicate mood or tense.
Definition and Examples of Stasis in Classical Rhetoric
Stasis is the process of identifying the central issues in a dispute, then finding appropriate arguments to address those issues.
Periphrasis Definition - Glossary of Rhetorical Terms
Periphrasis is a roundabout way of saying something: the use of an unnecessarily lengthy expression in place of one that's more direct and concise.
Definition and Examples of Defective Verbs in English
In English grammar, defective verb is a traditional term for a verb that doesn't exhibit all the typical forms of a conventional verb.
Definition and Examples of Auxiliary Verbs in English
An auxiliary is a verb that determines the mood, tense, or aspect of another verb in a verb phrase.
Definition and Examples of Irregular Verbs
An irregular verb is a verb that does not follow the general rules for verb forms. In English, some of the most common verbs are irregular.
Definition and Examples of Coherence in Composition
In composition, coherence refers to the logical connections that readers or listeners perceive in a written or oral text.
Definition and Examples of Cohesion in Composition
Cohesion is the use of transitional expressions and other devices to guide readers and show how the parts of a composition relate to one other.
Definition and Examples of Spatial Order in Composition
In composition, spatial order is a method of organization in which details are presented as they are (or were) located in space.
Definitions and Examples of Word Formation
In linguistics, word-formation refers to the ways in which new words are made on the basis of other words or morphemes.
Overregularization - Definition and Examples
Overregularization is a part of the language-learning process in which children extend regular grammatical patterns to irregular words.
Definition and Examples of Exigence in Rhetoric
In rhetoric, exigence is an issue, problem, or situation that causes or prompts someone to write or speak.
Definition and Examples of Zeugma
Zeugma is a rhetorical term for the use of a word to modify or govern two or more words although its use may be grammatically correct with only one.
Definition and Examples of Derivational Morphemes
In morphology, a derivational morpheme is an affix that's added to a word to create a new word or a new form of a word.
Definition and Examples of Applied Linguistics
Applied linguistics is concerned with the use of language-related research in a wide variety of fields.
Definition and Discussion of Stylistics
Stylistics is a branch of applied linguistics concerned with the study of style in texts, especially (but not exclusively) in literary works.
Definition and Examples of Apostrophe (Figure of Speech)
Apostrophe is a figure of speech in which some absent or nonexistent person or thing is addressed as if present and capable of understanding.
vowel - definition and examples of vowels in English
A vowel is a letter of the alphabet that represents a speech sound created by the relatively free passage of breath through the larynx and oral cavity.
Definition and Examples of Illocutionary Acts in Speech
In speech-act theory, an illocutionary act is the way in which a sentence is used to express an attitude with a certain
Classic Essays: 'Goodbye to All That' by Robert Graves
In this excerpt from his autobiography
Graves and Hodge's 16 Stylistic Principles
Author Robert Graves and editor Alan Hodge offer 16 principles concerning the
10 Principles of Effective Writing: F.L. Lucas on Style
In his book on style, F.L. Lucas offered the following principles to
Classic Essays: Epigrams and Aphorisms by Oscar Wilde
Enjoy this collection of witty aphorisms, and then decide if Wilde meant them to be taken seriously.
Definition and Examples of Balanced Sentences
A balanced sentence is made up of two parts that are roughly equal in length, importance, and grammatical structure.
Definition and Examples of the Series in Grammar
In English grammar and rhetoric, a series is a list of three or more items, usually arranged in parallel form.
Definition and Examples of Paired Constructions
In English grammar, a paired construction is a balanced arrangement of two roughly equal parts in a sentence.
Definition and Examples of Parallelism in Grammar
Parallelism is the similarity of grammatical structure in a pair or series of related words, phrases, or clauses.
Definition and Examples of Communication
Communication is the process of sending and receiving messages through verbal and/or nonverbal means.
What Is a Metaphor? (Overview and Examples)
We speak and write and think in metaphors every day. They can't be avoided: metaphors are baked into our language. Here are some memorable examples.
Composing My First College Essay - About Writer's Block
This narrative essay about writer's block was composed by a student during her second week in a course in freshman composition.
Definition and Examples of Parison
Parison is a rhetorical term for corresponding structure in a series of phrases or clauses.
Definition and Examples of Parallel Structures
Parallel structure involves two or more words, phrases, or clauses that are similar in length and grammatical form.
Definition and Examples of English Morphology
Morphology is the branch of linguistics (and one of the major components of grammar) that studies word structures, especially in terms of morphemes.
Definition and Examples of Proper Nouns
A proper noun is a noun belonging to the class of words used as names for unique individuals, events, or places.
Definition and Examples of Common Nouns in English
In English grammar, a common noun is a noun that's not the name of any particular person, place, or thing.
Definition and Examples of Homonyms in English
Homonyms are two or more words that have the same sound or spelling but differ in meaning.
Seven Ways to Succeed in Freshman Composition
English 101 should be one of the most enjoyable and rewarding courses in your college life. But to succeed in anything, it helps to be prepared.
Definition and Examples of Euphuism (Prose Style)
Euphuism is an elaborately patterned prose style, characterized by the extensive use of similes, metaphors, parallelism, alliteration, and antithesis.
Definition and Examples of Stream of Consciousness
Stream of consciousness is a narrative technique that gives the impression of a mind at work, jumping from one observation or reflection to the next.
Definition and Examples of Sememes in English
In semiotics, a sememe is a unit of meaning conveyed by a morpheme (i.e., a word or word element).
haplology - definition and examples in language
Haplology is a sound change involving the loss of a syllable when it is next to a phonetically identical (or similar) syllable.
Top 20 Figures of Speech - Definitions and Examples
Though there are hundreds of figures of speech, here we'll focus on just 20 of the most common figures.
Proofreading for Errors in Verb Tense
After you have reviewed our pages on regular and irregular verbs, give these five proofreading exercises a try.
Answers to the Proofreading Exercise: Verb Tense
After you have reviewed our pages on regular and irregular verbs, give these five proofreading exercises a try. On this page you'll find the answers to the exercises. Page 2.
Definition and Examples of Hendiadys in Rhetoric
Hendiadys is a figure of speech in which two words joined by and express an idea that is more commonly expressed by an adjective and a noun.
Definition and Examples of Catenative Verbs
A catenative verb (also called a chain verb) is one that can link with other verbs to form a chain or series.
Definition and Examples of Causative Verbs in English
A verb used to indicate that some person or thing helps to make something happen.
Definition and Examples of Nonfinite Verbs
A nonfinite verb is a form of the verb that does not show a distinction in tense and cannot stand alone as the main verb in a sentence.
Definition and Examples of Stative Verbs
A stative verb is a verb used primarily to describe a state or situation as opposed to an action or process.
Definition and Examples of Dynamic Verbs
Dynamic verbs are used primarily to indicate an action, process, or sensation as opposed to a state.
10 Verb Forms and Functions in English
Generally, it makes more sense to define a verb by what it does rather than by what it is. Here we'll consider some of the more common functions of verbs.
Definition and Examples of Relativization in English
In transformational grammar, relativization (or relativisation) is the process of forming a relative clause.
Definition and Examples of House Style in Editing
The expression house style refers to the specific usage and editing conventions followed by writers and editors at a particular publication.
Definition and Examples of Juxtaposition in Composition
In composition, juxtaposition is the placing of verbal elements side by side, leaving it up to the reader to establish connections and impose a meaning.
Capital Letters in Titles: Title Case and Sentence Case
Style manuals disagree on which words to capitalize in a title. Here's a basic guide to the two most common methods: sentence case and title case.
Definition and Examples of Independent Clauses English
An independent clause is a group of words that contains a subject and verb and expresses a complete thought.
Definition and Examples of Conjuncts in English grammar
A conjunct is (1) a word group linked to another word group through coordination, or (2) an adverb that indicates the relationship between two independent clauses.
Definition and Examples of Solidarity Talk in English
Solidarity talk is a type of communication in which words are used primarily to strengthen social ties rather than convey information.
Preferred Abbreviation for United States (US or U.S.?)
In the U.S. and in the UK, there's more than one correct way to write the abbreviation for United States.
Definition and Examples of Source Domains in Metaphors
In a conceptual metaphor, the conceptual domain from which metaphorical expressions are drawn.
Definition and Examples of Target Domain in Metaphor
In a conceptual metaphor, the target domain is the actual quality or experience described by the source domain.
Definition and Examples of Lexicon
Lexicon is (1) the collection of words that every speaker of the language has; and (2) a stock of terms used in a particular subject or profession.
Definition and Examples of Language Acquisition
By the age of six, children have usually mastered most of the basic vocabulary and grammar of their first language.
Native Speaker - Definition and Examples in English
In linguistics, a native speaker is a person who speaks and writes using a native language or mother tongue.
In Praise of Small Words: The Grace Notes of Prose
One way to get straight to the point when you write is to use small words.
Definition and Examples of Conciseness in Writing
Conciseness is a characteristic of a speech or prose composition in which a great deal is conveyed in just a few words.
Definition and Examples of Adages in English
An adage is ancient saying or maxim, brief and sometimes mysterious, that has become accepted as conventional wisdom.
Rhythm: Definition and Examples in Speech and Prose
In phonetics, rhythm is the sense of movement in speech, marked by the stress, timing, and quantity of syllables.
Definition and Examples of Prosody
In phonetics, prosody is the use of pitch, loudness, tempo, and rhythm in speech to convey information about the structure and meaning of an utterance.
Definition and Examples of Allegro Speech
Allegro speech refers to the deliberate misspellings, respellings, or non-standard alternative spellings of words.
How to Develop and Organize a Classification Essay
Using our sample essay as a guide, find out how to effectively develop, organize, and revise a five-paragraph classification essay.
Definition and Examples of Syllables in English
Definition and Examples in Rhyme in Prose and Poetry
Rhyme is the identity or close similarity of sound between accented syllables.
Definition and Examples of Replacives in English
In morphology, a replacive is a word element that substitutes for another element within a stem.
Regular Verb: Definition and Examples in English Grammar
A regular verb is a verb that forms its past tense and past participle by adding -d or -ed to the base form.
The Difference Between a Weak and Strong Verb
Find out the difference between a
Definition and Examples of Restaurantese
Restaurantese (or menu-speak) is an informal term for the specialized language (or jargon) sometimes used by restaurant employees and on menus.
Definition and Examples of Affixation in English
In linguistics, affixation is the process of adding a morpheme to a word to create either (a) a different form of that word, or (b) a new word.
Definition and Examples of Derivation in English
In morphology, derivation is the process of creating a new word out of an old word, usually by adding a prefix or a suffix.
Definition and Examples of Stacked Modifiers in Grammar
In English grammar, stacking refers to the piling up of modifiers before a noun.
26 Common Suffixes in English (With Examples)
Understanding the meanings of the common suffixes can help us deduce the meanings of new words that we encounter.
Composition Skills: Writing a Descriptive Paragraph
In this project, you will practice organizing specific details into an effective descriptive paragraph.
Abraham Lincoln's "Gettysburg Address," Facts and Myths
Some facts revealed and myths debunked about President Lincoln's remarks at Gettysburg on November 19, 1863, one of the world's best-known speeches.
30 Common English Word Roots (Definitions, Examples)
Expand your vocabulary by studying this list of 30 of the most common Greek and Latin root words.
Rhetorical Situation: Definition and Examples
A rhetorical situation is the context of a rhetorical act, made up (at a minimum) of a rhetor, an issue (or exigence), a medium, and an audience.
Definition and Discussion of Proposal Writing
In business writing, a proposal is a document that offers a solution to a problem or a course of action in response to a need.
Informative and Descriptive Details in Writing
In composition, a detail is a particular item of information that supports an idea or contributes to an overall impression in a text.
Definition and Examples of Participles in English
In traditional English grammar, a participle is a verbal that typically ends in -ing (the present participle) or -ed (the past participle).
Definition and Examples of Rhyming Compounds in English
A rhyming compound is a compound word that contains rhyming elements, such as blackjack, fuddy duddy, pooper-scooper, and voodoo.
Definition and Examples of Pseudowords
A pseudoword is a string of letters that resembles a real word but doesn't actually exist in the language.
Definition and Examples of Politeness Strategies
Politeness strategies are speech acts that express concern for others and minimize threats to self-esteem.
Definition and Examples of Phrops (Verbal Hypocrisy)
Phrop is an informal term for a phrase that means the opposite of what it says: verbal hypocrisy.
Definition and Examples of Mountweazels
A Mountweazel is a bogus entry deliberately inserted in a reference work, usually as a safeguard against copyright infringement.
Paraprosdokian (Rhetoric): Definition and Examples
Paraprosdokian is a rhetorical term for an unexpected shift in meaning at the end of a sentence, stanza, or short passage.
Definition and Examples of Miranyms in English
A miranym is a word that is midway in meaning between two opposite extremes (or antonyms).
Definition and Examples of Metanoia
Metanoia is a rhetorical term for the act of self-correction in speech or writing.
Definition and Examples of Malaphors in English
A malaphor is an informal term for a blend of two aphorisms, idioms, or clichés.
Definition and Examples of Hidden Verbs in English
Hidden verb is an informal term in traditional grammar for needless nominalization: a noun-verb combination used in place of a single, more forceful verb.
Definition and Examples of Diazeugma
Diazeugma is a rhetorical term for a sentence construction in which a single subject is accompanied by multiple verbs.
Definition and Examples of Feghoots
A feghoot is a narrative (usually an anecdote or short story) that concludes with an elaborate pun.
Definition and Examples of Dirimens Copulatio
Dirimens copulatio is a rhetorical term for a statement (or a series of statements) that balances one idea with a contrasting idea.
Definitions and Examples of Tapinosis
Tapinosis is a rhetorical term for name-callingâ€”undignified language that debases a person or thing.
Definition and Examples of Sluicing in Linguistics
In English grammar, sluicing is a type of ellipsis in which a wh- word or phrase is understood as a complete statement.
Definition and Examples of Word Words in English
Word word is a term coined by Paul Dickson to describe a word that's repeated to distinguish it from a seemingly identical word.
50 Topic Suggestions for a Narrative Essay or Speech
At least one of these 50 topic suggestions should remind you of an incident that you can recount in a clearly organized narrative essay or speech.
Definition and Examples of Cacophemisms in English
Cacophemism is a word or expression that's generally perceived as harsh, impolite, or offensive.
Definition and Examples of Dysphemisms in English
Dysphemism is the substitution of a more offensive or disparaging word or phrase for one considered less offensive.
Definition and Examples of Euphemistic Language
Euphemism is the substitution of an inoffensive expression for one considered offensively explicit.
Definition and Examples of Discourse Analysis
Discourse analysis is the study of the ways in which language is used in texts and contexts.
Definition and Examples of Conversational Grounding
Conversational grounding is the interactive process by which speakers and listeners work together to ensure that messages are understood.
Definition and Examples of Echo Utterances in English
Echo utterance is speech that repeats, in whole or in part, what has just been said by another speaker.
Definition and Examples of Speech Acts in Linguistics
In linguistics, a speech act is an utterance defined in terms of a speaker's intentions and the effects it has on a listener.
Principal Parts of a Verb: Definition and Examples
The principal parts of a verb are the three basic forms of a verb: the base form, the past tense form, and the past participle.
Definition and Examples of Psychological Verbs
In English grammar, a psych verb is a verb that expresses a mental state or event. English has more than 200 causative psych verbs.
Definition and Examples of English Mental-State Verbs
In English grammar, a mental-state verb is a verb with a meaning related to understanding, discovering, planning, or deciding.
Definition and Examples of Consonants
A consonant is a letter of the alphabet that represents a speech sound produced by a constriction of the speech organs.
Definition and Examples of Performative Verbs (English)
A performative verb is a verb that explicitly conveys the kind of speech act being performed.
Definition and Discussion of Cognitive Linguistics
Cognitive linguistics is a cluster of overlapping approaches to the study of language as a mental phenomenon.
Pragmatics - Definition and Examples
Pragmatics is concerned with the use of language in social contexts and the ways in which people produce and comprehend meanings through language.
Definition and Examples of Explicature in Speech Acts
In pragmatics, explicature is a direct or explicit speech act: what is actually said as opposed to what's intended or implied.
Definition and Examples of Conversational Implicature
Conversational implicature is an indirect or implicit speech act: what's meant by a speaker's utterance that's not part of what is explicitly said.
Definition and Examples of Information Content
In linguistics, information content is the amount of information conveyed by a particular unit of language in a particular context.
Commonly Confused Words: Were, We're, and Where
The commonly confused words
Commonly Confused Words Were, We're, and Where
The commonly confused words
Capital and Capitol: Answers to Practice Exercises
The commonly confused words
Commonly Confused Words: Capital and Capitol
The commonly confused words
Commonly Confused Words
The commonly confused words
Commonly Confused Words: Enormity and Enormousness
The commonly confused words
Definition and Examples of Epenthesis (Intrusion)
In phonology and phonetics, epenthesis is the insertion of an extra sound into a word.
Definition and Examples of Head Words in English
In a phrase, the head is the word that determines the nature of the phrase--such as the noun in a noun phrase.
Key Concepts in Conversation Analysis
This list of 15 key concepts related to the ways we talk with one another will introduce you to the rapidly developing field of conversation analysis.
Definition and Examples of Phrases in Grammar
In English grammar, a phrase is a group of two or more words functioning as a meaningful unit within a sentence or clause
Participial Phrase - Definition and Examples
A participial phrase is a word group consisting of a present or past participle and any modifiers, objects, and complements.
Definition and Examples of Infinitive Phrases
An infinitive phrase is a verbal construction made up of the particle
Definition and Examples of Absolute Phrases in English)
An absolute phrase is a group of words that modifies an independent clause as a whole.
Definition and Examples of Exclamatory Sentences
An exclamatory sentence is a sentence that expresses strong feelings by making an exclamation.
200 Homonyms, Homophones, and Homographs (A - B)
These charts list some of the most common homonyms, homophones, and homographs in English.
Definition and Examples of Periods (Full Stops)
A period is (1) a punctuation mark ( . ) indicating a full stop, placed at the end of declarative sentences; and (2) a sentence of several carefully balanced clauses in formal writing.
Definition and Examples of Periodic Sentences
A periodic sentence is a long and frequently involved sentence, marked by suspended syntax, in which the sense is not completed until the final word.
Definition and Examples of RAS Syndrome
RAS syndrome is a humorous initialism for
Fair and Fare: Answers to Practice Exercises
The commonly confused words
Fair and Fare - Commonly Confused Words
The commonly confused words
Definition and Examples of Run-On Sentences in English
In prescriptive grammar, a run-on sentence is two independent clauses that have been run together without a conjunction or punctuation mark between them.
Definition and Examples of Metadiscourse
Metadiscourse is an umbrella term for words used by a speaker or writer to mark the direction and purpose of a text.
Definition and Examples of the Appeal to Authority
The appeal to authority is a fallacy in which a rhetor seeks to persuade not by giving evidence but by appealing to the respect people have for the famous.
Definition and Examples of Direct Address in English
Direct address is a construction in which a speaker or writer communicates a message directly to another individual.
Definition and Examples of Negation in English Grammar
Negation is a grammatical construction that contradicts (or negates) part or all of a sentence's meaning.
Definition and Examples of Affirmative Sentences
Affirmative sentence is a traditional grammatical term for any statement that is positive, not negative.
Definition and Examples of Verbals in English Grammar
A verbal is a verb form that functions in a sentence as a noun or a modifier rather than as a verb.
Definition and Examples of Group Genitives in English
The group genitive is a possessive construction in which
Definition and Examples of Whimperatives in English
A whimperative is the conversational convention of casting an imperative statement in question form to communicate a request without causing offense.
Six Unusual Grammatical Principles and Structures.
Here are six unusual grammatical principles and structures that you probably never heard about in school (but should have).
Definition and Examples of Semantic Satiation
Semantic satiation is a phenomenon whereby the uninterrupted repetition of a word eventually leads to a sense that the word has lost its meaning.
Definition and Examples of Diphthongs in English
In phonetics, a diphthong is a vowel in which there is a noticeable sound change within the same syllable.
Definition and Examples of Dysfluency
Dysfluency (or disfluency) is speech that is not smoothly delivered or grammatically well formed.
Fluency in Speech and Writing: Definition and Examples
In composition, fluency is a general term for the clear, smooth, and seemingly effortless use of language in writing or speech.
Definition and Examples of Paralinguistics
Paralinguistics is the study of vocal (and sometimes non-vocal) signals beyond the basic verbal message or speech.
A Crash Course in the Branches of Linguistics
Enjoy this brief introduction to linguistics and its many subfields.
Slip of the Pen: Definition and Examples in English
A slip of the pen is an inadvertent mistake made while writing, usually the substitution of one letter, word, or phrase for the correct one.
Definition and Examples of Metaplasm in Rhetoric
Metaplasm is a rhetorical term for any alteration in the form of a word, in particular the addition, subtraction, or substitution of letters or sounds.
Definition and Examples of English Pronunciation
Pronunciation is the act or manner of speaking a word.
syncope - definition and examples in English
Syncope is a traditional term in phonology for a contraction within a word through the loss of a vowel sound or letter.
Definition and Examples of Slips of the Tongue
A slip of the tongue is a mistake in speaking, usually trivial, sometimes amusing.
25 Weird, Witty, and Wonderful Language-Related Terms
Use these 25 highly unusual language-related terms to amuse and perplex your friends and teachers.
Definition and Examples of Elision in English
In phonetics and phonology, elision is the omission of a sound (or phoneme) in speech.
Definition and Examples of Sound Change in English
In historical linguistics, sound change is any appearance of a new phenomenon in the phonetic/phonological structure of a language.
What Is the Correct Pronunciation of 'February'?
Definition and Examples of Dissimilation and Haplology
Dissimilation is a general term in phonetics for the process by which two neighboring sounds become less alike.
Definition and Examples of Digraphs in English
A digraph is a group of two successive letters that represent a single sound or phoneme.
Phoneme - Definition and Examples in English
A phoneme is the smallest sound unit in a language that is capable of conveying a distinct meaning.
phonology - definition and observations
Phonology is the branch of linguistics concerned with the study of speech sounds with reference to their distribution and patterning.
Definition and Examples of Consonant Clusters
A consonant cluster is a group of two or more consonant sounds that come before, after, or between vowels.
Definition and Examples of Phonotactics in Phonology
In phonology, phonotactics is the study of the ways in which phonemes are allowed to combine in a particular language.
Definition and Examples of Syntactic Ambiguity
Syntactic ambiguity is the presence of two or more possible meanings within a single sentence or sequence of words.
Compound-Complex Sentence Definition and Examples
A compound-complex sentence is a sentence with two or more independent clauses and at least one dependent clause.
Definition and Examples of Predicate Nominatives
Predicate nominative is the traditional term for a noun, pronoun, or other nominal that follows a linking verb.
Negative Particles in English Grammar
In English grammar, the negative particle is the word
Definition and Examples of Helping Verbs in English
A helping verb (or auxiliary) is a verb that comes before the main verb in a sentence. Together the helping verb and the main verb form a verb phrase.
Definition and Examples of Determiners in English
In English grammar, a determiner is a word or group of words that specifies, identifies, or quantifies the noun that follows it.
Definition and Examples of Abstract Nouns in English
In English grammar, an abstract noun is a noun or noun phrase that names an idea, event, quality, or concept.
Definition and Examples of Compound Nouns
In English grammar, a compound noun is a construction made up of two or more nouns that function as a single noun.
Definition and Examples of Prefixes in English
A prefix is a letter or group of letters attached to the beginning of a word that partly indicates its meaning.
Definition and Examples of Affixes in Grammar
An affix is a word element (usually a prefix or suffix) that can be attached to a base, stem, or root to form a new word or a new form of a word.
Definition and Examples of Morphemes in English
A morpheme is a meaningful linguistic unit (a word or a word element) that cannot be divided into smaller meaningful parts.
Definition and Examples of Bound Morphemes in English
A bound morpheme is a morpheme (or word element), usually a prefix or suffix, that cannot stand alone as a word.
Guidelines for Using Semicolons, Colons, and Dashes
The semicolon, colon, and dash can be effective when used appropriately, andâ€”as you'll seeâ€”the guidelines for using them aren't especially tricky.
Writing Topics - Process Analysis - Essay Development
These 50 prompts are meant to help you discover a topic for an essay or speech developed by process analysis.
Definition and Examples of a Climax in Rhetoric
In rhetoric, climax means mounting by degrees through words or sentences of increasing weight and in parallel construction.
Definition and Examples of Indeterminacy in Language
Indeterminacy is the instability of meaning, the uncertainty of reference, and the variations in interpretations of grammatical forms in language.
Definition and Examples of Grammaticality
In linguistics, grammaticality (or well-formedness) refers to the conformity of a sentence to the rules defined by a specific grammar of a language.
Definition and Examples of Canadian English
Canadian English is a variety of the English language that is used in Canada.
Topic Suggestions for a Descriptive Paragraph or Essay
Descriptive writing calls for close attention to details. To help you get started here are 40 topic suggestions for a descriptive paragraph or essay.
40 Topic Ideas for an Essay Developed With Examples
If you're asked by your instructor to compose an essay or speech developed with examples, these 40 topic suggestions should help you get started.
Definition and Examples of Grawlixes in Comics
The term grawlix refers to the series of typographical symbols (such as @#$%&!) used in cartoons and comic strips to represent swear words.
Definitions and Examples of Phatic Communication
Phatic communication (or phatic communion) is the nonreferential use of language to share feelings or establish a mood of sociability.
Speech (Linguistics) Definition and Examples
In linguistics, speech is a system of communication that uses spoken words (or sound symbols).
Definition and Examples of Progymnasmata in Rhetoric
The progymnasmata are preliminary rhetorical exercises that introduce students to basic rhetorical concepts and strategies.
Patriotism, by Alexis de Tocqueville - Classic Essays and Speeches
In this excerpt from
Writing Topics for an Essay Developed With Analogies
Use these 30 writing suggestions to discover an original topic that can be developed with one or more analogies in a paragraph, essay, or speech.
50 Writing Topics on Classification
Many subjects can be explored through classification. These 50 topic suggestions should help you discover a subject that particularly interests you.
A List of the Most Common Irregular Plural Nouns in English
Not all English nouns form their plural by adding
40 Topic Suggestions for a Comparison & Contrast Essay
These 40 topic suggestions for a comparison and contrast essay should serve as starting points to help you discover some fresh ideas on your own.
60 Writing Topics for an Extended Definition
These 60 topic suggestions for an extended definition essay can be developed in various ways and from different points of view.
What Is the Oxford (or Serial) Comma?
The Oxford comma is the comma that precedes the conjunction before the last item in a list of three or more items. But do you really need it?
Definition and Examples of Commas (Punctuation)
The comma is a punctuation mark ( , ) used to indicate a separation of ideas or of elements within a sentence.
Definitions and Examples of Isoglosses in Linguistics
An isogloss is a geographical boundary line marking the area in which a distinctive linguistic feature commonly occurs.
Markedness: Marked and Unmarked Forms in Language
Markedness refers to a relationship between linguistic elements in which one element is more distinctively marked than another unmarked element.
Definition and Examples of Diction in English
Diction is (1) the choice and use of words in speech or writing; (2) a way of speaking.
Definition and Examples of Rhotic and Non-Rhotic Speech
In phonetics, the term rhoticity refers broadly to the sounds of the
10 Titillating Types of Sound Effects in Language
While individual sounds may not possess intrinsic meanings, certain sounds do seem to suggest certain meanings.
Four Centuries of Complaints About the State of the Language
There has existed
Studying Names: Definition and Examples of Onomastics
Onomastics is the study of proper names, in particular the names of people and places.
Definition and Examples of Place Names in English
A place name is a general term for the proper name of a locality: a toponym.
Definition and Examples of Nationality Words
A nationality word is a word that refers to a member or a characteristic of a member of a particular country or ethnic group.
Definition and Examples of Toponyms in English
A toponym is a place name or a word coined in association with the name of a place.
Definition and Examples of Exonyms and Endonyms
Exonyms are the names that a place is referred to by those not native to the region. Endonyms are the names used by the local people.
Name That -nym: A Brief Introduction to Words and Names
See if you recognize more than five or six of these 22 language-related terms that end in
Definition and Examples of Linguistic Americanization
Americanization is the influence of the distinctive lexical and grammatical forms of American English on other varieties of the English language.
Definition and Discussion of Lexical Meaning (Words)
Lexical meaning refers to the meaning of a word (or, more precisely, a lexeme) as it appears in a dictionary.
Definition and Examples of Meaning in Linguistics
In semantics and pragmatics, meaning is the message conveyed by words, sentences, and symbols in a context.
Definition and Examples of Function Words in English
A function word is a word that expresses a grammatical or structural relationship with other words in a sentence.
Definition and Examples of Chicano English
Chicano English refers to a nonstandard variety of the English language influenced by the Spanish language and spoken as a native dialect.
Definition and Examples of Ethnic Dialects
An ethnic dialect is the distinct form of a language spoken by a particular ethnic group.
Definition and Examples of Emoji
Are emoji(s) a useful supplement to our language--or just another silly distraction?
Motto: Definition and Examples in English
A motto is a word, phrase, or sentence that expresses an attitude, ideal, or guiding principle associated with the organization to which it belongs.
Definition and Examples of the New Rhetorics
New rhetoric is a catch-all term for various efforts in the modern era to revive, redefine, and/or broaden the scope of classical rhetoric.
Definition and Discussion of Rhetoric in the 19th Century
Definition and Discussion of Enlightenment Rhetoric
Definition and Discussion of Renaissance Rhetoric
Definitions and Discussions of Medieval Rhetoric
Definition and Discussion of Classical Rhetoric
Classical rhetoric refers to the practice and teaching of rhetoric in ancient Greece and Rome from the fifth century B.C. to the early Middle Ages.
Subjects, Verbs and Objects: The Basic Sentence Unit
Here you'll learn how to identify and use subjects, verbs, and objects--which together form the basic sentence unit.
Descriptivism in Linguistics
Descriptivism is a nonjudgmental approach to language that focuses on how it is actually spoken and written.
Definition and Examples of Prescriptivism
Prescriptivism is the attitude or belief that one variety of a language is superior to others and should be promoted as such.
Reflections on Grammar From 1776 to the Present
This collection of reflections will help you understand what grammar is, what it's not, and why it's well worth studying.
Sentence - Definition and Examples in English Grammar
A sentence is the largest independent unit of grammar: it begins with a capital letter and ends with a period, question mark, or exclamation point.
A Grammatical Mission Impossible: Defining a Sentence
The textbook definition of a sentence is
The 5 Canons of Rhetoric: Definitions and Discussions
In classical rhetoric, the rhetorical canons are the five overlapping offices or divisions of the rhetorical process.
Definition and Examples of Kenneth Burke's Pentad
In rhetoric and composition, pentad refers to the set of five problem-solving probes developed by Kenneth Burke.
The Rhetorical Strategy of Identification
In rhetoric, identification refers to any of the wide variety of means by which an author may establish a shared sense of values with an audience.
Definition and Examples of Situated Ethos in Rhetoric
In classical rhetoric, situated ethos is proof from character that depends on a rhetor's reputation in the community.
5 Model Descriptive Paragraphs
These five paragraphs--three by students, two by professional writers--respond to the guidelines in the project How to Write a Descriptive Paragraph.
Definition and Examples of Plagiarism
Plagiarism is the act of using the work of another and passing it off as one's own.
Classic British Essays: "On Studies" by Samuel Johnson
In an essay that first appeared in 1753, Samuel Johnson explores some of the themes introduced by Francis Bacon in
Francis Bacon's Classic Essay 'Of Studies'
Francis Bacon, the first major English essayist, comments forcefully on the value of reading, writing, and learning.
Commonly Confused Words: Evoke and Invoke
The commonly confused verbs
Evoke and Invoke: Answers to Practice Exercises
Definition and Examples of Interlocutors
An interlocutor (also called a speaker, hearer, or addressee) is a person who takes part in a conversation or dialogue.
Definition and Examples of Ghost Words in English
A ghost word is a word that has never occurred in actual usage but that appears in one or more dictionaries, usually because of an error.
Definition and Examples of Squish in (Fuzzy) Grammar
In language studies, squish is the view that grammatical constructions do not have strict boundaries but occur on a continuum.
Definition and Examples of Quotative Frames in English
In discourse analysis, a quotative frame is an expression that introduces reported speech.
Commonly Confused Words: Meretricious and Meritorious
The commonly confused words
Meretricious and Meritorious - Answers to Practice Exercises
The commonly confused words
Review Quiz on the Top 20 Figures of Speech
This quiz should help you understand and remember the terms and concepts introduced in our article on the Top 20 Figures of Speech.
Answers to Review Quiz on the Top 20 Figures of Speech
On this page you'll find the answers to our Review Quiz on the Top 20 Figures of Speech. Page 2.
Definition and Examples of Verbal Play in English
In sociolinguistics, verbal play is the deliberate manipulation of aspects of language for humorous or playful purposes.
Definition and Examples of Reflected Meaning
In semantics, reflected meaning is a phenomenon whereby a single word or phrase is associated with more than one meaning.
Definition and Examples of Word Play in English
Word play is the manipulation of language (in particular, the sounds and meanings of words) with the intent to amuse.
Word Play: An Introduction to Recreational Linguistics
A significant part of all language use is a form of play, and activities involving word play appeal to students' natural interest in language.
Definition and Examples of Visual Euphemisms
A visual euphemism is a pleasing or inoffensive image used to represent something considered unpleasant, distasteful, or distressingly explicit.
Never Say Die: Euphemisms for Death
Many of the countless synonyms for dying are euphemismsâ€”verbal tranquilizers to help us avoid dealing head on with harsh realities.
Definition and Examples of Paralepsis in Rhetoric
Paralepsis is the rhetorical strategy (and logical fallacy) of emphasizing a point by seeming to pass over it.
Definition and Examples of Skotison in Rhetoric
The term skotison refers to intentionally obscure speech or writing, usually designed to confuse an audience rather than clarify an issue.
Definition and Examples of Gibberish (Language)
Gibberish is unintelligible, nonsensical, or meaningless language. Gibberish may also refer to speech or writing that's needlessly obscure.
Definition and Examples of Emphasis in Composition
In writing and speech, emphasis is the repetition of key words and phrases or the careful arrangement of words to give them special weight and prominence.
200 Common Redundancies in English
When editing our work, we should look out for redundancies so that we can rewrite them more concisely. Here's a list of 200 common redundancies.
Definition and Examples of Diglossia (Sociolinguistics)
In sociolinguistics, diglossia is a situation in which two distinct varieties of a language are spoken within the same speech community.
The Whistle: Benjamin Franklin's Parable on Values
American statesman and scientist Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) explains how an extravagant purchase in his childhood taught him a lesson for life.
Advice on the Choice of a Mistress by Benjamin Franklin
Mark Twain on Words, Grammar, and Composition
Throughout his life, Mark Twain had a great deal to say about the art of writing and the nature of language.
Commonly Confused Words: Right, Rite, Wright, Write
The homophones right, rite, wright, and write have very different meanings and uses. Here you'll find definitions and examples of these four words
Right, Rite, Wright, and Write: Answers to Exercises
These four homophones have different meanings and uses. Here you'll find definitions and examples of the words
Definition and Examples of Dummy Words in English
A dummy word is a word (such as
Definition and Examples of Delayed Subjects in English
In English grammar, a delayed subject is a subject that appears at (or near) the end of a sentence, after the main verb.
Practice in Identifying Subjects
Here are the answers to the practice exercise in identifying subjects in sentences. Page 2.
What Is the Subject of a Sentence?
A subject is one of the two main parts of a sentence. Here we'll use examples to show you some of the different types of subjects.
12 Classic Essays on English Prose Style
Despite the changes in English prose over the past few centuries, we may still benefit from the stylistic observations of the old masters.
Definition and Examples of Essayists
An essayist is a writer of essaysâ€”short works of nonfiction.
How to Proofread Effectively: Top 10 Tips
Listen to what Mark Twain had to say on the subject of proofreading, and then consider our 10 tips for proofreading effectively.
Robert Lynd's Essay on the Pleasures of Ignorance
Robert Lynd draws on examples from nature to demonstrate his thesis that the
10 Quick Tips to Improve Your Writing
Whether we're composing a blog or a business letter, an email or an essay, we should aim to respond clearly and directly to our readers' needs and interests.
Definition and Discussion of Style in Prose
Style is narrowly interpreted as those figures that ornament discourse; broadly, as representing a manifestation of the person speaking or writing.
Definition and Examples of Logos in Rhetoric
In classical rhetoric, logos is the means of persuasion by demonstration of the truth, real or apparent.
Definition and Examples of Circular Reasoning
In informal logic, circular reasoning is an argument that commits the logical fallacy of assuming what it is attempting to prove.
Definition and Examples of Adaptation in Rhetoric
Definition and Examples of Action Verbs in English
Definitions, examples, and explanations of active verbs (or action verbs) in English.
Definition and Examples of Sentence Adverbs in English
A sentence adverb is a word that modifies a sentence as a whole or a clause within a sentence.
Definition and Examples of Compound Words in English
A compound word is made up of two or more words that express a single idea and function as a single word.
Definition and Examples of Compounding Words in English
Compounding is the process of combining two words to create a new word (commonly a noun, verb, or adjective).
Definition and Examples of Adverbs in English
An adverb is the part of speech (or word class) primarily used to modify a verb, adjective, or other adverb.
adverb(ial) phrase - definition and examples in English
An adverb(ial) phrase is a word group with an adverb as its head.
Definition and Examples of Compound Adverbs
A compound adverb is a construction in which one adverb is paired with another adverb and used to modify a verb, an adjective, or another adverb.
Definition and Examples of Nominals in English
In English grammar, the term nominal refers to a noun or noun phraseâ€”or to any word or word group that functions as a noun.
Definition and Examples of Elenchus in Rhetoric
In a dialogue, the elenchus is the so-called Socratic method of questioning someone to test the cogency or credibility of what he or she has said.
Definition and Examples of Speakers in Language Studies
Definitions of a speaker: (1) in linguistics, one who speaks; (2) in rhetoric, an orator; (3) in literary studies, a narrator.
Dialogue - Definition, Examples and Observations
Dialogue is (1) a verbal exchange between two or more people, or (2) a conversation reported in a drama or narrative.
Conversation Analysis - Definition and Examples
In sociolinguistics, conversation analysis is the study of the talk produced in ordinary human interactions.
Definition and Examples of Annotations
An annotation is a note, comment, or concise statement of the key idea(s) in a text or in a portion of a text.
Definition and Examples of 'That' Clauses in English
Definition and Examples of Linguistic Competence
Linguistic competence is the unconscious knowledge of grammar that allows a speaker to use a language.
Definition and Examples of Communicative Competence
Definition and Examples of Pejorative Language
The label pejorative (or derogatory) is sometimes used in dictionaries and glossaries to identify expressions that offend or belittle a subject.
Definition and Examples of Academic Prose Styles
Academese is an informal, pejorative term for the specialized language (or jargon) used in some scholarly writing and speech.
Definition and Examples of Text Messaging
Texting is the process of sending and receiving brief written messages using a cellular (mobile) phone or similar handheld device.
Definition and Examples of Textspeak
Textspeak is an informal term for the abbreviated language used in text messaging.
Definition and Examples of Initialisms
An initialism is an abbreviation that consists of the first letter or letters of words in a phrase.
Definition and Examples of SVO (Subject-Verb-Object)
The initialism SVO represents the basic word order of main clauses and subordinate clauses in present-day English: Subject + Verb + Object.
Definition and Examples of Possessive Determiners
A possessive determiner (or adjective) is a type of function word used in front of a noun to express possession or belonging.
Whatever Happened to the Parts of Speech?
In recent years, the parts of speech in English grammar have been reconsidered, reorganized, and renamed--as syntactic categories and word classes.
Definition and Examples of Audience Analysis
In preparing a speech or composition, audience analysis is the process of determining the values, interests, and attitudes of listeners or readers.
A Petition of the Left Hand, by Benjamin Franklin
In this witty essay, Franklin adopts the persona of the left hand to protest society's unfair treatment of one
A Classic Essay on Style by Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin describes an experiment in stylistic imitation that would have been familiar to students of rhetoric in ancient Greece and Rome.
Definition and Examples of Existential Sentences in English
An existential sentence is a sentence that asserts the existence or nonexistence of something.
How to Express Future Time in English
Although there are several ways of expressing future time in English, many contemporary linguists insist that the English language has no future tense.
Definition and Examples of Heuristics in Composition
In composition, discovery strategies (or heuristics) are techniques for generating and developing ideas.
Definition and Examples of Journalists' Questions
The journalists' questions (5 w's and an h) are the questions answered in the lead of a conventional newspaper article.
Definition and Examples of the Parts of Speech
Part of speech is a traditional term for one of the eight categories into which words are classified according to their functions in sentences.
Blends - Word Formation Definition and Examples
A blend is a word formed by merging the sounds and meanings of two or more other words.
Definition and Examples of Complex Sentences
A complex sentence is a sentence that contains an independent clause and at least one dependent clause.
Communication Process: Definition, Models, and Examples
The communication process is the exchange of information (a
Definition and Examples of Receivers in Communication
In the communication process, the receiver is the individual (or group of individuals) to whom a message is directed.
Definition and Examples of Senders in Communication
In the communication process, the sender is the individual who initiates a message intended for a receiver.
Definition and Examples of Mass Nouns in English
A mass noun (also known as a noncount noun) is a noun that names things that cannot be counted.
Definition and Examples of Didactic Writing
Phony Rules of Writing - Grammar and Usage Myths
There are good reasons why these five so-called rules of writing should sometimes be broken.
Examples of English Idioms
An idiom is an expression that means something other than the literal meanings of its individual words.
Definition and Examples of Red Herrings in Logic
In logic and rhetoric, a red herring is an observation that draws attention away from the central issue in an argument or discussion.
Commonly Confused Words: Nutritional and Nutritious
The commonly confused words
Nutritional and Nutritious: Answers to Practice Exercises
The commonly confused words
Definition and Examples of Referents in English Grammar
A referent is the person, thing, or idea that a word or expression stands for.
Definitions and Discussions of Redundancy in Language
Definitions and discussions of different types of redundancy in language: grammatical redundancy and lexical redundancy.
Definition and Examples of Tautologies in English
In grammar, tautology is the needless repetition of an idea using different words. In logic, it's a statement that's true by virtue of its form alone.
Definition and Examples of Repetition in Writing
In rhetoric, repetition is an instance of using a word, phrase, or clause more than once in a short passage. Here you'll find examples of 14 varieties.
Definition and Examples of Substitution in Grammar
In grammar, substitution is the replacement of a word or phrase with a filler word to avoid repetition.
Definition and Examples of Syllogisms
In logic and rhetoric, a syllogism is a form of deductive reasoning consisting of a major premise, a minor premise, and a conclusion.
Enthymeme - Definition and Examples
An enthymeme is an informally stated syllogism with an implied premise.
The Top 4 Sites for Correcting Common Sentence Errors
The four websites described here focus on the most common errors in English: how to recognize those errors and (more importantly) how to correct them.
Definition and Examples of Verb Phrases in English
In traditional grammar, a verb phrase is word group that includes a verb and its auxiliaries. In generative grammar, a verb phrase is a complete predicate.
Definition and Examples of Grammatical Tense
In grammar, tense is the time of a verb's action or state of being, such as present or past. future.
Compound Verb - Definition and Examples
In English grammar, a compound verb is made up of two or more words that function as a single verb.
Definition and Examples of Aspect in English Grammar
In English grammar, aspect is the verb form that indicates completion, duration, or repetition of an action.
Future Tense - Definition and Examples in English Grammar
In grammar, the future is a verb tense (or form) indicating action that has not yet begun.
The Past Perfect (Pluperfect): Definition and Examples
The past perfect is an aspect of the verb that designates an action that has been completed before another past action.
Compound Tenses in English Grammar
In English grammar, compound tense is a traditional term for a verb construction that uses more than one word to express a meaning related to time.
Progressive Aspect - Definition and Examples
Progressive aspect is a verb phrase made with a form of
The Perfect Aspect of a Verb (Definitions, Examples)
In English grammar, perfect aspect is a verb construction that describes events occurring in the past but linked to a later time, usually the present.
The Traditional Modes of Discourse in Composition
Definition and examples of the four traditional modes of discourse or categories of written texts in composition studies.
Definition and Examples of Classifying Adjectives
A classifying adjective is a type of attributive adjective used to divide people or things into groups, types, or classes.
Definition and Examples of Verbless Clauses in English
A verbless clause is a clause-like construction in which a verb element is implied but not present.
Definition and Discussion of Philology
Philology is the study of changes over time in a particular language or language family.
Definition and Examples of Correlative Conjunctions
A correlative conjunction is a paired conjunction that links balanced words, phrases, and clauses.
Definition and Examples of Clitics in English Grammar
A clitic is a word or part of a word that's structurally dependent on a neighboring word and cannot stand on its own.
Definition and Examples of Hypophora in Rhetoric
Hypophora is a rhetorical term for a strategy in which a speaker or writer raises a question and then immediately answers it.
Definition and Examples of Inversion in English Grammar
In grammar, inversion is a reversal of normal word order, especially the placement of a verb ahead of the subject.
"Wh"-Questions in English (Who, What, When, Where, Why)
In generative grammar, a
Definition and Examples of Collective Nouns
A collective noun is a noun (such as
Definition and Examples of Literary Journalism
Literary journalism is a form of nonfiction that combines factual reporting with certain narrative and stylistic techniques associated with fiction.
Loanword - Borrowed Word - Definition and Examples
A loanword is a word imported into one language from another language.
Definition and Examples of Spelling Reform in English
Spelling reform is any organized effort to simplify the system of English orthography.
Definition and Examples of Elocution in English
Elocution is the art of effective public speaking, with particular attention to the clear, distinct, and socially acceptable pronunciation of words.
Definition and Examples of Language Death
Language death is a linguistic term for the end or extinction of a language.
Definition and Examples of Names in English
Name is an informal term for a word or phrase that designates a person, place, or thing.
Definition and Examples of Proper Names in English
A proper name is a noun or noun phrase that designates a particular person, place, or object.
Definition and Examples of Comma Splices
In traditional grammar, the term comma splice refers to two independent clauses separated by a comma instead of a period or semicolon.
Definition and Discussion of Middle English
Middle English refers to the language spoken in England from about 1100 to 1500.
Definition and Examples of Peer Response in Composition
In composition studies, peer response is a form of collaborative learning in which writers meet to respond to one another's work.
Definition and Discussion of Writing Portfolios
A writing portfolio is a collection of student writing that's intended to demonstrate the writer's development over the course of an academic term.
Definition and Examples of Globish
Globish is a simplified version of Anglo-American English used as a worldwide lingua franca.
Definition and Examples of Coordination in English
In English grammar, coordination is the joining of words, phrases, or clauses of the same type to give them equal emphasis and importance.
Definition and Examples of Phonological Words
In spoken language, a phonological word is a prosodic unit that can be preceded and followed by a pause.
Definition and Examples of Mondegreens
Mondegreens are words that result from the mishearing or misinterpretation of a statement or song lyric.
Definition and Examples of Postmodifiers in English
In English grammar, a postmodifier is a modifier that follows the word or phrase it limits or qualifies.
Phonetics - Definition and Observations
Phonetics is the branch of linguistics that deals with the sounds of speech and their production, combination, description, and symbolic representation.
Definition and Examples of Spoonerisms
A spoonerism is an often comical transposition of sounds (usually the initial consonants) in two or more words.
Definition and Examples of Lexical Verbs in English
A lexical verb is any verb in English that is not an auxiliary verb (or helping verb).
Arbitrariness - Definition and Examples in Linguistics
In linguistics, arbitrariness is the absence of any natural or necessary connection between a word's meaning and its sound or form.
Definition and Examples of Synchronic Linguistics
Synchronic linguistics is the study of a language at one period in time (usually the present).
Definition and Examples of Diachronic Linguistics
Diachronic linguistics is the study of a language through different periods in history.
Combining Sentences With Contractions
This exercise will give you practice in using apostrophes to show the omission of letters in a contraction.
Combining Sentences With Contractions: Answers to Exercises
Various combinations are possible for each set of sentences in the exercise on forming contractions. Here are some sample responses. Page 2.
Definition and Examples of Epitaphs
An epitaph is a short inscription in prose or verse on a tombstone or monument.
Using Metaphors and Similes Effectively - Writing Tips
In addition to creating striking images to make our writing more interesting, similes and metaphors can be used to clarify and convey ideas.