see also

English (includes a Thesaurus)


deals with the structure and use of words, and of how these words relate to, or are connected to other words in a sentence, and with how that relationship can change, depending on whereabouts in the sentence the words are used, and with how individual words can be changed and modified.
Syntax  deals with the structure of sentences, and of how words in a sentence can be  arranged to provide a clear meaning, and with the correct way of using words in a sentence.

Though Grammar differs from Syntax, both are so intertwined that little reference is made to their different structure and use; often one depends on the other.

A Sentence is a group, or unit, of words, so connected that they make complete sense. and say something about someone or something else.

In order to tell something about someone or something else, a Sentence must have both a Subject and a Predicate.

Example of a sentence:  Jason rides his bicycle to school.
The Subject
The Subject of a sentence is that part of the sentence that tells WHO or WHAT we are talking about, that is, what the sentence is about.  In the sentence above, we are talking about Jason; so the subject is Jason.
The Predicate


The Predicate of a sentence is that part of the sentence that tells WHAT the subject does, or did, or said, etc,  In the sentence above, the predicate is  rides his bicycle to school.

Jason  is the subject of the sentence.

Whom were we talking about?  We were talking about Jason.


            What were we saying about Jason?

We were saying that Jason rides his bicycle to school.

So, rides his bicycle to school is the predicate of the sentence.

A Verb (action word)
In order to say something meaningful about the subject, the predicate must have a doing,  or saying , or telling, word.  Such a word is also called an action  word.  The proper grammatical term to use is VERB.
In the sentence, Jason rides his bicycle to school,  the verb, or action word, is rides.  What does Jason do?  He rides  (his bicycle to school,)  {Jason does not carry his bicycle, or push it, or drag it.  What he does is ride it.}
A Noun is the name of any person, place or thing.
The Subject must be some-one or some-thing, so it must have a name.  Every person or thing must have a name.  That name is called a NOUN.  The name, Jason, is a noun.
In the sentence, Jason rides his bicycle to school, there are three nouns:   Jason, bicycle and school.

Sometimes a sentence reads more easily if a thing or person is not referred to by its name but by a substitute word.

Instead of the sentence above about Jason we could have written:


            Jason is riding Jason’s bicycle to school.



This would still be an accurate, and a grammatically correct, statement, but its syntax would be poor.  It is much better to provide a substitute word for the second Jason, and so we do:

Jason is riding his bicycle to school.

The substitute word, his, is called a PRONOUN.


Verbs, Nouns and Pronouns are all PARTS OF SPEECH.  Other Parts of Speech are


An Adjective is a word that tells more about, or qualifies, a Noun.

Examples are:  blue flowers, happy child, three months, full moon, first prize.


An Adverb is a word that tells more about, or qualifies, a Verb.


            Jason slowly rides his bicycle to school.

A Preposition is a word that shows the relationship, or connection, between Nouns.




The kitten is in the box.

The kitten is beside the box.

The kitten is under the box.

A Conjunction is a word that joins other words, or phrases or clauses or sentences, together.




We need to buy some apples and oranges.

The girl in the blue dress and carrying a bunch of flowers is my cousin.Let us go to the beach and have a swim, but we must return early.

Alphabetical Order
Alphabetical Order refers to the arrangement of words in the order in which the initial letter appears in the alphabet.  Words in a dictionary, and names in a telephone directory, appear in alphabetical order.


Examples:  apple, bun, cat, dog, egg, flower, goat..

If several words begin with the same letter, then the second letter determines the order, and if these are the same, then the third letter, and so on.


            Ape, apple, apply, aptitude, optical, optician.

Word Order
Word Order refers to the logical order of words in a sentence in order that the sentence be intelligible:


Door the lock make you sure.  Incorrect. 


  Make sure you lock the door.  Correct.
A Paragraph is a group of sentences that discusses the same thing.



To become a good dog doctor, it is necessary to love, and to understand, dogs.  Never forget that the mentality of one dog is totally different from that of another.  The sharp wit that sparkles in the quick eye of a fox terrier, for instance, reflects a mental activity totally different from the serene wisdom that shines in the eye of a St Bernard.


Three sentences, but all discussing the one thing.

Topic Sentence
The Topic Sentence refers to the chief sentence in a paragraph, usually, but not necessarily, the first sentence.  The topic sentence is the sentence that tells what the paragraph is discussing.  In the paragraph above, the topic sentence is:



To become a good dog doctor, it is necessary to love, and to understand, dogs.



The remaining sentences in the paragraph support the topic sentence.

A Phrase is a group of words without a verb, but which adds meaning to the other words in the sentence.



            The boy in the brown shirt was sitting under a tree.

The main  part of the sentence is:  The boy is sitting.

            Which boy?  The boy in the brown shirt.

Where was the boy sitting?  He was sitting under a tree.  So in the brown shirt and under the tree

            are both phrases.

A Clause is a group, or unit, of words that forms part of a sentence and that includes both a subject and a predicate and adds to the meaning of other words in the sentence.



The boy, who had been riding his bicycle too fast, failed to take the corner and landed in the ditch.



There are three clauses in this sentence:


            The boy failed to take the corner.

            who had been riding his bicycle too fast,

            (The boy) landed in the ditch.

A Participle is a word that has the functions of both a verb and an adjective.  It is a verbal adjective.



The burning candle was placed too close to the curtains and set both them and the house on fire.



Burning is a participle.  It describes an action, burning, so is part verb, but at the same times describes the candle, so is part adjective.


Participles can also form part of a verb.

            The boy is running.

            The girl is swimming.

            The tree has fallen across the road.

Running, swimming and fallen are all participles.

A Gerund is a verbal noun, functioning as both verb and noun.


            Jenny loves swimming.  

Swimming is a gerund.
Synonyms are words that are similar in meaning.




Antonyms are words that are opposite in meaning

small/large    quick/slow    high/low


Homonyms are words which have the same pronunciation (sound the same) but which are different in spelling and meaning.


one/won   to/too/two   be/bee   blue/blew

A Prefix consistsof one or more letters placed at the beginning of a word to create a derivative word:



       fix/prefix   logical/illogical   happy/unhappy.


     ‘pre-’  ‘il-’   and ‘un-‘  are all prefixes.






A Simile  is a phrase that describes one thing in terms of another.  A simile usually begins with like or as.

The greyhound moved as gracefully as a swallow in flight.

            ‘as gracefully as a swallow in flight’ is a simile.

   The air was so still, the lake was like glass.

‘like glass’ is a simile, comparing the surface of the lake to glass.

A Metaphor compares one thing with another by applying a noun or phrase to an object or activity to which it would not normally apply.



            The wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees,

            The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,

The road was a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,

And the highwayman came riding –

Riding – riding –

The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn door.

   From  The Highwayman

  By  Alfred Noyes

Are you able to pick up the three metaphors in the above verse?
Personification refers to the use of the pronouns he or she, or of another word, to give personality to something which is not a person.


Just look at that ship; she rides the water so



The heart of the matter; the mouth of the river.


The Sun came up upon the left,

Out of the sea came he!

And he shone bright, and on the right

Went down into the sea.

Alliteration refers to the repetition of the same letter or syllable at the beginning of two or more words, close together in a sentence:



            Ruin seize thee, ruthless king!

            A load of learning lumbering in his head.

            Wilful waste makes woeful want.


            The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew,

            The furrow followed free.

            We were the first that ever burst

            Into that silent sea.  

Onomatopoæia refers to words in which the sense is represented by the sound.  Or, as the poet, Alexander Pope, said, ‘The sound is made an echo of the sense.’



We can think of the quacking of ducks, the purring of cats, the barking of dogs, the baaing of lambs.



And this, from a poem about an office worker on a hot day, seeing an ice cart go by, imagining himself in the cool Arctic regions, buried


            Beneath a gentle drift of snow,

            Snow drifting gently, fine and white

            Out of the endless Polar night,

            Falling and falling evermore

            Upon that far untravelled shore,

            Till I was buried fathoms deep

            Beneath that cold white drifting sleep,

Sleep drifting deep,

Deep drifting sleep….


The carter clutched a sudden whip:

I clutched my stool with startled grip,

Awakening to the grimy heat

Of that intolerable street.




Explanation for Student Compendium
File Includes
A shortened form of a word or phrase.
ANU - Australian National University
An acronym is a pronounceable word formed from the first letter (or first few letters) of each word in a phrase or title. Sometimes, the newly combined letters create a new word that becomes a part of everyday language. An example of this is the acronym radar. Also includes Mnemonics
a word naming an attribute of a noun, such as sweet, red, or technical. Adjectives are words that describe or modify other words * Priest = Sacerdotal

Types of animals, Sounds the make, Where do they live, Collective names of animals

Apes - gibber, Camel live in Australia, Sahara & Arabia, names = Bull - is called a heifer

a word opposite in meaning to another (e.g. bad - good ).

Opposites = Absent - present

Big_Words for small
Small word with big word alternative
Anger - Dudgeon * bold - Audacious

A feature or quality belonging typically to a person, place, or thing and serving to identify them

A partner in crime - accomplice

Words pertaining to the church

A passage between the pews in a church - Aisle

Similar sounding words with different meanings also Homonyms

Council, an administrative or advisory body, do not confuse with counsel, advice or guidance.

All about communication see also A History of Communication
All computer terms (ASCII, Binary, Unicode)

Names given to certain towns or countries includes facts about climate

Aberdeen - The Granite City The Torrid Zone has the hottest climate Zinc - Mexico, U.S.A., Spain

Words pertaining to death

Occurring after death - posthumous

A diminutive person is short and small. A diminutive wordis a "cute" version of a word or name: for example, "duckling" is a diminutive of "duck" and Billy is a diminutive form of the name William

Cask - casket   

Famous world discoveries of countries continents, includes Australian discoverers

Matthew Flinders -discovered Bass Strait. * Lord Robert Baden-Powell founded the Boy Scouts in 1908

Explanation of a word, words in literal expressions denote what they mean according to common or dictionary usage

Aloof -To keep to oneself and not mix with others.

Gender list of male female

Actor - Actress

Countries of the world and Geographical facts

The Circumference of the earth is approxinmately 24,800 miles.

List of gods and goddesses

War - Mars

Australian and UK government with words denoting government

Australian Government

Explains grammar syntax and verbs adjectives nouns etc.

Explains various uses of nouns verbs etc.

The art of living together includes senses, elements, cardinal numbers, cardinal virtues

THE ART OF LIVING - Consideration for the feelings of others

Alphabetical list of the most important inventions

Clock (pendulum) - Christian Huygens

List of kings and queens of Britain with facts and information

EGBERT 827 - 839

Practical list of  words explained in a sentence or phrase

A book in which the events of each day are recorded - Diary

Words pertaining to marriage included anniversary gifts

A hater of marriage - misogamist

Medical terms in use today

A disease confined to a particular district or place - endemic

Metaphor is a figure of speech that makes an implicit, implied, or hidden comparison between two things that are unrelated

Sounds that things make, description of various venues or habitats, special calendar dates, Aussie slang words, Mnemonics

All Fools' Day - 1st April - Aussie slang - sounds that things make etc.

Names of persons or things, occupations, and a description of word meanings i.e. Terrestrial = Earth

Various names explained Bird of night - Owl

Words connected to nature

A four-footed animal - quadruped

a word or statement that expresses denial, disagreement, or refusal

That which cannot be pierced or penetrated - impenetrable

Explanation of nouns, COMMON Nouns, PROPER Nouns, COLLECTIVE  Nouns and ABSTRACT Nouns.

sit - seat (when to use Nouns)

Numbers of animals things i.e. A number of Cattle = herd

A number of fish taken in a net - catch, haul

a person or thing that is totally different from or the reverse of someone or something else.

Unable to read - il-literate

Special days, Aussies slang and any other items not covered in this list

Any other items that might be of interest

List of Patron Saints

St. George of England, St. Andrew of Scotland

Noctiphobia - Fear of the night

A list of places A place where bees are kept = apiary

A place where fishes are kept - aquarium

The case which is used to show possession is called the possessive case or genitive case. In case of nouns, an apostrophe is used to show it.

Is the case which denotes the owner or possessor

All Prefixes

List of various professions

The commander of a fleet - Admiral

Famous proverbs A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush

A bad beginning makes a good ending.

Serious Quotes and some Witty funny one liners

Someone has glued my pack of cards together...I cannot deal with it!

Famous sayings

as a drowned rat. - as ancient as the sun—as the stars.

List of words used in Science or Art

An instrument for detecting earthquakes - seismograph

Explanation of scientific items like barometer

The science of land management - agronomics

The seven wonders of the ancient world with explanations

The Pyramids of Egypt

Words to use as a Simile which is a phrase that describes one thing in terms of another.  A simile usually begins with like or as.

Archates - a good friend * Belt = to hit below the belt

List of words or phrases that has the same or nearly the same meaning as another 

abandon....... desert, forsake, leave.

Understanding words, Incorrect Use of Words,

Thesaurus of Words
Thesaurus - abandon = abandoned, abandoning, abandonment, abandons affluent =having an abundant supply of money or possessions of value,words explained and incorrect use of words

The floor was dirt.  Only the wealthy had something other than dirt, hence the saying "dirt poor." 

Words used in war

Nations carrying on warfare - belligerents

Anniversary dates and wedding information

Words shown in noun or verb

strong - strengthen

Signs of the Zodiac

Please note there are some excellent links to assist with these pages

see at the end for the links for further information. 

Abbreviations divider Acronyms divider Animals divider Antonymns divider Big Words for Small Words divider Characteristics divider Church divider Countries Cities

divider Communication divider Death divider Diminutives divider Famous divider Figurative Expressions divider Gender divider Geographical divider Gods and Goddesses divider Government divider Grammar and Syntaxdivider  Human Relationships divider Inventions divider Kings and Queens divider Literary Sentences divider Marriage divider Medicaldivider Metaphors divider Miscellaneous divider Nouns divider Names divider Nature divider Negatives divider Numbers divider Opposites divider Patron Saints divider Places divider Possessive Case divider Phobiasdivider Professions divider Proverbs divider Prefixes divider Science & Arts divider Scientific Termsdivider Seven Wonders divider Similies divider Synonyms divider War Words divider Wedding divider Words to Verbs divider Other divider Home



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