Homeschooling: Key English grammar terms explained including adverbs

A father helps his son study on the laptop

Millions of parents will be helping their children with studies (Picture: Getty)

Millions of parents will get first-hand experience in teaching over these next few weeks with schools across the UK closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

A-levels, GCSEs and BTEC exams have already been cancelled this year with teachers set to determine their grades.

While students at secondary schools will be logging online to work remotely with their teachers, younger pupils will likely need some much-needed help from their parents.

As a result, there’s been a big rise in Google searches relating to homeschooling.

Luckily, is here to help with understanding those key language terms you’ve most likely forgotten but now need to help your child with.

There’s also plenty of free teaching resources you can access from home here.

Verbs and nouns are often confused so we’ll start with them.

Pile of exercise books

The revision books will need to come out over the next few weeks (Picture: Getty)

What is a verb?

A verb is a word used to describe an action, state or occurrence.

Example: He was playing golf.

What is a noun?

A common noun is a part of speech that names a person, place, thing, idea, action or quality that is not specific.

Examples: Woman, table.

Proper nouns name specific people or places.

Examples: Barcelona, John.

Abstract nouns are nouns you can’t perceive with your senses.

Examples: Love, religion.

Concrete nouns are nouns that you can perceive with your senses.

Examples: Apple, house, dog.

English language is a lot more complicated than building blocks (Picture: Getty)

That’s the basics out the way, now onto the rest.

What is an adjective?

Adjectives describe nouns to tell you more about something.

They can be used before a noun, to make the meaning more specific (i.e. to modify the noun), or after the verb be, as its complement.

Adjectives are sometimes called ‘describing words’.

Example: The pupils did some really good work

What is an adverb?

An adverb is simply a word that describes a verb (an action or a doing word).

Example: He ate his breakfast quickly.

What is an antonym?

Two words are antonyms if their meanings are opposites.

Example: Hot and cold.

Homework could get a whole lot harder… for adults (Picture: Getty)

What is a clause?

A clause is a special type of phrase whose head is a verb. Clauses can sometimes be complete sentences. Clauses may be main or subordinate.

A clause is one or more phrases linked to a verb that work very tightly together.

Example: The angry dog barks.

What is a compound?

A compound word contains at least two root words in its morphology;

Examples: Superman, daydream.

What is a conjunction?

A word used to connect clauses or sentences or to coordinate words in the same clause.

Examples: And, but, if.

Schools have been forced to close due to the coronavirus pandemic (Picture: Getty)

What is ellipsis?

Ellipsis is the omission of a word or phrase which is expected and predictable. It is usually presented as three dots…

Example: She did it because she wanted to…

What is a homophone?

Two different words are homophones if they sound exactly the same when pronounced.

Example: Son and sun.

What is personification?

Giving objects human qualities or feelings.

Example: The wind howled in the night.

What is plural?

A plural noun normally has a suffix –s or –es and means ‘more than one’.

Example: Cats.

What is a pronoun?

Pronouns are normally used like nouns, except that they are grammatically more specialised and it is harder to modify them.

Example: She went to the beach.

What is a syllable?

A syllable sounds like a beat in a word. Syllables consist of at least one vowel, and possibly one or more consonants.

Example: Dog has one syllable. Football has two syllables.

What is a synonym?

Two words are synonyms if they have the same meaning, or similar meanings.

Example: Talk and speak.

For more help advice on terms check out the national curriculum glossary.

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