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    English content vocabulary and definitions

    Week One:

    Literature: Compositions that tell stories (fiction), dramatize situations (performance literature), express emotions (poetry) and analyze ideas (nonfiction).

    Grammar: The study of the structure of a language.

    Genre: A distinctive type of literature: ex: fiction, drama, poetry

    Sentence: A group of words that expresses a complete thought.

    Fiction:  Literature works that describe imaginary people and events.

    Fragment: A group of words that expresses an incomplete thought.  Missing either subject, verb, or both.

    Nonfiction:  Writings that convey factual information – real people, real events.

    Subject:  Names the person, place, thing, or idea that the sentence is about.

    Predicate:  Also known as the verb; tells something about the subject.  Either action or linking.


    Week Two:

    Poetry:  Literary works written in verse.

    Pronoun:  Takes the place of a noun in a sentence.

    Drama: Works written for performance on stage, television, movies, or radio.

    Short Story: Work of prose fiction that is shorter than a novel or a novella.

    Adverb: Describes a verb, adjective, or adverb.  Answers questions: “how?” “where?” “when?” and “to what extent?”

    Prose:  Ordinary style of writing.  Example: newspapers, magazines, novels, essays.

    Preposition:  Shows the relationship between a noun or a pronoun and another word in the sentence.


    Week Three:

    Science Fiction:  Futuristic fiction using an aspect of science as a plot essential.

    Conjunction:  Words that connect words or groups of words.  Example: and, or, but

    Mystery: Fiction dealing with a mysterious crime.

    Interjection:   Words that show high emotion – No!  Watch Out!

    Biography:  Someone’s life story written by another.

    Autobiography: A self-written life story.

    Essay:  Short piece of nonfiction that examines a single subject from a limited point of view.

    Diagramming: A plan, a drawing, or outline designed to demonstrate or explain how something works or relates as a whole.


    Week Four:

    Character:  One of the people portrayed in a piece of fiction or performance literature (drama).

    Complement:  Word that completes the meaning of an action verb.

    Theme:  Message of a literary work.

    Direct Object:  A noun or pronoun that receives the verb’s action.

    Setting: Time and place of a story or play.

    Indirect Object:  Answers the question “to whom” or “for whom” to the direct object.

    Point of View:  Who is telling the story?

    Object Complement:  modifies or describes the direct object and comes after the direct object in the sentence.


    Week Five:

    Plot:  What happens in the story.

    Irony:  The difference between what appears to be and what really is.

    Protagonist:  The main character

    Antagonist:  The character who plays opposite the main character.

    Simile:  Comparison of unlike objects using like, as, or resembles.

    Metaphor:  Comparison of two unlike objects by saying one IS the other.

    Personification:  Giving human characteristics to an animal, object, or idea.

    Tone:  The author’s attitude:  objective, playful, sad, serious, formal, comical


    Week Six:

    Mood: Overall feeling or atmosphere created for the reader.

    Foreshadowing:  Hints about what may happen in the future.

    Resolution:  The outcome; how it all ends up.

    Dialogue:  Written conversation between two or more characters.  Single character performs a soliloquy.

    Flashback:  Interrupts the story to relate an event that happened in the past.

    Dialect:  A way of speaking that is unique to a group of people.

    Comic Relief:  Comedy (or character) in a story that is there to ease the tension.  Ex: the nurse in Romeo and Juliet

    Symbolism:  A symbol stands for an idea: EX A road could symbolize life’s journey.


    Week Seven:

    Imagery:  Language that appeals to the senses.

    Inverted:  Reversal of the normal word order of a sentence.

    Rhyme:  Repetition of accented vowel sounds and all sounds following them.  EX: choice and voice

    Antecedent:  The word that a pronoun refers to in a sentence.

    Rhythm:  Musical quality in language produced by repetition.

    Tense: Indicates the time of the action or the state of being expressed by the verb.

    Hyperbole:  Figure of speech that uses exaggeration to express strong emotion or to create a comic effect.

    Passive Voice:  A verb expressing action received by the subject.


Last Modified on January 26, 2009