The Englicious Glossary includes the new National Curriculum glossary terms, which are shown against a white background. However, there's much more to be found here:

  • we have added many entries that we feel are important, but cannot be found in the NC Glossary (e.g. connective), and
  • in many cases we have added information to the often very brief NC entries that need further explanation (e.g. clause and phrase).

Please note that in line with our practice throughout the site, we use capital letters for function terms such as Subject, Direct Object, Indirect Object, Modifier, etc. Although this convention is not followed in the documentation published by the Department for Education we have also done so in the text that forms part of the National Curriculum Glossary.

Tip: Within our units and resources, Glossary items appear highlighted within the text. When you hover over them, or click on them in the Slideshow, a popup is generated.


A broad sociolinguistic classification of texts, referring to the type of the text and indicating the purpose of the text. 'Genre' traditionally refers to types of written text, so we can talk about a recipe being a subtype of an instructional genre, or stories being found within a narrative genre. If it is applied to types of spoken text, the term register is often used instead.


An acronym for grammar, spelling, and punctuation. The 2014 UK National Curriculum formally refers to GPaS, and Englicious opts for this formal appellation. SPaG has become the common colloquial term among many teachers, educationalists, and publishers.

At the end of year 6, students are required to take a GPaS exam. Resources for exam prep can be found on Englicious in the Level menu, under the heading Y6 GPaS Test.


See grapheme-phoneme correspondence.


This refers to the property of adjectives (and some adverbs) to express degrees of application of some notion. For example, the property of being warm can be graded, because we can have warmer and warmest (these are comparative and superlative forms, respectively) and also very warm, where the adjective is preceded by an intensifier.


The study of word and sentence structure. It has two main branches: morphology, concerned with the internal structure of words, and syntax, concerned with how words are combined into sentences.


See ungrammatical.

grammatical function

The function filled by a constituent within the clause, such as Subject or Direct Object.

grammatical word

A word whose main role is to express grammatical relationships or meanings, e.g. of, and and whether. These words contrast with content words like laugh or chair, which have separate, stateable meaning content. Grammatical words are usually closed-class words. Another term for grammatical word is function word.


A letter, or combination of letters, that corresponds to a single phoneme within a word.

  • The grapheme t in the words ten, bet and ate corresponds to the phoneme /t/.
  • The grapheme ph in the word dolphin corresponds to the phoneme /f/.

grapheme-phoneme correspondence

The links between letters, or combinations of letters (graphemes) and the speech sounds (phonemes) that they represent.

In the English writing system, graphemes may correspond to different phonemes in different words.

  • The grapheme s corresponds to the phoneme /s/ in the word see, but…
  • …it corresponds to the phoneme /z/ in the word easy.
Englicious (C) Survey of English Usage, UCL, 2012-15 | Supported by the AHRC and EPSRC. | Cookies