University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations
Teaching Knowledge Test
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TKT GLOSSARY OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING (ELT) TERMINOLOGY The words in this glossary are entered into categories to help the reader. Some entries fall into more than one category. However, to economise on space they have only been entered once. Candidates preparing for specific modules should, therefore, ensure that they are familiar with all the terms in the glossary. The list is indicative only. Other terms may also appear in TKT.
MODULE 1 Concepts and terminology for describing language
Please note that you should refer to a grammar reference book for more detailed information about the grammar items in this Glossary, and also that the list of grammar items in this section is not exhaustive. Active voice In an active sentence, the subject of the verb usually does or causes the action, e.g. The car hit the tree. See passive voice. Adjective An adjective describes or gives more information about a noun or pronoun, e.g. a cold day. See comparative adjective, demonstrative adjective, -ing/-ed adjective, possessive adjective, superlative adjective. Adverb An adverb describes or gives more information about how, when, where, or to what degree etc something is done, e.g. he worked quickly and well. Apostrophe A punctuation mark (’). The ’ is added to a singular noun before an s to show that something belongs to someone, e.g. John’s house. Article An article can be definite (the), indefinite (a/an) or zero (-), e.g. I was at (-) home in the sitting room when I heard a noise. Aspect A way of looking at verb forms not purely in relation to time. Aspect relates to the type of event, e.g. whether it is long or short, whether it is complete or not, whether it is repetitive or not, whether it is connected to the time of speaking or not. There are two aspects in English, the continuous/progressive and the perfect. The continuous aspect, for example, suggests that something is happening temporarily. ‘At’ symbol A punctuation mark (@) used instead of ‘at’ in email addresses, e.g. email@example.com Auxiliary verb An auxiliary verb is a verb used with other verbs to make questions, negatives, tenses, etc e.g. be, do, have. Base form of a verb The base form of a verb is the infinitive form of a verb without ‘to’, e.g. go. Capital letter A letter of the form and size used at the beginning of a sentence or a name, e.g. They went to Spain last year.
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Clause A clause generally consists of a subject and a finite verb relating to the subject and any other elements, e.g. object. A clause can be a full sentence or a part of a sentence. Main clause When the teacher arrived, the learners stopped talking. Subordinate clause When the teacher arrived, the learners stopped talking. Relative clause The learners who were sitting near the front stood up. Collective noun A collective noun is a noun that refers to a group of people or things, e.g. the police, the government. Comma A punctuation mark (,) used to separate items in a list or to show where there is a pause in a sentence, e.g. I bought some apples, oranges, bananas and lemons. When I went to the market, I met my friend. Comparative adjective A comparative adjective compares two things, e.g. He is taller than she is. Complex sentence A sentence containing a main clause and one or more subordinate clauses. Compound noun A compound noun is a combination of two or more words, which are used as a single word, e.g. a flower shop, a headache. Conditional (forms) A verb form that refers to a possible or imagined situation. Grammar books often mention four kinds of conditionals: First conditional – refers to present or future possible or likely situations, e.g. I will come if I can....
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