Glossary

General glossary

  • active voice n A type of sentence with a verb in the active form, which is used when the emphasis is on the subject. It stands in opposition to the passive voice.
  • adverbial complement n A part of a sentence which gives information about things like place (as in ‘he lives in London’) and time (for example, ‘he arrived last night’).
  • agent n In the passive voice, the person or thing that does the action of the passive verb. It is introduced by the preposition ‘by’.
  • antecedent n In relative sentences, the noun or pronoun to which the relative pronoun refers.
  • attributive use n Referring to adjectives, they have an attributive use when they go directly before the noun they refer to, as in ‘a big house’.
  • auxiliary verb n A type of verb which is used to form other verb tenses. The auxiliary verbs are: ‘be’, ‘have’ and ‘do’.
  • base form n An invariable form of the verb which has no indication of time or person. It only reflects the meaning, so this is the form which always appears in dictionaries. It is sometimes called ‘infinitive’.
  • cardinal number n A numeral adjective that is used to indicate the quantity of a noun, like ‘one’, ‘two’, etc.
  • clause n A unit of meaning in a sentence, which is typically composed of a subject and a predicate. We can distinguish two types: ‘main clause’ and ‘subordinate clause’.
  • command n A sentence expressing, in a direct way, what you want other people to do. It is expressed with the imperative form of the verb.
  • comparative adj A special form taken by adjectives and adverbs when they are used to compare two things. It is normally formed by adding -er or ‘more… than’ to the adjective or adverb. There are some irregular forms.
  • complex sentence n A sentence composed of a main clause and a subordinate clause.
  • conditional sentence n A type of complex sentence in which the subordinate clause (or ‘conditional clause’) expresses a condition and the main clause expresses the result if the condition becomes true.
  • conjugate v To express the different forms taken by a verb.
  • connector n A word or phrase which is used to link different sentences or paragraphs.
  • countable noun n A type of noun which defines things that can be divided into units and so counted. For example: ‘one book’, ‘two books’, etc.
  • cultural differences n Differences in behaviour, social conventions, etc. found in people from different cultural backgrounds.
  • defining relative clause n A type of relative clause that defines the antecedent.
  • demonstrative n A word that is used to point out a noun in relation to its relative position. The determiners are: ‘this’, ‘that’, ‘these’ and ‘those’.
  • determiner n A small word, like an article, a possessive, a demonstrative, etc., which is placed before a noun to add some meaning to that noun.
  • direct object complement n The part of a sentence that receives the action of a transitive verb. Example: ‘I wrote a book’.
  • false friend n A type of noun which has the same or a very similar form to a noun in another language, but a different meaning. For example, actually is not “actualment” in Catalan, but “realment, de fet”.
  • formal style n A style of writing and speaking that is used in formal situations and is characterized by specific vocabulary and syntactical structures.
  • gerund n An invariable form of the verb which ends in -ing and is used in a number of structures. It is also used to change a verb into a noun expressing the activity of that verb. Also called ‘present participle’.
  • grammar n The set of rules which tell the way in which a sentence must be organized in a language. It is sometimes called ‘syntax’.
  • grammatical adj Referring to the grammar rules of a language.
  • imperative n A form of the verb which is used to give orders.
  • indirect object complement n The part in a sentence which expresses the person or thing affected by the action of the transitive verb. Example: ‘I gave him some money.’
  • infinitive n See base form.
  • informal style n A style of writing and speaking that is used in informal situations (with friends and relatives). It is characterized by specific vocabulary and specific syntactical structures.
  • interrogative adj Referring to a sentence, one that expresses a question. It has a special structure.
  • interrogative pronoun n A pronoun which is mostly used in interrogative sentences to ask about some specific information.
  • lexical verb n A verb that has its own meaning. They stand in opposition to ‘auxiliary’ and ‘modal verbs’.
  • long form n In a verb tense, the form that is not contracted, as in ‘he is not’.
  • main clause n A unit in the grammatical organization of a sentence which has a meaning of its own, that is, it does not need another clause to make sense.
  • modal verb n A type of verb that has no meaning of its own, but depends on another verb. These verbs do not express actions, but such perceptions as possibility, ability, obligation, etc.
  • non-defining relative clause n A type of relative sentence that adds some extra information to a noun, but does not define it. It is always written between commas.
  • non-verbal communication n A type of communication in which the information is not transmitted with words (as in verbal or linguistic communication), but with such features as facial expression, body position, etc.
  • object pronoun n A type of pronoun that has the function of complement in a sentence.
  • ordinal number n A numeral adjective that is used to indicate the order in which a noun appears in a series, like ‘first’, ‘second’, etc.
  • passive voice n A type of sentence, with a verb in the passive form, which is used when the subject is not important or is unknown. It stands in opposition to the active voice.
  • past participle n An invariable form of the verb which has the characteristics of an adjective. It is especially used in the perfect tenses. In regular verbs, it is formed with the ending -ed.
  • phonetics n The science that describes the sounds of a language.
  • possessive pronoun n A type of pronoun that is used to express possession. It agrees in number and gender with the name it refers to.
  • predicative use n Referring to adjectives, they have a predicative use when they go after certain verbs, like ‘to be’, ‘to make’, ‘to find’, as in ‘the house is big’.
  • present participle n See gerund.
  • pronoun n A word that is used to refer to or substitute a noun. Examples are ‘he’ and ‘him.
  • punctuation n A system used in writing to set the pauses in a sentence and establish relationships of different kinds between the elements in the text. It includes the use of stops, commas, brackets, capital letters, etc.
  • quantifier n A type of determiner which indicates the quantity of the noun to which it is attached. Examples of quantifiers are: ‘some’, ‘a lot of’, ‘many’, etc.
  • question tag n A small question added to a statement to ask the listener for confirmation. It is mostly used in oral speech.
  • relative pronoun n A type of pronoun used to introduce a subordinate relative clause. It refers to the antecedent of the relative sentence.
  • relative sentence n A sentence in which the subordinate clause is introduced by a relative pronoun and gives information about a noun.
  • request n A communicative function which is used to ask someone to do something.
  • Saxon genitive n A distinctive way of expressing possession by means of an ‘s added to the possessor, as in 'John’s house’.
  • sentence n a set of words that are organized in accordance with the grammatical rules of a particular language. It consists of a simple clause and sometimes one or more subordinate clauses.
  • short form n In a verb tense, the form that is contracted, as in ‘he isn’t (=he is not)'.
  • simple sentence n A sentence formed only by a main clause.
  • skill n The knowledge required to perform certain tasks. In a language, there are four: reading, writing, listening and speaking.
  • spelling n The set of rules that explain how to write words correctly.
  • statement n A sentence which expresses an idea in speech or writing. It can be affirmative or negative.
  • subject n The unit in a sentence that expresses the person or thing that does the action of the verb. Example: 'My sister is an architect’.
  • subject complement n A part of the sentence that describes the subject. it is only used after verbs like be, seem; for example: ‘they are happy.
  • subordinate clause n A unit in the grammatical organization of a sentence which has not got a meaning of its own, that is, it needs another clause to have a meaning.
  • superlative adj A special form taken by the adjectives and adverbs when they are used to compare more than two things. It is normally formed by adding -est or ‘the most’ to the adjective or adverb. There are some superlative forms.
  • syntactical adj Referring to the syntax (or grammar) of a language.
  • syntax n See grammar.
  • uncountable noun n A type of noun referring to things that cannot be divided into units. For example: ‘water’, ‘paper’, ‘hardware’, etc.
  • verb tense n Each of the forms taken by a verb to express time, person and number.
  • Wh- question n A type of question introduced by an interrogative pronoun and asking about specific information, like ‘who’, ‘when’, ‘where’, etc.
  • Yes/No question n A type of question which asks ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
  • zero article n A term used to refer to the occasions in which no article is used.

Specific glossary

  • body language n See non-verbal communication.
  • caregiver n See carer.
  • carer n A person who helps people who are disabled or chronically ill with their activities of daily living. The task is sometimes unpaid and is carried out by family or friends.
  • cultural competency n The knowledge of the cultural differences which creates people’s abilities to interact appropriately with people from other cultures.
  • cultural difference n The difference in behaviour and values between people belonging to different cultural backgrounds.
  • dependent people n People who require the aid of other people for carrying out their daily tasks.
  • domiciliary care n See home care.
  • healthcarer n A medical professional that provides health care at the patient’s home or in medical institutions.
  • health visitor n In the UK, a nurse who goes to people’s homes to give advice and provide help for looking after children, older people and other people with special needs.
  • home care n Health care or supportive care provided in the patient’s home by healthcare professionals.
  • home health care n Health care provided in the patient’s home. The term is used to distinguish it from the more general term ‘home care’, which also refers to supportive, non-medical care.
  • NGO n See non-governmental organization.
  • non-governmental organization n A legally constituted organization which operates independently of the government. Most of them are devoted to social tasks to help disadvantaged citizens.
  • non-verbal communication n A type of communication which uses non-verbal signs to transmit information. It is also called ‘body language’.
  • PCA n See personal care assistant.
  • personal care assistant n A carer. The difference is that personal care assistants are health care professionals that are always paid for their job.
  • personal space n The specific distance apart between two people when they are talking to each other.
  • social environment n The aggregate of social and cultural forces that shape the life of a person or a community. The term is equivalent to ‘society’.
  • Social Security n The action programs of government intended to promote the welfare of vulnerable people such as children, the elderly, the sick and the unemployed. It is a result of the concept of the welfare state.
  • social welfare n The provision of a minimal level of well-being and social support for all citizens. This is usually done by the government, but also by charities, religious groups, NGOs and others.
  • social work n A professional activity which provides social services and especially with the investigation, treatment, and material aid of the people who are economically, physically, mentally, or socially disadvantaged.
  • social worker n A qualified person that works in the field of social work.
  • special needs n The individual requirements of a person with a disadvantaged background or a mental, emotional, or physical disability or a high risk of developing one.
  • varieties of English n The differences in grammar, vocabulary, spelling and pronunciation that the English language has undergone as a result of its evolution. Some examples are British English, American English and Australian English, among others.
  • verbal communication n A type of communication that uses articulate sounds to transmit information, ideas and feelings. It is commonly referred to as ‘language’.
  • welfare state n A concept of government in which the state plays an important role in the protection and promotion of the economic and social well-being of its citizens.
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