A list of HSC English terms all students should know

Glossary of HSC English Terms

From alliteration to assonance, we have outlined all English terms you should know according to NESA, from Year 7 all the way to Year 12.

You can also adapt some of these key words across other school subjects, so save this list in your favourites and let’s begin:

Adjective: A word class that describes a noun to add extra meaning.

Adverb: A word class that modifies a verb, adjective, or another adverb.

Allegory: A story in prose fiction, poetry, drama, or visual language that has more than one level of meaning. The characters, events, and situations can represent other characters, events and situations.

Alliteration: The recurrence, in close succession, of the same consonant sounds usually at the beginning of words ‘ripe, red raspberry.’

Allusion: A deliberate and implicit reference to a person or event, or a work of art which draws on knowledge and experiences shared by the composer and responder.

Analogy: A comparison demonstrating the similarities between two things, people or situations.

Antonym: A word of word group with a meaning opposite to that of another word of word group.

Apposition: When one noun group immediately follows another with the same reference, they are said to be in apposition.

Appropriation: Taking an object or text from one context and using it in another context.

Auxiliary verb: A verb that gives further semantic or syntactic information about a main or full verb.

Bias: Favouring one side or viewpoint by ignoring or excluding conflicting information in an argument.

Cohesion: That quality in a text determined by its parts being related and contributing to its overall unity.

Collocation: Words that commonly occur in close association with one another.

Colloquial: Informal expression of language, characteristic of speech and often used in informal writing.

Composition: The combination and integration of the various elements of an image into a whole text.

Conjunction: A word that joins other words, phrases or clauses together in logical relationships such as addition, time, cause or comparison.

Connotation: The nuances or shades of meaning attached to words, beyond that of their literal or dictionary meanings.

Context: The range of personal, social, historical, cultural and workplace conditions in which a text is responded to and composed.

Contraction: A shortened form of 1-2 words (one of which is usually a verb).

Dialect: The forms of a given language which differ from one another in details of sound system, vocabulary and grammar, each of which is usually to be found in a particular region or social class.

Discursive texts: Texts whose primary focus is to explore an idea or variety of topics.

Emotive language: Language that creates an emotional response.

Figurative language: Words of phrases used in a way that differs from the expected or everyday usage.

Finite verbs: Ease of flow, for example in talking, reading.

Homonym: A word having the same sound and the same spelling, but a different meaning.

Homophone: A word having the same sound as another but different spelling and meaning.

Idiom: An expression peculiar to any language, that cannot be take literally.

Imagery: The use of figurative language or illustrations to represent objects, actions or ideas.

Imaginative: The ability to use the mind for a wide array of purposes.

Inference: The process of drawing conclusions based on evidence from a text.

Intertextuality: The associations or connections between one text and other texts.

Intonation: The pattern of pitch changed revealed in speech.

Irony: A clash between what the words say and what they mean.

Juxtaposition: The placement of two or more ideas, characters, actions, settings, phrases or words side-by-side for a particular purpose.

RELATED: HSC Glossary of Keywords

Lexical chain: A sequence of related words in writing.

Metaphor: A resemblance between one thing and another is declared by suggesting that one this is another, for example ‘by fingers are ice.’

Metonymy: The use of the name of one thing or attribute of something to represent something larger or related.

Modality: Aspects of language that suggest a particular perspective on events, a speaker or writer’s assessment of possibility, probability, obligation, frequency and conditionality.

Narrative: A story of events or experiences, real or imagined.

Noun: A word used to represent people, places, ideas and things.

Onomatopoeia: The formation of a name or word by imitating the sound associated with the object designated.

Parody: A work intended to ridicule or mock through imitating the ideas, tone, vocabulary and stylistic features of another work.

Personification: Attributing human characteristics to abstractions such as love, objects or animals.

Phoneme: The smallest sound unit in a language that is capable of conveying a distinct meaning.

Poetic devices: Particular patterns and techniques of language used in poems to create particular effects based in the use of sound, the creation of images and other sensory inputs.

Point of view: The particular perspective brought by a composer, responder or character within a piece of text.

Pronoun: A word that is used in place of a noun.

Pun: A figure of speech where there is a play on words. Puns are usually humorous and rely on more that one meaning of a word to emphasise the point.

Recount: A type of text that records events in the sequence in which they occurred.

Reflection: The thought process by which students develop an understanding and appreciation of their own learning.

Related texts: Texts that students have chosen in addition to their prescribed texts.

Satire: The use of one of more of exaggeration, humour, parody, irony, sarcasm or ridicule to expose, denounce and deride folly or vice in human nature and institutions.

Simile: A figure of speech that compares two usually dissimilar things. The comparison starts with ‘like’ or ‘as if.’

Statement: A sentence that provides information.

Stylistic features: The ways aspects of texts, for example words, sentences and images are arranged and how they affect meaning.

Suffix: A word part that is attached to the end of a base word to change the meaning or form.

Synonym: A word or word group with the same or similar meaning as another word or word group.

Synthesise: Combine elements of language or ideas of characters.

Tense: The element that determines when the action or condition of the verb form is located in time.

Theme: Refers to the central or one of the main underlying ideas or messages of a text.

Tone: The voice adopted by a particular speaker to indicate emotion, feeling or attitude to subject matter.

Verb: A verb states what is happening in the sentence.

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