Grammar – Technical terms and exercises

Verb - A word that describes and action or a state of being. E.g.I ran away. I love chocolate.

Try putting the missing verbs into these sentences:
At school we …….. hard every day.
Nurses are there to ……………………patients.
David likes to …………………………… to keep fit.
The band …………….music for the audience.
I ………. my car to work every day.
The dog ………….his bone.

Helping verbs

These helping verbs go next to a main verb to show its tense, mood or voice.
The most common helping verbs are: Be: am, is, are, was, were, being, been
Do: does, do, did Have: has, have, had, having
E.g. She isn’t driving tonight. I have been waiting for the bus for half an hour.


Adverbs are words that information to a verb. They help to explain how, where, when, or why an action is taking place.


When: He ran the marathon yesterday.

Where: She stayed over there.

How: They laughed hysterically

Try putting some adverbs into these sentences:

During the storm the rain fell on the ground and the wind howled through the trees.

The lion paced around his cage.

The baby cried for his mother.

The little girl sobbed because she had lost her favorite toy.

Have you seen that dog running about in the road?

It rained all day on Tuesday last week.


– a word that functions as the name of a specific thing or set of things such as objects, creatures, places, actions, qualities etc.

  • Common noun – a word that defines certain types of people, places, things, and ideas. Common nouns do not have a capital letter.
  • Abstract noun – is an idea, feeling or quality e.g. love, kindness, hate, fear, anger, imagination.
  • Proper noun – names given to specific common nouns – names of people, countries, organisations, books, films etc. They always begin with a capital letter e.g. Bristol Road, Mr Turner, Africa, The Lego Movie.
  • Pronoun – a word used in place of nouns, he, she, they, this, who, what. For example, instead of writing, ‘Molly is an excellent writer’ you’d write ‘She is an excellent writer’.
  • Collective noun – a word used for a group of things (nouns) e.g. A herd of elephants, an army of ants, a flock of sheep.

team, gaggle, clutch, swarm, school, herd, flock, bunch, pack, pride or shoal
a __________ of sheep
a __________ of lions
a __________ of cows
a __________ of bananas
a __________ of birds
a __________ of bees
a __________ of daffodils
a __________ of rugby players
a __________ of elephants
a __________ of cards
a __________ of geese
a __________ of fish
a FLOCK of sheep
a PRIDE of lions
a HERD of cows
a BUNCH of bananas
a FLOCK or CLUTCH of birds
a SWARM of bees
a BUNCH of daffodils
a PACK of rugby players
a HERD of elephants
a PACK of cards
a GAGGLE of geese
a SHOAL or SCHOOL of fish


– A word that describes a noun e.g. Funny, fat, purple, large, clever.

It’s important to use interesting adjectives in your work. How many interesting adjectives can you think of or describe each of the following?

An old tree

A unicorn

A newborn baby

A hot summer’s day

A clown

Technical terms


– connects words and parts of sentences (clauses) e.g. And, so, although, because, if, since, unless.


– a word used with a noun or pronoun to show the relationship of one thing to another e.g. At, with, over, about, after. The cow jumped over the moon.


– A metaphor is a word or phrase that is used to make a comparison between two people, things, animals, or places e.g. The snow was a white blanket.

Can you think of some more? Try writing a short poem using metaphors.


– A simile compares two things by using the words ‘like’ or ‘as’ something else e.g. As white as a ghost/Eats like a bird.


– a word which imitates something’s natural sound in order to make the description more expressive and interesting. E.g. She awoke to the pitter patter of raindrops on her window.

Can you think of some more examples of onomatopoeia?


– When words with the same first consonant sound are placed close together in a series e.g. The wild winds whistled through the windows.
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