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Adapted from:


Explicitly teaching the grammar of the particular text type within the Expository genre assists students in improving their
learning about how language works. In best practice in the teaching of English, the teacher and the student develop a
language to talk about language. In classroom interactions the teacher models the grammar to meet student learning

Whole texts are comprised of clauses that are linked using a range of increasingly complex sentence structures and cohesive devices that suit
the purpose and text type including:
grammatical patterns and features e.g. theme position and sentence structures
repeated or related sentence patterns, phrases or words across several clauses
conjunctions to join clauses
patterns of and particular choice of words.
A clause is the basic unit of meaning in Standard Australian English.
A clause:
conveys a message
usually contains a verb or verb group
usually provides information about:
o What is happening
o Who is taking part
o The circumstances surrounding the activity (when, where, how).
Repeated words
Texts are held together by repeating words particularly nouns and verbs.
Related words
Texts are held together by the related words or word groups within a text.
Texts are held together by pronouns that refer back to nouns, noun groups or clauses e.g. The barn smelled of hay. It smelled of rope.
Conjunctions are used to join clauses:
conjunctions that add ideas and information including and, as well, also, or
conjunctions that compare or contrast ideas and information including but, also, like, yet
conjunctions that indicate time or sequence time within a text including then, when, after, before, while, until, since, later, whenever
conjunctions that show the cause of an idea, action or information including because, so, so that, as long as, ifthen, in case

Types of sentences: There are four basic types of sentences.
The type of sentence used is often determined by the text type. An author can choose a particular type of sentence. The type of sentence
used can indicate the mood of the text.
Simple sentence:
A simple sentence contains a single clause. The clause is an independent clause because it can stand alone and make sense by itself e.g.
Lester poked Clyde with a stick.
Did Clyde get mad?
Get out of here!
Compound sentence:
A compound sentence contains two or more independent clauses. Each clause in the compound sentence can stand alone and make sense by
itself. The clauses may be linked together by conjunctions such as and, but and or e.g.
Clyde turned away and he would not speak.
Lester could hide in the pond or he could find a new home.
He set out at dusk but he really wanted to stay.
Complex sentence:
A complex sentence contains two or more clauses. One clause carries the main message (independent clause) and the other clause/s
(dependent clause/s) elaborate the message in some way. The dependent clause/s rely on the meaning in the independent clause and cannot
stand alone.
Functional grammar works with chunks of meaning called clauses and clause complexes rather than sentences.
A CLAUSE is the largest grammatical unit.
A CLAUSE-COMPLEX is two or more clauses logically connected.
A SENTENCE is a unit that can be made up of one or more clauses.

Word groups are the smaller groups of words that have a particular
function in a clause:
participant, process, attribute and circumstance
noun group, verb group and prepositional phrase.
Noun groups
Noun Groups:
provide information about people, places, things and ideas
that are involved in a clause
are built on or formed around a noun
contain a head noun and attributes to add meaning or
description about the head noun
describe the participants in a clause.
A noun group:
can be a single noun e.g. Mary had a little lamb.
can include an article, pointing word, or possessive
(determiner) e.g. The boy was lazy. This little piggy went to
market. The kings men couldnt put Humpty together again.
can include one or more adjectives e.g. Mary had a little
lamb. Ten fat sausages were sizzling in a pan.
can include one or more prepositional phrases that describe
the noun e.g. The girl with the ragged clothes was Cinderella.
can include one or more adjectival clauses that describe the
noun e.g. There was an old lady who swallowed a fly. This is
the house that Jack built.
Adjectival clauses often begin with who, whom, whose, which, that
and where, which refers to the preceding noun group.
Sometimes the wh or linking word (relative pronoun) is left out e.g.
This is the house Jack built.
are the people, places, things or ideas in a clause
can be nouns, noun groups, pronouns.
are used to describe participants
can be adjectives, adjectival phrases and adjectival clauses.
Verbs and verb groups
are doing or action, being, saying, or thinking parts of a
can be verbs or verb groups (including adverbs, modal
adverbs and auxiliary verbs or modals).
Examples of Processes
The girl will never run away.
The girl is unlikely to run away.
The girl might possibly run away.
The girl may run away.
The girl could possibly run away.
The girl will probably run away.
The girl will run away.
The girl should definitely run away.
The girl always has to run away.
are things that surround the event in a clause (how, when,
where and why)
can be adverbs, adverbial phrases and adverbial clauses.

Word Classes describe or name the word in a word group:
Open word Classes: noun, verb, adjective, adverb
Closed Word Classes: pronoun, preposition, conjunction and article or
Nouns are words that:
name people, places, things and ideas
carry information about singular or plural nature of the
Pronouns are words that:
stand in the place of a noun or noun group
Adjectives are words that:
add meaning or description to a noun
can carry information about possessive.
Adjectival phrase is a group of words that:
begin with a preposition that adds meaning or description to a
Adjectival clause is a group of words that:
begin with a relative pronoun, who, whom, whose, which, that
and where, that adds meaning or description to a noun.
Determiners are individual or a group of words that:
are dependent on the noun they come before
determine which or whose related to the noun
may be an article, pointing word or possessive (this level of
detailed terminology is not essential for students, but is included
for teachers to develop understanding)
- an article (which one): a, the, an
- a pointing word (which one/s) this, these, those, that
- possessive (who owns it): Marys, my, his, their, your
Verbs are words that:
are doing, being, having, saying or thinking words
may stand alone (finite verbs) e.g. I dance.
may need other words to be complete e.g. I want to dance.
must agree in number with the head noun that is the subject of a
clause. Singular noun has a singular verb and a plural subject has a
plural verb.
- The boy is here.
- The boys are here.
- The horse with two red stirrups was running. The horses
with two red stirrups were running.
must agree with the head noun in person: first, second or third
person noun with the appropriate verb
- I like ice-cream. (first person)
- He likes ice-cream. (third person)
carry tense information
- past tense e.g. Dinosaurs lived a long time ago.
- present tense e.g. Dinosaur models are at Queensland
- future tense e.g. More displays will be coming to the
- timeless present tense e.g. Dinosaurs are members of the
reptile family.
Grammar: Whole of Text level
Grammar: Sentence and Clause level
Grammar: Word Group and Word Class level