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Glossary of terms used on this site

Term Definition

The thing, person or place referred to by a noun phrase.


The phenomenon through which referring to something using a noun phrase serves to make it into a concrete entity — The decline of Western civilisation; The day-to-day running of parliament.

Relative clause

A clause which gives information about the referent of a noun — The manager, who has been under fire from fans, was sacked yesterday; Customers alighting at Leeds should take their belongings.


The use of language to affect hearers or readers in a particular way, for example to persuade or scare.