English Grammatical Terms

Letter W

(PG = Prescriptive Grammar  —  DG = Descriptive Grammar)

(GL = Grammatical Lingo  —  OB = Obtuse  —  NG = Not Grammatical)

  • Word  —  [DG]  If you are reading this, then you probably already know what “Words” ARE.  But perhaps you have never read about or heard them being described in this way.  A “Word” is a pictographic combination of “Letters” which is used to represent some other:  “thing”, “idea”, “quality”, “condition”, “action”, etc. — and also has a corresponding sound which is created by the combination of the Letters in the Word.

In The Grammar Of The Common Tongue — the Term “Word” broadly refers to all types of Base Grammatical UnitsAdjectives, Adverbs, Conjunctions, Nouns, Numbers (the Word-Form — not the Symbol-Form), Prepositions, Pronouns, & Verbs.

Every other type of word — no matter how anyone may TRY to argue otherwise — must FIRST be one of the Base Grammatical Units Above…  It is literally not possible for it to be any other way.  (And The Realization Of This Was One Of The Reasons For Creating The Grammar Of The Common Tongue.  Because this truth is not in-any-way reflected in Traditional Grammar.)

  • Word-Classes  —  [DG & OB]  The Term “Word-Class” has been used in Traditional Grammar to mean the same thing as the Term “Parts If Speech”.  And although the Term “Word-Class” is more logical than the Term “Parts If Speech” — It is also not a good Term to use because, just by the literal meaning of the Words, it would have to include all those other classes of Words which are NOT Grammatical Units — but instead are classifications of Words that do not help the learner to better comprehend and be able to actually USE the Language.  Instead that only serve to talk ABOUT it’s Grammar, and ultimately to un-necessarilly con-fuse.


How Does It Con-fuse?  — It causes con-fusion because each of these different Terms are presented as if they are separate “things” that the learner needs to learn.  But this is not so!

All so-called “Idioms” are Phrases, FIRST.  And they Can & MUST be the Phrase-Form of one of the Grammatical Units.  It can not be any other way!  So the Term “Idiom” is NOT referring to a separate thing!

All the things which are referred to as “Quantifiers” — must also be some other thing, FIRSTAdjective, Adjective-Phrase, Phrasal-Adjective, Number, Number-Phrase, Phrasal-Number, etc..  So how does it help to teach “Quantifiers” or “Idioms” as some separate EXTRA thing?  It does not.


By Teaching Them As Separate Things — we then get common questions like:  “What is the difference between Phrasal-Verbs and Idioms?” — The Question itself is flawed.  And that is the fault of the way Traditional Grammar is taught be teachers who do not comprehend what they are teaching.

The Above Question is like asking:  “What is the difference between Tuesday and Next Year?” — There is no answer to either of those Questions.  One would, first, need to completely deconstruct what is WRONG with those questions, and why the person is confused — before reconstructing the necessary “structures” in the mind of the learner so that they are NOT con-fused any-longer.


To Eliminate Such Con-Fusion — In The Grammar Of The Common Tongue — both Terms “Word-Class(es)” & “Parts If Speech” are replaced by the much more logical and perfected term: “Grammatical Unit” — and more specifically:  “Base Grammatical Unit”.

Terms such as “Word-Classes” & “Parts Of Speech” — which are completely un-necessary, or are un-necessarily corrupted — are eliminated from The Grammar Of The Common Tongue — and thus — are what I refer-to to as “Grammatical Dross”.

  • Word-Family  —  [DG]  In Traditional Grammar — the Term “Word-Family” is not a Grammatical Term.  It is a Term of Linguistics — which is a field that probably has come-up-with many wonderful Theories & Discoveries about Language and how to Learn, Comprehend, & Know it.  But unfortunately, has done very little to share those Theories & Discoveries with the rest of the world, outside of academia.


The Term “Word-Family” is used to describe all the Words that can be created from one “Root-Word” — and adding Prefixes, Suffixes, as-well-as Etymologically derived Words in other Languages — known as Cognates.


Although the Term “Word-Family” is not a Grammatical Term in Traditional Grammar — it is used as Grammatical Lingo.  But in The Grammar Of The Common Tongue — is IS a Grammatical Term — because it is one of the main ways used to discover the true Meaning & Usage of Words.


This is because — it has been my Observation — then Theory — and now Direct Experience that:  By Learning, Comprehending & Knowing the Meaning & Usage of all Prefixes & Suffixes — and then learning the Etymology of any Root-Word — of ANY Word that one wants to know the Meaning & Usage of — then One will have a better Knowledge & Comprehension of the TRUE Meaning & Usage of Words & Terms;  Even more-so than the people who write the modern dictionaries.


I mention this because — in-reference-to what I mentioned above about the field of Linguistics — Interestingly — it has been true that many of the discoveries I have come-to on my own — turn-out to be things which highly accredited scholars that no one has ever heard of have also “come-up-with”, at some point in time.  (And I did it without having to pay tens of thousands of dollars for a degree.)  😀  I presume that this is because they are perfectly logical Ideas, Observations, Theories, & Discoveries.  It is only a shame that I have to find-out about them AFTER I have already discovered them…  It matters not.


And I only mention THAT — because apparently some Linguistic Scholar has also come to the same conclusions that I have about using “Word-Families” — specifically about learning the Meaning & Usage of Root-Words along-with the Meaning & Usage of Prefixes & Suffixes — as the BEST way to fully Know & Comprehend the Language that you use.  Unfortunately — that is NOT how Language is taught.  So then, what benefit do Linguists have on society if they  1.  Do not share their Ideas, Observations, Theories, & Discoveries with the world.  And  2.  If nothing is done with those Ideas, Observations, Theories, & Discoveries — even if they ARE shared?


I think the answer is obvious.  But ultimately it does not matter.  Because I AM Sharing…  And I AM Doing.  😉

  • Word-Form  —  [DG]  The Term “Word-Form” is used in-reference-to Numbers when they are written-out by their Names — rather than using the Symbol-Forms:

“One, Two, Three” — rather than — “1, 2, 3”


When Numbers are in their “Word-Form” — they are one of the Base Grammatical Units.

When Numbers are in their “Symbol-Form” — they are one of the Base Grammatical Elements.

The Specific “Word-Order” of a Sentence is one of the MAIN examples of “Prescriptive Grammar”.  Because if the “Regulations” about the “Word-Order” are not followed — then the message will not be comprehensible — or it will be altered.

For Example:  The Word Excellent” has one Stressed Syllable.  The Word Implementation” has two Stressed Syllables.  The Minor Stress is on the first Syllable, and the Major Stress is on the fourth Syllable.

So, “Word-Stress” is the Term which refers to this topic.

However — Word-Transformation Vocabulary is of the two “secondary” types of Vocabulary to learn for The TOEFL Exam.  The only Vocabulary that is NECESSARY to know for The TOEFL Exam is what we call “Functional Vocabulary”.

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