Market Drayton Infant & Nursery School

‘An excellent, happy school, where we enjoy learning’

Grammar and Punctuation

An Overview of the Teaching of Grammar from Nursery to Year 2

Tools that we use to help remember the different parts of grammar

Glossary of Grammar and Punctuation Terms


Year 1


Compound Word: contain two or more root words.

Consonant: all other letters that are NOT vowels

Digraph: two letter represent one sound

Grapheme: a letter or combination of letters that represents a phoneme in a word.

Phoneme: the smallest unit of sound in a word.

Plural: more than one, has the suffix s or es

Prefix: A prefix is added at the beginning of a word in order to turn it into another word, e.g. disappear.

Root word: words that can stand alone

Singular: one person or thing

Suffix: A suffix is an ‘ending’, used at the end of one word to turn it into another word, e.g. teacher.

Syllable: A syllable sounds like a beat in a word.  They consist of at least one vowel and possibly one or more consonants

Trigraph:  three letters that represent one sound

Vowels: the letters, a e i o u


Grammar and Punctuation

Adjectives: We introduce this to the children as a word that describes the noun e.g. the beautiful butterfly

Conjunction: A conjunction links two words or phrases together, e.g. when, and, but, because.

Noun: We introduce this to the children as the name of a person, place or thing.  Some nouns are proper nouns so they need a capital letter (e.g. Ivan, Wednesday).

Sentence: A group of words that are grammatically connected to each that makes sense.

Verbs: We introduce this to the children as the doing word.



  • Capital Letter
  • Exclamation Mark – Used to indicate strong feelings or a raised voice in speech.
  • Full stop – Used to end a sentence.
  • Question Mark - Used when a direct question is asked.


Year 2

Continue to develop their understanding and use of Year 1 terminology


Contractions: the shortening of words using an apostrophe e.g. can’t, I’ll

Homophone: Two different words that sound the same but are spelt differently, e.g. hear, here.

Near Homophone: Two words that are spelt the same but have different meanings.


Grammar and Punctuation

Adverb: We introduce this to the children as a word that describes the verb e.g. silently crept

Clause: A clause is a special type of phrase that has a verb. They can be a main or subordinate, e.g. It was raining.

Co-ordination – Linking two words or phrases as an equal pair using the conjunctions and but so or

Noun Phrase: noun phrase usually contains a noun plus other words to describe it e.g  The shabby dog slept.

Preposition: When or where something happens, e.g. to, at, outside

Pronouns: Used instead of the specific names, e.g. he, she

Subordination – when linking a main clause (this could be a sentence on it’s own) with a subordinate clause.

Tenses: In English, tense is the choice between present and past verbs.

Types of sentence:

  • Command: This type of sentence tells you to do something. It ends with a full stop.
  • Exclamation: This type of sentence should not be confused with the use of an exclamation mark to show high emotion. Usually an exclamation sentence beings with What .. or How … e.g. What big eyes you have!  How beautiful your dress is!
  • Question: This type of sentence asks something. It ends with a question mark.
  • Statement: This type of sentence tells you about something, it is stating a fact. It ends with a full stop.



  • Apostrophe:  Used to show the place of missing letters in a contraction (e.g. I’m for I am) and for marking possessives (e.g. Hannah’s mother).Comma: A comma marks a slight break between different parts of a sentence or a list.
  • Inverted commas  –these are no longer referred to as speech marks and are used at the beginning and end of speech.


For more information on these terms see the National Curriculum glossary below.

National Curriculum Glossary