The smallest unit of word structure.

For example, dog consists of a single morpheme (dog), doghouse consists of two morphemes (dog) and (house), happiness consists of two morphemes (happy) and (-ness), and recrystallized consists of four morphemes (re-), (crystal), (-ize) and (-ed).

A particular morpheme may appear in more than one shape; these variant forms are the morpheme’s allomorphs. For example, the morpheme sane has one allomorph in sane and insane, but a different one in sanity.

Lexical Verb

The term lexical verb refers to any verb which is not an auxiliary.

Examples are: try, run, dance, sing, write, speak etc.

•He must have arrived now.

In the sentence given above, the lexical verb is arrived, while must and have are auxiliaries.

Oblique object

The term oblique object (also object of a preposition) refers to a noun or noun phrase which follows a preposition.

There is a cat on the roof.

What is on at the cinema this week?

I like walking in the rain.


A sequence of one or more words which forms a single grammatical unit.

The old man sat in the corner.

The boy stood on the burning deck. 

He was dead tired.

There are five principal types of phrases in English – noun phrase, verb phrase, adjective phrase, adverb phrase and prepositional phrase.