This post will provide you a complete guide on how to answer all questions related to lexis and structure in the English language.
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English language examinations in Nigeria can be quite challenging for students who find it difficult to practically understand the basic techniques required to answer lexical structures in which questions are presented in English language examinations.
This is because lexis and structure is a trending topic that is usually used to test the competence of students in the English language in Nigeria.
From experience, I’ve come to realize that difficulties in answering English examination questions, particularly the lexis and structure section can be easily overcome using some 5 easy steps.
What Is Lexis and Structure?
In other to adequately do the befitting justice to this section of the English examination question, it is necessary to understand what these words (Lexis and Structure) represent respectively. Hence the reason we have chosen to explain them separately.
Lexis in its simplest form can be defined as the set of all phrases and words used in a sentence or in any language. While structure, in relation to this, refers to the pattern, forms, and order in which these phrases, clauses, or single words are made to appear in a sentence.
To simply put it, lexis and structure are the orderly arrangements or the orderly fixation of the right words in a sentence in a bid to complete either the meaning or for the advancement of the structure of the sentence.
The relationship between these two terms is inseparable as they evidently work hand-in-hand in the completion of the structure of a sentence.
To avoid failure in English examinations, it is important for students to master our 5 techniques on how to solve lexis and structure-related questions in the English language.
But before then, let’s quickly talk about some important aspects of lexis.
Related: The 6 Processes of Listening
Ways to Understand Lexis and Structure in the English Language
In the English language, there are different aspects to aid the understanding of lexical words. But let’s quickly take a look at the most basic 8 aspects. These are listed below as follows
- Mastering of Spellings
This is defined as the degree and effectiveness of clear purpose expressed in a sentence. In other words, diction is the act of carefully selecting an effective writing style or voice to disseminate a message to the reader or listener.
There are two forms of diction, these include the formal and informal forms. Examples are given below
Example of Formal Diction- Hello, Mister Charles, I am extremely pleased to finally have a chance to meet you in person sir. How are you feeling today?
Example of an informal Diction: Hi Buddy! What’s up with you today?
It is important to understand the tone or diction involved in a sentence, this is one of the ways to help you identify what type of word you are expected to insert in a lexical structure to make it make sense and relatable.
Homophones are words that are pronounced the same way but have a contrasting and extremely different meanings, their spellings are often different as well. To simply put it, homophones are words that are pronounced the same way as other words that are constituted by a different group of letters.
Examples of words spelled differently but pronounced the same way include
Two – Too
Lick – Leek
In relation to lexis and structure, you are expected to be able to easily recognize and differentiate words with the same pronunciation but different spellings to avoid the wrong fixation of words.
A synonym is quite the most popular of these lists. It is a term used to represent different words or phrases whose meanings are exactly or nearly the same.
Examples of synonymous words are- Commence, Begin, Initiate and start
Synonymous words are usually not always hard to identify as they can be easily deduced from the meaning of a sentence.
Antonyms word expresses the opposite meaning of a phrase or a word. In simpler form, it is a term used to describe words that have the opposite meaning.
A list of examples of antonyms are-
Big – Small
Tall – Short
Fast – Slow
Brave – Docile
Bright – Dull
The study of the meaning of a language is widely regarded as semantics. The personal interpretation of a language by the receiver is referred to as semantics.
A teacher’s directive to a student is to wipe the blackboard, immediately after he leaves the classroom.
A student might interpret the directive to mean wiping off the blackboard even when other students are still writing what is written on it.
You must have come across some phrasal or word combinations like “Great man”, “Crime-fighters”, “Policy-makers”, “Life-savers”, and their likes.
These words are tagged alongside each other to make a complete meaning because they are naturally combined together.
This is what collocation represents- The natural tagging together or grouping of words alongside each other.
It is important to note these types of words when treating and finding how to solve lexis and structure-related questions.
Hyponym in the English language is a more specific term used to identify a single member of specie from the general class.
For clarification purposes- Roses and Hibiscus are hyponyms of Flowers.
A Dog and Cow are hyponyms for Animals.
In other words, it can be referred to as the collective or general term of mini-collection from a larger class.
8. Mastering of Spellings
One way to fail questions unaware in an English language examination is the wrong spelling of words. You might have actually identified the right answer to a question in lexical structures, but there might be a mix-up in the spelling of the options given for the answers.
It is expected of a smart student to critically pay attention to the way the answers available in the given options are spelled to avoid misrepresentation of answers.
Having learned about this, let’s get on with how to solve lexis and structure-related questions in the English language.
How to Solve Lexis and Structure Related Questions
At the end of this section, you would have learned 5 strategic means of solving questions that are related to lexis and structure.
Follow the strategic means below to solve every question related to lexis and structure in every English examination, and based on my practical experience with these measures, I’m certain that you definitely will them very helpful.
1. Understand the meaning and identify the function of different elements present in a sentence structure
What do I mean by the statement above? The basic elements of sentence structures are the subject, verb, and object.
As a smart student, you need to understand the function of these elements respectively in a sentence. This will help you determine the motive behind every sentence in lexical questions. It is important to avoid rushing, make sure you understand each sentence at the end of it before you proceed with the next one.
2. Take note of the surrounding statements and circumstances of the words around the passage
Do not jump to a conclusion by inserting synonymous words in the space provided for the answer, this may be wrong because as tempting as your answer may look, it might not go in line with the surrounding words in the passage.
Synonymous words in a sentence may sometimes represent wrongly the message a writer is trying to pass in a write-up. Let’s take for instance-
“Benjamin is the biggest boy in our village, he comes to the nightclub with different types of cars every other night. No one among the other big boys around can spend money on drinks as he does”.
In the write-up above- THE BIGGEST BOY can only be replaced with THE RICHEST-BOY and not any other synonymous words to the biggest boy which one might have wrongfully thought of inserting if the scenario narrated in the sentence wasn’t put into consideration.
So, it is important to read and consider the scenario stressed in a passage before settling for an answer.
3. Consider reading from the next paragraph if you could not easily find the answer to the previous question
Do not force it, the answer in lexis and structure passage is always there to be taken if you avoid letting some sentence structure stress out your brain.
It is okay to get on with the next paragraph, from experience, I’ve been able to find the answer to tougher questions after completing the remaining questions.
The secret behind this is that you will get to understand the function of every word in a passage as you read along. The clearer the motive and message of the passage get, for you, the easier the questions become.
4. Know when to use the present and past forms of words
Consider the passage below for proper clarity on this
“Mister Charles died yesterday as a devoted Islamic worshipper, he was laid to rest immediately before nightfall the same day”.
From the write-up above- LAID TO REST in lexis and structure can only be replaced with BURIED and not bury because the burial event took place in the past.
5. Master the correct spelling of words
This has been explained above in the previous section. In summary, avoid spelling errors.
Conclusion on How to Solve Lexis and Structure Related Questions
With the guidelines above, questions related to lexis and structure can be simplified and answered. Therefore, my reason for giving a vote of confidence to these tips on how to solve lexis and structure-related questions in the English language.
for questions, write to us below in the comment section, and answers to your questions will be provided adequately.