Tag Archives: Referents

1. Referents such as ‘he, it, they, one, the other, them, her‘ are important in reading (and writing). These are words that refer to something or someone mentioned previously.

2. Look at this extract from The Cook (Chapter 5) and find the referents. Decide what the referents refer to.

She looked at her own hand. In it was the heavy knife for cutting vegetables. It shone in the sunlight. She looked at the two boys. One had short, blonde hair and a grin on his face. The other was tall with ginger hair and glasses. She watched a trickle of blood run down the tall boy’s nose and drip onto the ground. No one moved or said a word. Then a door slammed and someone came out the staffroom.

3. Choose suitable referents for these sentences where the word is underlined

i. Candy slept on a bench in a park. Candy wasn’t very comfortable, but Candy slept for a little while.

ii. Candy tried to open the kitchen door, but the kitchen door was closed.

iii. Candy asked the cleaning staff to let her in, and the cleaning staff unlocked the door.

iv. Candy went to see the headmistress in her office, but the headmistress wasn’t in her office.

v. Candy gave Collins a handkerchief. Collins used a handkerchief to wipe Collins’s face.

Grammar for The Cook (Chapter 5)

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Comprehension for The Cook (Chapter 3) – order and referents

1. Look again at The Cook (Chapter 3) and put the following sentences in order:

i. His teeth and eyes scared her

ii. They put the dishes into it

iii. Candy told them that she had none of them

iv. He agreed to allow her to make it

v. They emptied them

vi. She said her food was very bad

2. Now look again at all the subject pronouns (he, she, they), possessive adjectives (his, her) and object pronouns (it, her, them…) in the sentences above and say who or what they refer to. For example, in the first sentence (i. His teeth and eyes scared her), ‘his‘ = Mr Tomkin’s and ‘her‘ = Candy

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Grammar activity The Janitor (Chapter 1)

1. Understanding and using referents such as ‘them‘, ‘he, ‘it‘, ‘there‘ and ‘his‘ is important for every skill in language learning.

For example, in the following sentence, the referent is ‘he’.

Mr Green was feeling sad because he had no money. (‘he‘ refers to ‘Mr Green’)

2. Look at the following extract from ‘The Janitor’ (Chapter 1) and find the referents. What are they referring to?

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