Glossary

a grammatical category marked by a verb in which the situation described in the clause is located in time. For example, present tense 'has' in 'Sarah has a headache' locates the situation in present time, while past tense 'had' in 'Sarah had a headache' locates it in past time. However, the relation between grammatical tense and (semantic) time is not always as simple as this. For example, present tense is typically used to talk about: present states, as in 'He lives in Darwin'; actions that happen regularly in the present, as in 'He watches television every night'; 'timeless' happenings, as in information reports such as 'Bears hibernate in winter'; references to future events, as in 'The match starts tomorrow' where the tense is present but the time future. Likewise in 'I thought the match started tomorrow' where the subordinate clause 'the match started tomorrow' has past tense but refers to future time texts.

the ways in which information is organised in different types of texts (for example, chapter headings, subheadings, tables of contents, indexes and glossaries, overviews, introductory and concluding paragraphs, sequencing, topic sentences, taxonomies, cause and effect). Choices in text structures and language features together define a text type and shape its meaning.

the means for communication. Their forms and conventions have developed to help us communicate effectively with a variety of audiences for a range of purposes. Texts can be written, spoken or multimodal and in print or digital/online forms. Multimodal texts combine language with other systems for communication, such as print text, visual images, soundtrack and spoken word as in film or computer presentation media.