Keith Kelly looks at examples of language used in describing attributes and characteristics from the area of science, covering adjective, verb and noun phrases.

adjective phrases for describing typicality

(is) unique (of / for)
In sexual reproduction every offspring is unique, while in asexual reproduction they are all the same.

(is) characteristic (of / for)
Animal cell shape is usually characteristic of its function.

(is) typical (of / for)
The image shows the typical features for a liquid-in-glass thermometer.

adjectives for describing importance

Organisms need a transport system to get vital substances like water around the body and to the cells.

Oestrogen is important in the menstrual cycle from puberty until menopause.

Carbohydrates, proteins and fats are the major components of our diet.

Without oxygen, humus cannot be broken down into essential nutrients required for plant growth.

noun phrases for identifying attributes

As the mother expresses the recessive trait, she must have two copies of that version.

The main constituent of natural gas is methane, but it also contains butane and propane.

Pyroclastic flow is the most dangerous part of a volcanic eruption.

Carbon monoxide is a component of cigarette smoke.

Which factors affects the stability of an object?

Sodium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide and calcium hydroxide are examples of strong alkalis.

verb phrases for identifying characteristics

The orientation of the magnetic poles will exhibit repulsive and attractive forces.

What colour change does phenolphthalein show in an alkaline solution?

We will look at oxygen, carbon and nitrogen to illustrate the natural processes of conversion and cycling.

Make sure to write a word equation to represent the reaction that takes place.

be known as
Parasites live on or inside other living organisms which are known as their hosts.

verb phrases used for listing attributes

Why do soaps on the market have varied colours?

Red blood cells contain no nucleus but they have a red pigment called haemoglobin.

Household drugs include caffeine, nicotine and alcohol.

consist of
The human respiratory system consists of the trachea, bronchi and lungs.

be made up of
All things on Earth are made up of tiny particles called atoms.