Keith Kelly looks at examples of the language of classification from the area of science, covering structures such as verb phrases, noun phrases and linking phrases.

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verb phrases

to classify: Scientists (i) classify sounds which are very loud and which have irregular frequencies as noise.
can be classified as: Water (ii) can be classified as hard or soft.
Note: classify is used (i) as a synonym for define, as well as (ii) for describing division and grouping.

to divide: Mitosis is when the nucleus of a cell divides to create two new nuclei.
can be divided into: The environment can be divided into natural and human environments.
Note 1: Divide is used in both a physical sense where a physical process or a structural division occurs (cells divide) and in a conceptual sense for grouping or separating things and ideas.  
Note 2: Groups can also be subdivided or placed into subcategories.

to belong to: Fats and oils both belong to the food group lipids, but while fats are usually solid at room temperature, oils are liquids.

to be associated with: A diet which is high in animal fat is often associated with cardiovascular disease.
Note: the use of the adverb often.

noun phrases

kinds: There are many kinds of atom, but they all have a nucleus and electrons rotating around the nucleus.

types: (i) There are several types of levers, such as a hammer, scissors, a spade and a seesaw.
Note: Items here are grouped with the label types followed by a phrase for giving examples, such as)
(ii) There are two types of frictional forces: static friction is the force preventing stationary objects from moving; moving friction is the force acting to slow down moving objects.
Note: Types are introduced with a colon and the two examples are separated (or listed) using a semi colon.

forms: (i) Electricity may also be produced from other forms of energy such as solar energy, tides and wind.
(ii) There are two forms of digestion: physical digestion which involves the mechanical processes of chewing and churning; chemical digestion which is the use of enzymes to break down food

classes: Name and give examples of the three different classes of levers.

categories: Fuel cells can be divided into five major categories named after the electrolyte used in each of them.

characteristics: The seven main characteristics used to identify living things are: they feed; they grow; they move; they reproduce; they respire; they excrete; they respond to stimuli.

linking phrases

according to: Animal cell shape varies according to the function of the cell.

in terms of: State the conditions for flotation in terms of upthrust and density.

as regards: Metals are good conductors as regards electricity, though silver, copper and gold perform better than others.

with regard to: Consumers (animals) are grouped with regard to their position in a food chain.


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