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English 7-8

20 Words Your Year 8 Child Must Know | Vocabulary Test

Want to test your Year 8 child's vocabulary? Here are 20 words your child should know in Year 8.

Do you worry about how to help your child succeed in Year 8 English? Do you worry your child is slipping behind? To help you help your child, we’ve put together a vocabulary test with 20 words your Year 8 child must know.


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What should you do with this list?

Give your child a test, to help them learn the words and their correct spelling.

Here’s how you should test them:

  1. Sit them down and give them a blank piece of paper
  2. Dictate each word to them, twice. Use the word in a sentence for them if they ask.
  3. Get them to write down the word.
  4. Have them write down the definition
  5. Ask them to write a sentence using the word
  6. Check the spelling, definition, and usage against the list below.

Testing your child in this way will help them retain the information and improve their vocabulary. The more a child uses a word, the more they have confidence in its, spelling, definition, and usage. This confidence is essential if they are to flourish in high school English.



Here are 20 words your Year 8 child must know.

20 Words your Year 8 child must know


1. Accordance

Accordance is a noun.

Noun 1: following or conforming to a rule, wish or desire; an agreement

The party was prepared in accordance with Amelie’s wishes.


2. Affect

Affect is a verb. It has different connotations depending on how it is used.

Verb 1: to impact, influence or change something.

Reducing the amount of water will inevitably affect the plant’s growth.


Verb 2: to evoke a strong emotion or thought.

The movie deeply affected Mark.


3. Bathos

Bathos is a noun.

Noun 1: [Literature] When something starts off serious and important but it unintentionally becomes trivial or ordinary.

Michaela didn’t like the novel because of the bathos in the plot.


4. Chronology

Chronology is a noun.

Noun 1: A sequential order of events.

Joe wrote out the chronology for his new film.


5. Civics

Civics is a noun.

Noun 1: [Social Science] The study of the rights, responsibilities and privileges of citizens and how the government works.

Felicity learned about civics today; taxes, voting, and jury procedures.


6. Continuity

Continuity is a noun. It has a couple of different meanings.

Noun 1: The state of operating or existing for a long time without being interrupted, changed or broken.

The workers wanted continuity of the current policies, but the new manager was adamant on changing it.


Noun 2: [Film] The way different clips and shots are put together to show continuous action or event.

Mark noticed a continuity error in the film, where the mug disappeared in one shot and reappeared in another.


7. Egalitarianism

Egalitarianism is a noun.

Noun 1: A belief that all people should be equal and deserve equal rights, especially in the political, social and economic aspects.

The students recognised that the novel promotes egalitarianism by exploring a dystopic society.


8. Empathetic

Empathetic is an adjective.

Adjective 1: Being able to feel what others feel and share their emotions.

Felicity is a highly empathetic person; she started crying when Gillian was talking about her problems.


9. Etymology

Etymology is a noun.

Noun 1: The study of the origins of words, and how it changed meaning over time.

Simon gained an interest in etymology after his visit to the English museum.


That’s etymology, not to be confused with entomology!

10. Figurative

Figurative is an adjective.

Adjective 1: Words or phrases that aren’t literal; metaphorical.

Amelie used a lot of figurative language in her writing.


Adjective 2: Recognisable body forms in artwork, like body figures.

The new artworks in the gallery consist of figurative drawings and paintings.


11. Gaze

Gaze can be a noun and a verb, depending on how it is used.

Noun 1: A long, steady look with great attention.

Ruth felt her everyone’s gaze on her as she stood up to throw her tissues in the bin.


Verb 1: To look steadily, with great attention, usually out of interest, curiosity or admiration.

Gillian saw the old woman gaze at the horizon and wondered what she was thinking.


12. Imaginative

Imaginative is an adjective.

Adjective 1: Being new, original, creative and inventive

The class was told to write something imaginative and the person with the most creative story will get a prize.


Adjective 1: Having the ability easily think of new, original, creative and inventive ideas.

Teja is a very imaginative girl; she is always coming up with new painting ideas.


13. Juxtaposition

Juxtaposition is a noun.

Noun 1: When two contrasting things are put beside each other.

When you look at your exam papers, there is an evident juxtaposition between the handwriting at the beginning and the end of the exam.


14. Lexical

Lexical is an adjective.

Adjective 1: Relating to words, vocabulary or language.

A lexical activity includes crosswords, scrabble and hangman.


15. Metalanguage

Metalanguage is a noun.

Noun 1: Specialised language, terms or symbols used to describe or analyse language itself.

Some examples of metalanguage include cliches, tense, symbolism and tone.


16. Neologism

Neologism is a noun.

Noun 1: New words, terms or expressions that are common in everyday life but has not been formally recognised yet as a part of mainstream language.

Simon was interested in how neologism shows the changing nature of everyday language.


17. Personification

Personification is a noun. It has a few meanings depending on how it is used.

Noun 1: [Literature] To give human characteristics or quality to an inanimate object, animal or anything that is not human.

Mark used personification when he said the clouds looked angry.


Noun 2: A person or thing who is the perfect embodiment of a characteristic, idea or quality.

Amelie is the personification of kindness; she is always willing to help others.


18. Phoneme

Phoneme is a noun.

Noun 1: The smallest, single, distinct unit of sound that makes up a word.

‘C’ is a phoneme in the word coof, whereas, ‘sh’ is a phoneme in the word shine.


19. Representation

Representation is a noun. It has quite a few meanings.

Noun 1: The way something is depicted or portrayed.

Simon analysed the representation of women in 18th-century novels.


Noun 2: A person who speaks and acts on your behalf.

The man needed legal representation, but he was too poor to afford one.


Noun 3: The depiction of something in a piece of creative work, usually in literature or art.

Michaela tried to capture an accurate representation of London in her painting.


20. Semantic

Semantic is a noun and an adjective.

Noun 1: The study of meanings of words, symbols and language.

John developed an interest in semantics when he was researching for his literature course.


Adjective 1: Relating to meanings or interpretation of words, symbols and language.

Gillian wasn’t keen on going into a semantic debate with Mark.


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Written by Matrix Education

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