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Grammar Focus: Signal Words in Narrative Texts


Grammar Focus: Signal Words in Narrative Texts – Expressing the meaning and rhetorical stages of essays by using a variety of written language accurately, fluently and acceptable in the daily life context in the form of text: narrative, spoof, and hortatory exposition

Learn about it!

In this lesson, you will learn about how to use signal words in a narrative text.

Some of you may like reading books. Based on a survey, teenagers like reading fiction books than non-fiction such story book, comic, and novel. It may be caused fictions books is entertaining. In reading a story, you will find some language features such as using proper tense and using signal words. In this lesson, you will learn how to use signal words in a text especially for narrative text. Let’s start from the definition of narrative text below.

Narrative text is a text which tells a story about an event in the past to entertain the readers. It commonly contains linking and signal words to make the order of events of the story clear. Actually, there are several signal words which are used in a text as follows:

  • Signal words which indicate another main idea such as also, in addition, moreover, etc.
  • Signal words which mention an example such as for example, for instance.
  • Signal words which show a sequence of events such as first, second, after that, then, etc.
  • Signal words which state a conclusion such as therefore, finally, in conclusion, etc.
  • Signal words which tell you what tense you need to use in a text such as long time ago, yesterday, tomorrow, nest week, etc.

However, in this lesson you will focus on learning signal words which tell you the kind of tense you should use in the correct form based on the text and show a sequence of event to make a text coherent from one paragraph o another paragraph. Signal words aim to ease the readers in reading the story and getting its plot.

Signal Words for Simple Past Tense

One of language features in narrative text is using simple past tense. The signal words to show an event occurs in the past as follows:

  • One day
  • Yesterday
  • Two days ago
  • A minute ago
  • Long time ago
  • Once upon a time
  • Last week/year/weekend

For examples:

  • He was born in 1989.
  • She didn’t throw the seed to the Giant yesterday.
  • The police was sleeping when the robber came this morning

Signal Words for Signal Words for Sequencing Event

  • First/second/ the last …
  • Firstly/then/after that/next/finally.

Do you understand?

Signal words can be called as a key to comprehend a story. To understand a narrative text, you can read the example of the narrative text below.

Explanation for the signal words in the text above:

  • The underlined words show a sequence of events. It connects a sentence with another sentence.
  • The italic words show that the story happened in the past.
Grammar Focus: Signal Words in Narrative Texts | lookadmin | 4.5