9th Grade English Vocabulary Words

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

In this lesson, we will learn about the academic vocabulary that students in ninth grade English Language Arts need to understand to be successful in grammar, research, and literary analysis.

Academic Vocabulary

Imagine a political essay written entirely from information found on social media memes and information released by one of the political parties. It wouldn't be very accurate, would it? As you enter the ninth grade, you will need to be able to identify credible sources of information. This is just one of the many expectations of ninth grade students in English language arts.

To maximize success in ninth grade ELA, there are many important grammar, research, and literary vocabulary that students should be familiar with. Let's examine some of these academic terms.


Applying the following grammar rules will help your writing appeal to your audience.

  • A colon (:) is a punctuation mark. Colons are often used to introduce a quote. They are also used before a list or to separate clauses in which one clause introduces the next. For example, 'My English teacher is the best: she's funny, smart, and caring.'
  • Conjunctive adverbs, such as 'also,' 'furthermore,' and 'then,' are connecting words that bring together two related phrases or clauses.
  • An infinitive is the simplest form of a verb that does not show tense. For example, the word 'jump' is the infinitive for the words 'jumps' or 'jumped.'
  • Nominative pronouns, such as 'I,' 'he,' 'she,' 'it,' 'we,' 'they,' and 'you' are usually the subject of a sentence.
  • A preposition is the first word in a prepositional phrase. Prepositional phrases consist of a preposition and a noun that provide information about another noun in the sentence. For example, in the sentence 'Zachary bought a gift for Jaimie,' the word 'for' is the preposition preceding the noun 'Jaimie' in a prepositional phrase that describes the gift.


The following terms will help you accurately research material for projects and papers.

  • Credible means authentic or believable. Students should be taught to distinguish credible sources, such as encyclopedias, national museum web sites, and textbooks, from those that are less credible, such as tabloids, social media, and advertisements.
  • Digital media encompasses communication--such as text, graphics, and video--that is delivered via computer.
  • A primary source is an original document or eyewitness account. For example, because the Declaration of Independence is an original written document, it is a primary source.
  • A secondary source is a recounting of an event based on an interview or a primary source. For example, a textbook passage about the Declaration of Independence is a secondary source.

Literary Terms

During your ninth grade year, you should be able to recognize these literary terms and use them in your writing.

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