Skip to 0 minutes and 4 secondsThe object of this exercise is to analyse the word complexity of three poems. We shall do this by counting the number of syllables in each poem. So let's start by counting the number of syllables in each word. And making a table. So we've got one two three or four syllables and the three poems by Nigel Ford NF John Hegley JH and John Betjeman JB. Count the number of single-syllable words in the Nigel Ford poem. You get 35. Two-syllable words there's 12. Three-syllable words 8. And four-syllable words 2. Now importantly we need to total up the number of words as well which is 57. In the John Hegley poem there were 26 one-syllable words and 8 two-syllable words.

Skip to 1 minute and 0 secondsThe are no three-syllable words and no four-syllable words and a total of 34 words. In the John Betjemen poem there are 83 one-syllable words 18 two-syllable words 6 three-syllable words and 1 four-syllable word. This gives us a total of 108 words. It's difficult to compare the proportion of syllable words in each poem as each of them have different numbers of words. So we will express these numbers as a syllable percentage. So again we've got one- two- three- and four-syllable words in the poems by Nigel Ford John Hegley and John Betjemen. Using the information from the first table you can calculate that.

Skip to 1 minute and 49 seconds61% of the words in the Nigel Ford poem have one syllable 21% have two syllables 14% have three syllables and 4% have four syllables. In the John Hegley poem 76% have one syllable and 24% have two syllables. In the John Betjeman poem 77% have one syllable 17% have two syllables 5% have three syllables and 1% has four syllables. We can use this percentage syllable information to help us decide which poem is represented by poem A which poem is represented by poem B and which poem is represented by poem C in the chart. As you can see poem A has the lowest percentage of one-syllable words which means it must be the poem by Nigel Ford.

Skip to 2 minutes and 48 secondsPoem B has no three- or four-syllable words so that must be the poem by John Hegley. And poem C must be the poem by John Betjeman by process of elimination.

Solution to the question about poem complexity

In this video you will find the solution to the question in the previous step, comparing language complexity in three poems.

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