This chapter examines how people communicate ideas that aren’t literally conveyed by the meaning of the words themselves, but rely on factors outside of semantics, like context. Pragmatics is the study of language in context. It explains why the sentence Can you close the window? functions as a request to close a window and is not a question about someone’s ability to close a window. The chapter covers the following topics: reference and context, mutual knowledge, the principles of conversation, how to things with words, discourse analysis, and politeness.