Function models are frequently used in engineering design to describe the technical functions that a product performs. This paper investigates the use of the functional basis, a function vocabulary developed to aid in communication and archiving of product function information, in describing consumer products that have been decomposed, analyzed, modeled functionally, and stored in a Web-based design repository. The frequency of use of function terms and phrases in 11 graphical and 110 list-based representations in the repository is examined and used to analyze the organization and expressiveness of the functional basis and function models. Within the context of reverse engineering, we determined that the modeling resolution provided by the hierarchical levels, especially the tertiary level, is inadequate for function modeling; the tertiary terms are inappropriate for capturing sufficient details desired by modelers for archiving and reuse, and there is a need for a more expressive flow terms and flow qualifiers in the vocabulary. A critical comparison is also presented of two representations in the design repository: function structures and function lists. The conclusions are used to identify new research opportunities, including the extension of the vocabulary to incorporate flow qualifiers in addition to more expressive terms.