Parts of Speech

The part of speech indicates how the word functions in meaning as well as grammatically within the sentence.An individual word can function as more than one part of speech when used in different circumstances.

Parts of speech in the English language:

  1. Noun

  2. Pronoun

  3. Verb

  4. Adjective

  5. Adverb

  6. Preposition

  7. Conjunction

  8. Interjection

  9. Determiner

1. Noun

A Noun is a word for a person, place, thing, or idea.

Example: pen, dog, work, music, town, London, teacher, John

Example Sentences

  • This is my dog. He lives in my house.
  • We live in London.

Nouns come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
Click here to read more about Nouns

2. Pronoun

A Pronoun is a word used in place of a noun.

Example: I, you, he, she, some

Example Sentences

  • Tara is Indian. She is beautiful.

A pronoun is usually substituted for a specific noun, which is called its antecedent. In the sentence above, the antecedent for the pronoun she is the girl.

Pronouns are further defined by type:

  • Personal pronouns refer to specific persons or things
  • Possessive pronouns indicate ownership
  • Reflexive pronouns are used to emphasize another noun or pronoun
  • Relative pronouns introduce a subordinate clause
  • Demonstrative pronouns identify, point to, or refer to nouns.

The young girl brought me a very long letter from the teacher, and then she quickly disappeared.

3. Verb

A Verb expresses the action.

Example: jump, write, sing, work, like, become

Example Sentences

  • This is a house. I like my room.

The verb in a sentence expresses action or being. There is a main verb and sometimes one or more helping verbs. (“She can sing.” Sing is the main verb; can is the helping verb.)

A verb must agree with its subject in number (both are singular or both are plural). Verbs also take different forms to express tense.

The young girl brought me a very long letter from the teacher, and then she quickly disappeared.

4. Adjective

An adjective modifies or describes a noun.

Example: good, big, red, well, interesting, pretty, old, blue, smart

Example Sentences

  • My dogs are big. I like big dogs

An adjective is a word used to modify or describe a noun or a pronoun. It usually answers the question of which one, what kind, or how many. (Articles [a, an, the] are usually classified as adjectives.)

The young girl brought me a very long letter from the teacher, and then she quickly disappeared.

5. Adverb

An adverb describes or modifies a verb, an adjective, or another adverb.

Example: quickly, silently, well, badly, very, really, gently, extremely, carefully, well

Example Sentences

  • My dog eats quickly. When he is very hungry, he eats really quickly.

An adverb describes or modifies a verb, an adjective, or another adverb, but never a noun (words that describe a noun are called Adjectives).

It usually answers the questions of when, where, how, why, under what conditions, or to what degree. Adverbs often end in -ly.

The young girl brought me a very long letter from the teacher, and then she quickly disappeared.

6. Prepositions

A preposition is a word that links a noun to another word.

Example: to, at, after, on, but, by, with, about, until

Example Sentences

  • We went to school on Monday.

A preposition is a word placed before a noun or pronoun to form a phrase modifying another word in the sentence. Therefore a preposition is always part of a prepositional phrase. The prepositional phrase almost always functions as an adjective or as an adverb. The following list includes the most common prepositions:

The young girl brought me a very long letter from the teacher, and then she quickly disappeared.

7. Conjunction

A conjunction joins words, phrases, or clauses.

Example: and, but, when, or, while, because

Example Sentences

  • I like dogs and I like cats.
  • I like cats and dogs.
  • I like dogs but I don't like cats.

A conjunction joins words, phrases, or clauses, and indicates the relationship between the elements joined. Coordinating conjunctions connect grammatically equal elements: and, but, or, nor, for, so, yet.

Subordinating conjunctions connect clauses that are not equal: because, although, while, since, etc. There are other types of conjunctions as well.

The young girl brought me a very long letter from the teacher, and then she quickly disappeared.

8. Interjection

An interjection is a word used to express emotion.

Example:oh!, ouch!, hi!, well, wow!, oops!

Example Sentences

  • Ouch! That hurts!
  • Hi! How are you?
  • Well, I don't know.

An interjection is a word used to express emotion. It is often followed by an exclamation mark.

The young girl brought me a very long letter from the teacher, and then she quickly disappeared. Oh my!

9. Determiner

A determiner limits or determines a noun.

Example: a, an, the, 2, two, some, many

Example Sentences

  • I have two dogs and some rabbits.

Determiners are required before a singular noun but are optional when it comes to introducing plural nouns. For example, consider the placement and usage of the common determiner the in the sentences below:

  • The bunny went home.
  • I ate the chocolate cookie for dessert.
  • Metal cans are recyclable.
  • The metal cans are recyclable.

In every example, the determiner is placed before the noun or noun phrase, regardless of whether the noun in the subject or predicate. In the first example, it comes directly before the noun, but in the second example, it comes before the adjective ("chocolate") that describes the noun ("cookie").

Note also that in the third example there is no determiner, as determiners are optional for plural nouns and noun phrases. When you want to discuss the noun in general (i.e., all metal cans), you don't need a determiner for plural nouns. However, the fourth example shows that you may add a determiner to refer to specific nouns (i.e., the metal cans right here).


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