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The Eight Parts of Speech

The Eight parts of speechWords can be separated into eight groups:

Verbs

Verbs are the most essential part of a sentence.  A sentence is not complete without a verb because the verb describes what the subject is doing.  The verb tells the story of what is happening.  It is possible to have a sentence with one verb or a verb and a noun.  For example, Peter runs.  A complete sentence can even be Run! Verbs are typically ‘doing’ words like Running, Singing, eating, etc.  However, there are exceptions,  Thinks, feel, recognize, believe, knows, etc.

Types of verbs:

  • Action verbs (requiring an action)-  Go, eat, stand, listen
  • Mental verbs (requiring a mental state) – Think, feel, recognize, know
  • Auxiliary verbs (gives context to the main verb) – Would, Should, Do, Can
  • Transitive verbs (Someone or something receives the action of the verb) – Show, take, love, respect
  • Intransitive verbs (No direct object follows the verb) – traveled, arrived, sat, eats
  • Stative verbs (a non-action verb –  to be, to have, doubts, agrees
  • Modal verbs (expressing obligation or possibilities) – I should, you must, Fred would
  • Phrasal verbs (a combination of words that take on a different meaning) – Face up to, bring out, Hang out
  • Irregular verbs (do not take regular spelling patterns of past simple or past participle verbs) eat, think, bring, buy

Nouns

Types of nouns

  • Common (refers to people in things in general) – man, apple, cat, happiness
  • Proper (identifies a particular person, thing or place. The first letter is capitalized.) – Donald, Arabia, Buenos Aries, Tuesday
  • Abstract (refers to ideas, conditions, and qualities that have no physical reality) – idea, truth, happiness, danger
  • Concrete (refers to people and things that physically exist) – cat, bridge, coffee, tree, rain
  • Countable (relates to things that can be counted) – vertebrae, beans, cats
  • Uncountable (refers to things that cannot be counted, they do not have a regular plural form) – air, rain, water
  • Compound (when two or more words are joined together to make a single noun,  they can be hyphenated) – keyboard, hotdog, seawater, pot-belly
  • Collective (refers to groups of things or people) –  family, government, team, jury

Adjectives

Adjectives are words that describe a noun, this can be the quality (state) or quantity of a noun, for example:

  • Quality – That is a beautiful dress.
  • Quantity – Your dog has many fleas

Adverbs

Adverbs further describe an action or intensify the meaning of a word, they modify verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs; they usually end in -ly.  Examples of an adverb modifying a verb, adjective, and another adverb:

  • Verb –  Her run abruptly ended when she fell off a cliff.
  • Adjective – His behavior demonstrated his delightfully quirky personality.
  • Another adverb – He ran swiftly and quietly through the streets.

Pronouns

Pronouns substitute a noun or a noun phrase, they are known as antecedents and are used to avoid repetition in a sentence.  The twelve types of pronoun are discussed in my article – pronouns what are they and when to use them

Conjunctions

Conjunctions are words that connect phrases, or clauses in a sentence, or words that coordinate words in the same clause, examples are:

  • e.g.
  • and
  • but
  • if

Prepositions

A preposition is a word that shows the relationship between two words.

  • A child from the stars.  The word ‘from’ tells us the relationship between the child and the stars.
  • Fertilizer for the plants.
  • Other examples of prepositions include – in, out, on, at, around, above, near, alongside

Interjections

An interjection reveals the emotions of the speaker. Interjections are usually punctuated with an exclamation mark, but can also be punctuated with a comma or question mark.  Interjections are typically used in informal speech.  In literature, they are used in a dialog to represent casual conversation.

Examples:

  • Oh!
  • What!
  • Wait!
  • No!
  • Good gracious!
  • Oh, really?
  • Well, ain’t you a peach.

Articles

An article is a word that modifies a noun which is a person, place, thing, or idea. Articles are types of adjectives but are used to point out or refer to a noun.  Examples:

  • Definite Article  – The spots on the sun. ‘The’ points out precisely to what is being referred.
  • Indefinite Article –  A peculiar afternoon. A’  points out what being referred, but is not specific.

Grammarly

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Aaron Skudder

6 Comments

  1. It is always so good to come across articles like these; a great opportunity to revise what we have remembered from our English classes and what we have inherently understood in usage.

    Reading this spelt out for me what I’d forgotten.  After so many years out of school, if someone were to ask me what a preposition was, I wouldn’t know the answer!  Informative articles like these (though meant for those learning English) are great sources for keeping our knowledge base active and current.

    I enjoyed reading this!

  2. It is really great that online lessons are available on every subject. After normal classroom, we tend to forget some of the crucial lessons learnt in English. I like the reminder of these eight groups of words. We always speak words that we cannot explain well what they are. I did not realize Nouns could be categorized into all those parts. I am only familiar with Proper nouns. Compound-nouns has really intrigued me. I guess I was not paying attention in class.

    Thank you for these great lessons. They’ll go a long way in helping me as a blogger. Very useful article!

  3. Wow, what a lovely post you have here. English was the first language subject I learned and I covered part of speech so fast I could remember then because i was home schooled by my mom. Part of speech is the division of words in to word parts called part of speech. As i was reading through this article, I was able to recall these things and it feels so nice to be reminded of it. Thanks for sharing this education a post its really gonna help and will be useful for virtually everyone. I love it and I enjoyed reading.

  4. This is really a great post for someone learning the English Language. Simple but very informative steps that anyone can follow and understand. I like that you make the examples simple and not complicated; this will promote a better learning environment.

    I enjoyed the read as it was like a refreshers course, not having heard the parts of speech explained since primary school. Thanks for sharing and I have no doubt that this will be beneficial to others desirous of learning the language.

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