verbs, nouns, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions,
conjunctions and interjections
The eight basic parts of speech are simple. They are verbs, nouns,
pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections.
All English words fit into one of these grammatical categories.
Many English words function as more than one part of speech. Take
the word fly for example. When you fly in a plane, it is a verb;
when you swat a fly, it is a noun; and when you wear fly shades,
it is a slang adjective. English can be confusing because words
can mean more than one thing, but if you know your eight parts of
speech, you will avoid confusion.
Verbs are words used to express action, condition, or a state
of being. They are used in speech to move the meanings of sentences
along. An action verb expresses an action. Words such as throw,
create, and draw express physical action. Mental actions can be
expressed by words such as believe, desire, and visualize. Verbs
such as be and feel are used to show states of being. Helping verbs,
or auxiliary verbs, are used to help the main verb express action
or create verb phrases. Some examples of auxiliary verbs are would,
might and am.
Nouns are words that name a person, place, thing or idea. A few
examples of nouns are person, place, thing and idea. Proper nouns
name specific things such as Jeff, California, and English. To change
a noun from singular form to plural form an s or es must be added
to the end of the word. Two examples are thing/things and dish/dishes.
Some nouns have irregular plural forms and are a little harder to
spell sometimes. A couple of these nouns are man/men, and reality/realities.
To show ownership, one must add an apostrophe s to the end of a
singular noun, or just an apostrophe to a plural noun. Examples
of the possessive form are Jeff’s possession and fools’
Pronouns are words used in place of nouns to shorten a repeated
noun that has already been mentioned. The noun that the pronoun
replaces is called the antecedent of the pronoun. My girlfriend
goes shopping a lot. She spends a bunch of money on garbage. In
these last two sentences, she is the pronoun, and girlfriend is
the antecedent. There are many forms of pronouns, such as personal,
possessive, reflexive, intensive, indefinite, demonstrative, interrogative,
relative and reciprocal.
Adjectives are very useful words. They add information to sentences
by telling us more about nouns and pronouns, usually by describing,
identifying, or quantifying those words. Adjectives usually come
before the words they modify, but sometimes follow linking verbs.
Here are two examples. She is a nice woman. That woman is nice.
Quantifying adjectives come in the form of articles and numbers
such as an, and twenty-one.
|| An adverb is defined as a word
that gives more information about a verb, adjective or other
adverbs. In the sentence: She runs slow, slow describes how
sue performs the adjective, runs. In the sentence She runs
very slow, very describes the adverb slow, and tells how
slow she runs. Most, but not all adverbs end in ly, but not
all words that end in ly are adverbs. Ugly is an adjective.
Supply can be a noun. Quickly and not are both adverbs.
A preposition is a word,
which shows relationships between
other words in the sentence. Relationships between words
can be in the form of time or space. She went to the mall
again. To is a preposition that shows direction or space.
She will find more clothes than you could imagine in thirty
minutes. In is the preposition that shows time. A preposition
always goes with a noun or pronoun, which is called the object
of the preposition.
The preposition is almost
always before the noun or pronoun and that is why it is called
a preposition. The preposition and the object of the preposition
together are called a prepositional phrase. In the sentence She
went to the mall, to the mall is the prepositional phrase.
A conjunction is a word that connects words, or groups of words,
to tell something about the relationship between these words. In
the sentence she and I are friends, and connects two pronouns, she
and I. Coordinating conjunctions are conjunctions, which connect
two equal parts of a sentence. The most common ones are and, or,
but, and so. She is small but strong. But is used as a coordinating
conjunction. Subordinating conjunctions connect two parts of a sentence
that are not equal. Some subordinating conjunctions are whether,
though and because. Correlative conjunctions are pairs of conjunctions
that work together. Both she and I live in San Diego. Both/and,
neither/nor, whether/or are all common correlative conjunctions.
Conjunctive adverbs are adverbs that show a transition between ideas
within a sentence. They normally show comparison, contrast, or cause-effect
relationships. She was sick; however, she still could muster up
enough energy to go to the mall.
An interjection is a word, or a short phrase used to express emotion
or surprise. Interjections are often sentence fragments, or stand
by themselves. Yeah! I’m done. Yeah is used to show the long
awaited emotion of freedom. Interjections are also often used as
commands, or as part of a protest. Stop! Don’t assign so much
homework. Interjections are very important, and that’s why
they are mentioned last, but not least, in the eight parts of speech.
(1)Interjection (2)Verb (3)Noun (4)Conjunction (5)Pronoun (6)Adjective
(1)Hey! This class keeps me from (2)sleeping in all (3)day; (4)although,
(5)it has a (6)negative
effect on my sleep, because I like staying up (7)all night, or until
I can (8)hardly keep my eyes open.
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