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The 8 Parts of Speech | Chart, Definition & Examples

The 8 Parts of Speech

A part of speech (also called a word class ) is a category that describes the role a word plays in a sentence. Understanding the different parts of speech can help you analyze how words function in a sentence and improve your writing.

The parts of speech are classified differently in different grammars, but most traditional grammars list eight parts of speech in English: nouns , pronouns , verbs , adjectives , adverbs , prepositions , conjunctions , and interjections . Some modern grammars add others, such as determiners and articles .

Many words can function as different parts of speech depending on how they are used. For example, “laugh” can be a noun (e.g., “I like your laugh”) or a verb (e.g., “don’t laugh”).

Table of contents

  • Prepositions
  • Conjunctions
  • Interjections

Other parts of speech

Interesting language articles, frequently asked questions.

A noun is a word that refers to a person, concept, place, or thing. Nouns can act as the subject of a sentence (i.e., the person or thing performing the action) or as the object of a verb (i.e., the person or thing affected by the action).

There are numerous types of nouns, including common nouns (used to refer to nonspecific people, concepts, places, or things), proper nouns (used to refer to specific people, concepts, places, or things), and collective nouns (used to refer to a group of people or things).

Ella lives in France .

Other types of nouns include countable and uncountable nouns , concrete nouns , abstract nouns , and gerunds .

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A pronoun is a word used in place of a noun. Pronouns typically refer back to an antecedent (a previously mentioned noun) and must demonstrate correct pronoun-antecedent agreement . Like nouns, pronouns can refer to people, places, concepts, and things.

There are numerous types of pronouns, including personal pronouns (used in place of the proper name of a person), demonstrative pronouns (used to refer to specific things and indicate their relative position), and interrogative pronouns (used to introduce questions about things, people, and ownership).

That is a horrible painting!

A verb is a word that describes an action (e.g., “jump”), occurrence (e.g., “become”), or state of being (e.g., “exist”). Verbs indicate what the subject of a sentence is doing. Every complete sentence must contain at least one verb.

Verbs can change form depending on subject (e.g., first person singular), tense (e.g., simple past), mood (e.g., interrogative), and voice (e.g., passive voice ).

Regular verbs are verbs whose simple past and past participle are formed by adding“-ed” to the end of the word (or “-d” if the word already ends in “e”). Irregular verbs are verbs whose simple past and past participles are formed in some other way.

“I’ve already checked twice.”

“I heard that you used to sing .”

Other types of verbs include auxiliary verbs , linking verbs , modal verbs , and phrasal verbs .

An adjective is a word that describes a noun or pronoun. Adjectives can be attributive , appearing before a noun (e.g., “a red hat”), or predicative , appearing after a noun with the use of a linking verb like “to be” (e.g., “the hat is red ”).

Adjectives can also have a comparative function. Comparative adjectives compare two or more things. Superlative adjectives describe something as having the most or least of a specific characteristic.

Other types of adjectives include coordinate adjectives , participial adjectives , and denominal adjectives .

An adverb is a word that can modify a verb, adjective, adverb, or sentence. Adverbs are often formed by adding “-ly” to the end of an adjective (e.g., “slow” becomes “slowly”), although not all adverbs have this ending, and not all words with this ending are adverbs.

There are numerous types of adverbs, including adverbs of manner (used to describe how something occurs), adverbs of degree (used to indicate extent or degree), and adverbs of place (used to describe the location of an action or event).

Talia writes quite quickly.

Other types of adverbs include adverbs of frequency , adverbs of purpose , focusing adverbs , and adverbial phrases .

A preposition is a word (e.g., “at”) or phrase (e.g., “on top of”) used to show the relationship between the different parts of a sentence. Prepositions can be used to indicate aspects such as time , place , and direction .

I left the cup on the kitchen counter.

A conjunction is a word used to connect different parts of a sentence (e.g., words, phrases, or clauses).

The main types of conjunctions are coordinating conjunctions (used to connect items that are grammatically equal), subordinating conjunctions (used to introduce a dependent clause), and correlative conjunctions (used in pairs to join grammatically equal parts of a sentence).

You can choose what movie we watch because I chose the last time.

An interjection is a word or phrase used to express a feeling, give a command, or greet someone. Interjections are a grammatically independent part of speech, so they can often be excluded from a sentence without affecting the meaning.

Types of interjections include volitive interjections (used to make a demand or request), emotive interjections (used to express a feeling or reaction), cognitive interjections (used to indicate thoughts), and greetings and parting words (used at the beginning and end of a conversation).

Ouch ! I hurt my arm.

I’m, um , not sure.

The traditional classification of English words into eight parts of speech is by no means the only one or the objective truth. Grammarians have often divided them into more or fewer classes. Other commonly mentioned parts of speech include determiners and articles.

  • Determiners

A determiner is a word that describes a noun by indicating quantity, possession, or relative position.

Common types of determiners include demonstrative determiners (used to indicate the relative position of a noun), possessive determiners (used to describe ownership), and quantifiers (used to indicate the quantity of a noun).

My brother is selling his old car.

Other types of determiners include distributive determiners , determiners of difference , and numbers .

An article is a word that modifies a noun by indicating whether it is specific or general.

  • The definite article the is used to refer to a specific version of a noun. The can be used with all countable and uncountable nouns (e.g., “the door,” “the energy,” “the mountains”).
  • The indefinite articles a and an refer to general or unspecific nouns. The indefinite articles can only be used with singular countable nouns (e.g., “a poster,” “an engine”).

There’s a concert this weekend.

If you want to know more about nouns , pronouns , verbs , and other parts of speech, make sure to check out some of our language articles with explanations and examples.

Nouns & pronouns

  • Common nouns
  • Proper nouns
  • Collective nouns
  • Personal pronouns
  • Uncountable and countable nouns
  • Verb tenses
  • Phrasal verbs
  • Types of verbs
  • Active vs passive voice
  • Subject-verb agreement

A is an indefinite article (along with an ). While articles can be classed as their own part of speech, they’re also considered a type of determiner .

The indefinite articles are used to introduce nonspecific countable nouns (e.g., “a dog,” “an island”).

In is primarily classed as a preposition, but it can be classed as various other parts of speech, depending on how it is used:

  • Preposition (e.g., “ in the field”)
  • Noun (e.g., “I have an in with that company”)
  • Adjective (e.g., “Tim is part of the in crowd”)
  • Adverb (e.g., “Will you be in this evening?”)

As a part of speech, and is classed as a conjunction . Specifically, it’s a coordinating conjunction .

And can be used to connect grammatically equal parts of a sentence, such as two nouns (e.g., “a cup and plate”), or two adjectives (e.g., “strong and smart”). And can also be used to connect phrases and clauses.

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Parts of Speech

What are the parts of speech, a formal definition.

Table of Contents

The Part of Speech Is Determined by the Word's Function

Are there 8 or 9 parts of speech, the nine parts of speech, (1) adjective, (3) conjunction, (4) determiner, (5) interjection, (7) preposition, (8) pronoun, why the parts of speech are important, video lesson.

parts of speech

  • You need to dig a well . (noun)
  • You look well . (adjective)
  • You dance well . (adverb)
  • Well , I agree. (interjection)
  • My eyes will well up. (verb)
  • red, happy, enormous
  • Ask the boy in the red jumper.
  • I live in a happy place.
  • I caught a fish this morning! I mean an enormous one.
  • happily, loosely, often
  • They skipped happily to the counter.
  • Tie the knot loosely so they can escape.
  • I often walk to work.
  • It is an intriguingly magic setting.
  • He plays the piano extremely well.
  • and, or, but
  • it is a large and important city.
  • Shall we run to the hills or hide in the bushes?
  • I know you are lying, but I cannot prove it.
  • my, those, two, many
  • My dog is fine with those cats.
  • There are two dogs but many cats.
  • ouch, oops, eek
  • Ouch , that hurt.
  • Oops , it's broken.
  • Eek! A mouse just ran past my foot!
  • leader, town, apple
  • Take me to your leader .
  • I will see you in town later.
  • An apple fell on his head .
  • in, near, on, with
  • Sarah is hiding in the box.
  • I live near the train station.
  • Put your hands on your head.
  • She yelled with enthusiasm.
  • she, we, they, that
  • Joanne is smart. She is also funny.
  • Our team has studied the evidence. We know the truth.
  • Jack and Jill went up the hill, but they never returned.
  • That is clever!
  • work, be, write, exist
  • Tony works down the pit now. He was unemployed.
  • I will write a song for you.
  • I think aliens exist .

Are you a visual learner? Do you prefer video to text? Here is a list of all our grammar videos .

Video for Each Part of Speech

parts of speech definition in own words

The Most Important Writing Issues

The top issue related to adjectives.

Don't write...Do write...
very happy boy delighted boy
very angry livid
extremely posh hotel luxurious hotel
really serious look stern look

The Top Issue Related to Adverbs

  • Extremely annoyed, she stared menacingly at her rival.
  • Infuriated, she glared at her rival.

The Top Issue Related to Conjunctions

correct tick

  • Burger, Fries, and a shake
  • Fish, chips and peas

The Top Issue Related to Determiners

wrong cross

The Top Issue Related to Interjections

The top issue related to nouns, the top issue related to prepositions, the top issue related to pronouns, the top issue related to verbs.

Unnatural (Overusing Nouns)Natural (Using a Verb)
They are in agreement that he was in violation of several regulations.They agree he violated several regulations.
She will be in attendance to present a demonstration of how the weather will have an effect on our process.She will attend to demonstrate how the weather will affect our process.
  • Crack the parts of speech to help with learning a foreign language or to take your writing to the next level.

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Understanding the Parts of Speech in English

Yes, the parts of speech in English are extensive and complex. But we’ve made it easy for you to start learning them by gathering the most basic and essential information in this easy-to-follow and comprehensive guide.

White text over orange background reads "Parts of Speech."

Parts of Speech: Quick Summary

Parts of speech assign words to different categories. There are eight different types in English. Keep in mind that a word can belong to more than one part of speech.

Learn About:

  • Parts of Speech
  • Prepositions
  • Conjunctions
  • Interjections

Using the Parts of Speech Correctly In Your Writing

Knowing the parts of speech is vital when learning a new language.

When it comes to learning a new language, there are several components you should understand to truly get a grasp of the language and speak it fluently.

It’s not enough to become an expert in just one area. For instance, you can learn and memorize all the intricate grammar rules, but if you don’t practice speaking or writing colloquially, you will find it challenging to use that language in real time.

Conversely, if you don’t spend time trying to learn the rules and technicalities of a language, you’ll also find yourself struggling to use it correctly.

Think of it this way: Language is a tasty, colorful, and nutritious salad. If you fill your bowl with nothing but lettuce, your fluency will be bland, boring, and tasteless. But if you spend time cultivating other ingredients for your salad—like style, word choice, and vocabulary— then it will become a wholesome meal you can share with others.

In this blog post, we’re going to cover one of the many ingredients you’ll need to build a nourishing salad of the English language—the parts of speech.

Let’s get choppin’!

What Are the Parts of Speech in English?

The parts of speech refer to categories to which a word belongs. In English, there are eight of them : verbs , nouns, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections.

Many English words fall into more than one part of speech category. Take the word light as an example. It can function as a verb, noun, or adjective.

Verb: Can you please light the candles?
Noun: The room was filled with a dim, warm light .
Adjective: She wore a light jacket in the cool weather.

The parts of speech in English are extensive. There’s a lot to cover in each category—much more than we can in this blog post. The information below is simply a brief overview of the basics of the parts of speech. Nevertheless, the concise explanations and accompanying example sentences will help you gain an understanding of how to use them correctly.

Graphic shows the eight different parts of speech and their functions.

What Are Verbs?

Verbs are the most essential parts of speech because they move the meaning of sentences along.

A verb can show actions of the body and mind ( jump and think ), occurrences ( happen or occur ), and states of being ( be and exist ). Put differently, verbs breathe life into sentences by describing actions or indicating existence. These parts of speech can also change form to express time , person , number , voice , and mood .

There are several verb categories. A few of them are:

  • Regular and irregular verbs
  • Transitive and intransitive verbs
  • Auxiliary verbs

A few examples of verbs include sing (an irregular action verb), have (which can be a main verb or auxiliary verb), be , which is a state of being verb, and would (another auxiliary verb).

My little sister loves to sing .
I have a dog and her name is Sweet Pea.
I will be there at 5 P.M.
I would like to travel the world someday.

Again, these are just the very basics of English verbs. There’s a lot more that you should learn to be well-versed in this part of speech, but the information above is a good place to start.

What Are Nouns?

Nouns refer to people ( John and child ), places ( store and Italy ), things ( firetruck and pen ), and ideas or concepts ( love and balance ). There are also many categories within nouns. For example, proper nouns name a specific person, place, thing, or idea. These types of nouns are always capitalized.

Olivia is turning five in a few days.
My dream is to visit Tokyo .
The Supreme Court is the highest court in the United States.
Some argue that Buddhism is a way of life, not a religion.

On the other hand, common nouns are not specific to any particular entity and are used to refer to any member of a general category.

My teacher is the smartest, most caring person I know!
I love roaming around a city I’ve never been to before.
This is my favorite book , which was recommended to me by my father.
There’s nothing more important to me than love .

Nouns can be either singular or plural. Singular nouns refer to a single entity, while plural nouns refer to multiple entities.

Can you move that chair out of the way, please? (Singular)
Can you move those chairs out of the way, please? (Plural)

While many plural nouns are formed by adding an “–s” or “–es,” others have irregular plural forms, meaning they don’t follow the typical pattern.

There was one woman waiting in line.
There were several women waiting in line.

Nouns can also be countable or uncountable . Those that are countable refer to nouns that can be counted as individual units. For example, there can be one book, two books, three books, or more. Uncountable nouns cannot be counted as individual units. Take the word water as an example. You could say I drank some water, but it would be incorrect to say I drank waters. Instead, you would say something like I drank several bottles of water.

What Are Pronouns?

A pronoun is a word that can take the place of other nouns or noun phrases. Pronouns serve the purpose of referring to nouns without having to repeat the word each time. A word (or group of words) that a pronoun refers to is called the antecedent .

Jessica went to the store, and she bought some blueberries.

In the sentence above, Jessica is the antecedent, and she is the referring pronoun. Here’s the same sentence without the proper use of a pronoun:

Jessica went to the store, and Jessica bought some blueberries.

Do you see how the use of a pronoun improves the sentence by avoiding repetitiveness?

Like all the other parts of speech we have covered, pronouns also have various categories.

Personal pronouns replace specific people or things: I, me, you, he, she, him, her, it, we, us, they, them.

When I saw them at the airport, I waved my hands up in the air so they could see me .

Possessive pronouns indicate ownership : mine, ours, yours, his, hers, theirs, whose.

I think that phone is hers .

Reflexive pronouns refer to the subject of a sentence or clause. They are used when the subject and the object of a sentence refer to the same person or thing: myself, yourself, himself, herself, itself, ourselves, yourselves, themselves.

The iguanas sunned themselves on the roof of my car.

Intensive pronouns have the same form as reflexive pronouns and are used to emphasize or intensify the subject of a sentence.

I will take care of this situation myself .

Indefinite pronouns do not refer to specific individuals or objects but rather to a general or unspecified person, thing, or group. Some examples include someone, everybody, anything, nobody, each, something, and all.

Everybody enjoyed the party. Someone even said it was the best party they had ever attended.

Demonstrative pronouns are used to identify or point to specific pronouns: this, that, these, those.

Can you pick up those pens off the floor?

Interrogative pronouns are used to ask questions and seek information: who, whom, whose, which, what.

Who can help move these heavy boxes?

Relative pronouns connect a clause or a phrase to a noun or pronoun: who, whom, whose, which, that, what, whoever, whichever, whatever.

Christina, who is the hiring manager, is the person whom you should get in touch with.

Reciprocal pronouns are used to refer to individual parts of a plural antecedent. They indicate a mutual or reciprocal relationship between two or more people or things: each other or one another.

The cousins always giggle and share secrets with one another .  

What Are Adjectives?

Adjectives modify nouns or pronouns, usually by describing, identifying, or quantifying them. They play a vital role in adding detail, precision, and imagery to English, allowing us to depict and differentiate the qualities of people, objects, places, and ideas.

The blue house sticks out compared to the other neutral-colored ones. (Describes)
That house is pretty, but I don’t like the color. (Identifies)
There were several houses I liked, but the blue one was unique. (Quantifies)

We should note that identifying or quantifying adjectives are also referred to as determiners. Additionally, articles ( a, an, the ) and numerals ( four or third ) are also used to quantify and identify adjectives.

Descriptive adjectives have other forms (known as comparative and superlative adjectives ) that allow for comparisons. For example, the comparative of the word small is smaller, while the superlative is smallest.

Proper adjectives (which are derived from proper nouns) describe specific nouns. They usually retain the same spelling or are slightly modified, but they’re always capitalized. For example, the proper noun France can be turned into the proper adjective French.

What Are Adverbs?

Adverbs are words that modify or describe verbs, adjectives, other adverbs, or entire clauses. Although many adverbs end in “–ly,” not all of them do. Also, some words that end in “–ly” are adjectives, not adverbs ( lovely ).

She dances beautifully .

In the sentence above, beautifully modifies the verb dances.

We visited an extremely tall building.

Here, the adverb extremely modifies the adjective tall.

He had to run very quickly to not miss the train.

The adverb very modifies the adverb quickly.

Interestingly , the experiment yielded unexpected results that left us baffled.

In this example, the word interestingly modifies the independent clause that comprises the rest of the sentence (which is why they’re called sentence adverbs ).

Like adjectives, adverbs can also have other forms when making comparisons. For example:

strongly, more strongly, most strongly, less strongly, least strongly

What Are Prepositions?

Prepositions provide context and establish relationships between nouns, pronouns, and other words in a sentence. They indicate time, location, direction, manner, and other vital information. Prepositions can fall into several subcategories. For instance, on can indicate physical location, but it can also be used to express time.

Place the bouquet of roses on the table.
We will meet on Monday.

There are many prepositions. A few examples include: about, above, across, after, before, behind, beneath, beside, during, except, for, from, in, inside, into, like, near, of, off, onto, past, regarding, since, through, toward, under, until, with, without.

Prepositions can contain more than one word, like according to and with regard to.

What Are Conjunctions?

Conjunctions are words that join words, phrases, or clauses together within a sentence and provide information about the relationship between those words. There are different types of conjunctions.

Coordinating conjunctions connect words, phrases, or clauses of equal importance: and, but, for, not, or, so, yet.

I like to sing, and she likes to dance.

Correlative conjunctions come in pairs and join balanced elements of a sentence: both…and, just as…so, not only…but also, either…or, neither…nor, whether…or.

You can either come with us and have fun, or stay at home and be bored.

Subordinating conjunctions connect dependent clauses to independent clauses. A few examples include: after, although, even though, since, unless, until, when , and while.

They had a great time on their stroll, even though it started raining and they got soaked.

Conjunctive adverbs are adverbs that function as conjunctions, connecting independent clauses or sentences. Examples of conjunctive adverbs are also, anyway, besides, however, meanwhile, nevertheless, otherwise, similarly, and therefore .

I really wanted to go to the party. However , I was feeling sick and decided to stay in.
I really wanted to go to the party; however , I was feeling sick and decided to stay in.

What Are Interjections?

Interjections are words that express strong emotions, sudden reactions, or exclamations. This part of speech is usually a standalone word or phrase, but even when it is  part of a sentence, it does not relate grammatically to the rest of .

There are several interjections. Examples include: ahh, alas, bravo, eww, hello, please, thanks, and oops.

Ahh ! I couldn’t believe what was happening.

When it comes to improving your writing skills, understanding the parts of speech is as important as adding other ingredients besides lettuce to a salad.

The information provided above is indeed extensive, but it’s critical to learn if you want to write effectively and confidently. LanguageTool—a multilingual writing assistant—makes comprehending the parts of speech easy by detecting errors as you write.

Give it a try—it’s free!

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General Education

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If you’re trying to learn the grammatical rules of English, you’ve probably been asked to learn the parts of speech. But what are parts of speech and how many are there? How do you know which words are classified in each part of speech?

The answers to these questions can be a bit complicated—English is a difficult language to learn and understand. Don’t fret, though! We’re going to answer each of these questions for you with a full guide to the parts of speech that explains the following:

  • What the parts of speech are, including a comprehensive parts of speech list
  • Parts of speech definitions for the individual parts of speech. (If you’re looking for information on a specific part of speech, you can search for it by pressing Command + F, then typing in the part of speech you’re interested in.) 
  • Parts of speech examples
  • A ten question quiz covering parts of speech definitions and parts of speech examples

We’ve got a lot to cover, so let’s begin!

Feature Image: (Gavina S / Wikimedia Commons)

body-woman-question-marks

What Are Parts of Speech? 

The parts of speech definitions in English can vary, but here’s a widely accepted one: a part of speech is a category of words that serve a similar grammatical purpose in sentences.  

To make that definition even simpler, a part of speech is just a category for similar types of words . All of the types of words included under a single part of speech function in similar ways when they’re used properly in sentences.

In the English language, it’s commonly accepted that there are 8 parts of speech: nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, pronouns, conjunctions, interjections, and prepositions. Each of these categories plays a different role in communicating meaning in the English language. Each of the eight parts of speech—which we might also call the “main classes” of speech—also have subclasses. In other words, we can think of each of the eight parts of speech as being general categories for different types within their part of speech . There are different types of nouns, different types of verbs, different types of adjectives, adverbs, pronouns...you get the idea. 

And that’s an overview of what a part of speech is! Next, we’ll explain each of the 8 parts of speech—definitions and examples included for each category. 

body-people-drinking-coffee-with-dog

There are tons of nouns in this picture. Can you find them all? 

Nouns are a class of words that refer, generally, to people and living creatures, objects, events, ideas, states of being, places, and actions. You’ve probably heard English nouns referred to as “persons, places, or things.” That definition is a little simplistic, though—while nouns do include people, places, and things, “things” is kind of a vague term. I t’s important to recognize that “things” can include physical things—like objects or belongings—and nonphysical, abstract things—like ideas, states of existence, and actions. 

Since there are many different types of nouns, we’ll include several examples of nouns used in a sentence while we break down the subclasses of nouns next!

Subclasses of Nouns, Including Examples

As an open class of words, the category of “nouns” has a lot of subclasses. The most common and important subclasses of nouns are common nouns, proper nouns, concrete nouns, abstract nouns, collective nouns, and count and mass nouns. Let’s break down each of these subclasses!

Common Nouns and Proper Nouns

Common nouns are generic nouns—they don’t name specific items. They refer to people (the man, the woman), living creatures (cat, bird), objects (pen, computer, car), events (party, work), ideas (culture, freedom), states of being (beauty, integrity), and places (home, neighborhood, country) in a general way. 

Proper nouns are sort of the counterpart to common nouns. Proper nouns refer to specific people, places, events, or ideas. Names are the most obvious example of proper nouns, like in these two examples: 

Common noun: What state are you from?

Proper noun: I’m from Arizona .

Whereas “state” is a common noun, Arizona is a proper noun since it refers to a specific state. Whereas “the election” is a common noun, “Election Day” is a proper noun. Another way to pick out proper nouns: the first letter is often capitalized. If you’d capitalize the word in a sentence, it’s almost always a proper noun. 

Concrete Nouns and Abstract Nouns

Concrete nouns are nouns that can be identified through the five senses. Concrete nouns include people, living creatures, objects, and places, since these things can be sensed in the physical world. In contrast to concrete nouns, abstract nouns are nouns that identify ideas, qualities, concepts, experiences, or states of being. Abstract nouns cannot be detected by the five senses. Here’s an example of concrete and abstract nouns used in a sentence: 

Concrete noun: Could you please fix the weedeater and mow the lawn ?

Abstract noun: Aliyah was delighted to have the freedom to enjoy the art show in peace .

See the difference? A weedeater and the lawn are physical objects or things, and freedom and peace are not physical objects, though they’re “things” people experience! Despite those differences, they all count as nouns. 

Collective Nouns, Count Nouns, and Mass Nouns

Nouns are often categorized based on number and amount. Collective nouns are nouns that refer to a group of something—often groups of people or a type of animal. Team , crowd , and herd are all examples of collective nouns. 

Count nouns are nouns that can appear in the singular or plural form, can be modified by numbers, and can be described by quantifying determiners (e.g. many, most, more, several). For example, “bug” is a count noun. It can occur in singular form if you say, “There is a bug in the kitchen,” but it can also occur in the plural form if you say, “There are many bugs in the kitchen.” (In the case of the latter, you’d call an exterminator...which is an example of a common noun!) Any noun that can accurately occur in one of these singular or plural forms is a count noun. 

Mass nouns are another type of noun that involve numbers and amount. Mass nouns are nouns that usually can’t be pluralized, counted, or quantified and still make sense grammatically. “Charisma” is an example of a mass noun (and an abstract noun!). For example, you could say, “They’ve got charisma, ” which doesn’t imply a specific amount. You couldn’t say, “They’ve got six charismas, ” or, “They’ve got several charismas .” It just doesn’t make sense! 

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Verbs are all about action...just like these runners. 

A verb is a part of speech that, when used in a sentence, communicates an action, an occurrence, or a state of being . In sentences, verbs are the most important part of the predicate, which explains or describes what the subject of the sentence is doing or how they are being. And, guess what? All sentences contain verbs!

There are many words in the English language that are classified as verbs. A few common verbs include the words run, sing, cook, talk, and clean. These words are all verbs because they communicate an action performed by a living being. We’ll look at more specific examples of verbs as we discuss the subclasses of verbs next!

Subclasses of Verbs, Including Examples

Like nouns, verbs have several subclasses. The subclasses of verbs include copular or linking verbs, intransitive verbs, transitive verbs, and ditransitive or double transitive verbs. Let’s dive into these subclasses of verbs!

Copular or Linking Verbs

Copular verbs, or linking verbs, are verbs that link a subject with its complement in a sentence. The most familiar linking verb is probably be. Here’s a list of other common copular verbs in English: act, be, become, feel, grow, seem, smell, and taste. 

So how do copular verbs work? Well, in a sentence, if we said, “Michi is ,” and left it at that, it wouldn’t make any sense. “Michi,” the subject, needs to be connected to a complement by the copular verb “is.” Instead, we could say, “Michi is leaving.” In that instance, is links the subject of the sentence to its complement. 

Transitive Verbs, Intransitive Verbs, and Ditransitive Verbs

Transitive verbs are verbs that affect or act upon an object. When unattached to an object in a sentence, a transitive verb does not make sense. Here’s an example of a transitive verb attached to (and appearing before) an object in a sentence: 

Please take the clothes to the dry cleaners.

In this example, “take” is a transitive verb because it requires an object—”the clothes”—to make sense. “The clothes” are the objects being taken. “Please take” wouldn’t make sense by itself, would it? That’s because the transitive verb “take,” like all transitive verbs, transfers its action onto another being or object. 

Conversely, intransitive verbs don’t require an object to act upon in order to make sense in a sentence. These verbs make sense all on their own! For instance, “They ran ,” “We arrived ,” and, “The car stopped ” are all examples of sentences that contain intransitive verbs. 

Finally, ditransitive verbs, or double transitive verbs, are a bit more complicated. Ditransitive verbs are verbs that are followed by two objects in a sentence . One of the objects has the action of the ditransitive verb done to it, and the other object has the action of the ditransitive verb directed towards it. Here’s an example of what that means in a sentence: 

I cooked Nathan a meal.

In this example, “cooked” is a ditransitive verb because it modifies two objects: Nathan and meal . The meal has the action of “cooked” done to it, and “Nathan” has the action of the verb directed towards him. 

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Adjectives are descriptors that help us better understand a sentence. A common adjective type is color.

#3: Adjectives

Here’s the simplest definition of adjectives: adjectives are words that describe other words . Specifically, adjectives modify nouns and noun phrases. In sentences, adjectives appear before nouns and pronouns (they have to appear before the words they describe!). 

Adjectives give more detail to nouns and pronouns by describing how a noun looks, smells, tastes, sounds, or feels, or its state of being or existence. . For example, you could say, “The girl rode her bike.” That sentence doesn’t have any adjectives in it, but you could add an adjective before both of the nouns in the sentence—”girl” and “bike”—to give more detail to the sentence. It might read like this: “The young girl rode her red bike.”   You can pick out adjectives in a sentence by asking the following questions: 

  • Which one? 
  • What kind? 
  • How many? 
  • Whose’s? 

We’ll look at more examples of adjectives as we explore the subclasses of adjectives next!

Subclasses of Adjectives, Including Examples

Subclasses of adjectives include adjective phrases, comparative adjectives, superlative adjectives, and determiners (which include articles, possessive adjectives, and demonstratives). 

Adjective Phrases

An adjective phrase is a group of words that describe a noun or noun phrase in a sentence. Adjective phrases can appear before the noun or noun phrase in a sentence, like in this example: 

The extremely fragile vase somehow did not break during the move.

In this case, extremely fragile describes the vase. On the other hand, adjective phrases can appear after the noun or noun phrase in a sentence as well: 

The museum was somewhat boring. 

Again, the phrase somewhat boring describes the museum. The takeaway is this: adjective phrases describe the subject of a sentence with greater detail than an individual adjective. 

Comparative Adjectives and Superlative Adjectives

Comparative adjectives are used in sentences where two nouns are compared. They function to compare the differences between the two nouns that they modify. In sentences, comparative adjectives often appear in this pattern and typically end with -er. If we were to describe how comparative adjectives function as a formula, it might look something like this: 

Noun (subject) + verb + comparative adjective + than + noun (object).

Here’s an example of how a comparative adjective would work in that type of sentence: 

The horse was faster than the dog.

The adjective faster compares the speed of the horse to the speed of the dog. Other common comparative adjectives include words that compare distance ( higher, lower, farther ), age ( younger, older ), size and dimensions ( bigger, smaller, wider, taller, shorter ), and quality or feeling ( better, cleaner, happier, angrier ). 

Superlative adjectives are adjectives that describe the extremes of a quality that applies to a subject being compared to a group of objects . Put more simply, superlative adjectives help show how extreme something is. In sentences, superlative adjectives usually appear in this structure and end in -est : 

Noun (subject) + verb + the + superlative adjective + noun (object).

Here’s an example of a superlative adjective that appears in that type of sentence: 

Their story was the funniest story. 

In this example, the subject— story —is being compared to a group of objects—other stories. The superlative adjective “funniest” implies that this particular story is the funniest out of all the stories ever, period. Other common superlative adjectives are best, worst, craziest, and happiest... though there are many more than that! 

It’s also important to know that you can often omit the object from the end of the sentence when using superlative adjectives, like this: “Their story was the funniest.” We still know that “their story” is being compared to other stories without the object at the end of the sentence.

Determiners

The last subclass of adjectives we want to look at are determiners. Determiners are words that determine what kind of reference a noun or noun phrase makes. These words are placed in front of nouns to make it clear what the noun is referring to. Determiners are an example of a part of speech subclass that contains a lot of subclasses of its own. Here is a list of the different types of determiners: 

  • Definite article: the
  • Indefinite articles : a, an 
  • Demonstratives: this, that, these, those
  • Pronouns and possessive determiners: my, your, his, her, its, our, their
  • Quantifiers : a little, a few, many, much, most, some, any, enough
  • Numbers: one, twenty, fifty
  • Distributives: all, both, half, either, neither, each, every
  • Difference words : other, another
  • Pre-determiners: such, what, rather, quite

Here are some examples of how determiners can be used in sentences: 

Definite article: Get in the car.  

Demonstrative: Could you hand me that magazine?  

Possessive determiner: Please put away your clothes. 

Distributive: He ate all of the pie. 

Though some of the words above might not seem descriptive, they actually do describe the specificity and definiteness, relationship, and quantity or amount of a noun or noun phrase. For example, the definite article “the” (a type of determiner) indicates that a noun refers to a specific thing or entity. The indefinite article “an,” on the other hand, indicates that a noun refers to a nonspecific entity. 

One quick note, since English is always more complicated than it seems: while articles are most commonly classified as adjectives, they can also function as adverbs in specific situations, too. Not only that, some people are taught that determiners are their own part of speech...which means that some people are taught there are 9 parts of speech instead of 8! 

It can be a little confusing, which is why we have a whole article explaining how articles function as a part of speech to help clear things up . 

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Adverbs can be used to answer questions like "when?" and "how long?"

Adverbs are words that modify verbs, adjectives (including determiners), clauses, prepositions, and sentences. Adverbs typically answer the questions how?, in what way?, when?, where?, and to what extent? In answering these questions, adverbs function to express frequency, degree, manner, time, place, and level of certainty . Adverbs can answer these questions in the form of single words, or in the form of adverbial phrases or adverbial clauses. 

Adverbs are commonly known for being words that end in -ly, but there’s actually a bit more to adverbs than that, which we’ll dive into while we look at the subclasses of adverbs!

Subclasses Of Adverbs, Including Examples

There are many types of adverbs, but the main subclasses we’ll look at are conjunctive adverbs, and adverbs of place, time, manner, degree, and frequency. 

Conjunctive Adverbs

Conjunctive adverbs look like coordinating conjunctions (which we’ll talk about later!), but they are actually their own category: conjunctive adverbs are words that connect independent clauses into a single sentence . These adverbs appear after a semicolon and before a comma in sentences, like in these two examples: 

She was exhausted; nevertheless , she went for a five mile run. 

They didn’t call; instead , they texted.  

Though conjunctive adverbs are frequently used to create shorter sentences using a semicolon and comma, they can also appear at the beginning of sentences, like this: 

He chopped the vegetables. Meanwhile, I boiled the pasta.  

One thing to keep in mind is that conjunctive adverbs come with a comma. When you use them, be sure to include a comma afterward! 

There are a lot of conjunctive adverbs, but some common ones include also, anyway, besides, finally, further, however, indeed, instead, meanwhile, nevertheless, next, nonetheless, now, otherwise, similarly, then, therefore, and thus.  

Adverbs of Place, Time, Manner, Degree, and Frequency

There are also adverbs of place, time, manner, degree, and frequency. Each of these types of adverbs express a different kind of meaning. 

Adverbs of place express where an action is done or where an event occurs. These are used after the verb, direct object, or at the end of a sentence. A sentence like “She walked outside to watch the sunset” uses outside as an adverb of place. 

Adverbs of time explain when something happens. These adverbs are used at the beginning or at the end of sentences. In a sentence like “The game should be over soon,” soon functions as an adverb of time. 

Adverbs of manner describe the way in which something is done or how something happens. These are the adverbs that usually end in the familiar -ly.  If we were to write “She quickly finished her homework,” quickly is an adverb of manner. 

Adverbs of degree tell us the extent to which something happens or occurs. If we were to say “The play was quite interesting,” quite tells us the extent of how interesting the play was. Thus, quite is an adverb of degree.  

Finally, adverbs of frequency express how often something happens . In a sentence like “They never know what to do with themselves,” never is an adverb of frequency. 

Five subclasses of adverbs is a lot, so we’ve organized the words that fall under each category in a nifty table for you here: 

     

It’s important to know about these subclasses of adverbs because many of them don’t follow the old adage that adverbs end in -ly. 

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Here's a helpful list of pronouns. (Attanata / Flickr )

#5: Pronouns

Pronouns are words that can be substituted for a noun or noun phrase in a sentence . Pronouns function to make sentences less clunky by allowing people to avoid repeating nouns over and over. For example, if you were telling someone a story about your friend Destiny, you wouldn’t keep repeating their name over and over again every time you referred to them. Instead, you’d use a pronoun—like they or them—to refer to Destiny throughout the story. 

Pronouns are typically short words, often only two or three letters long. The most familiar pronouns in the English language are they, she, and he. But these aren’t the only pronouns. There are many more pronouns in English that fall under different subclasses!

Subclasses of Pronouns, Including Examples

There are many subclasses of pronouns, but the most commonly used subclasses are personal pronouns, possessive pronouns, demonstrative pronouns, indefinite pronouns, and interrogative pronouns. 

Personal Pronouns

Personal pronouns are probably the most familiar type of pronoun. Personal pronouns include I, me, you, she, her, him, he, we, us, they, and them. These are called personal pronouns because they refer to a person! Personal pronouns can replace specific nouns in sentences, like a person’s name, or refer to specific groups of people, like in these examples: 

Did you see Gia pole vault at the track meet? Her form was incredible!

The Cycling Club is meeting up at six. They said they would be at the park. 

In both of the examples above, a pronoun stands in for a proper noun to avoid repetitiveness. Her replaces Gia in the first example, and they replaces the Cycling Club in the second example. 

(It’s also worth noting that personal pronouns are one of the easiest ways to determine what point of view a writer is using.) 

Possessive Pronouns

Possessive pronouns are used to indicate that something belongs to or is the possession of someone. The possessive pronouns fall into two categories: limiting and absolute. In a sentence, absolute possessive pronouns can be substituted for the thing that belongs to a person, and limiting pronouns cannot. 

The limiting pronouns are my, your, its, his, her, our, their, and whose, and the absolute pronouns are mine, yours, his, hers, ours, and theirs . Here are examples of a limiting possessive pronoun and absolute possessive pronoun used in a sentence: 

Limiting possessive pronoun: Juan is fixing his car. 

In the example above, the car belongs to Juan, and his is the limiting possessive pronoun that shows the car belongs to Juan. Now, here’s an example of an absolute pronoun in a sentence: 

Absolute possessive pronoun: Did you buy your tickets ? We already bought ours . 

In this example, the tickets belong to whoever we is, and in the second sentence, ours is the absolute possessive pronoun standing in for the thing that “we” possess—the tickets. 

Demonstrative Pronouns, Interrogative Pronouns, and Indefinite Pronouns

Demonstrative pronouns include the words that, this, these, and those. These pronouns stand in for a noun or noun phrase that has already been mentioned in a sentence or conversation. This and these are typically used to refer to objects or entities that are nearby distance-wise, and that and those usually refer to objects or entities that are farther away. Here’s an example of a demonstrative pronoun used in a sentence: 

The books are stacked up in the garage. Can you put those away? 

The books have already been mentioned, and those is the demonstrative pronoun that stands in to refer to them in the second sentence above. The use of those indicates that the books aren’t nearby—they’re out in the garage. Here’s another example: 

Do you need shoes? Here...you can borrow these. 

In this sentence, these refers to the noun shoes. Using the word these tells readers that the shoes are nearby...maybe even on the speaker’s feet! 

Indefinite pronouns are used when it isn’t necessary to identify a specific person or thing . The indefinite pronouns are one, other, none, some, anybody, everybody, and no one. Here’s one example of an indefinite pronoun used in a sentence: 

Promise you can keep a secret? 

Of course. I won’t tell anyone. 

In this example, the person speaking in the second two sentences isn’t referring to any particular people who they won’t tell the secret to. They’re saying that, in general, they won’t tell anyone . That doesn’t specify a specific number, type, or category of people who they won’t tell the secret to, which is what makes the pronoun indefinite. 

Finally, interrogative pronouns are used in questions, and these pronouns include who, what, which, and whose. These pronouns are simply used to gather information about specific nouns—persons, places, and ideas. Let’s look at two examples of interrogative pronouns used in sentences: 

Do you remember which glass was mine? 

What time are they arriving? 

In the first glass, the speaker wants to know more about which glass belongs to whom. In the second sentence, the speaker is asking for more clarity about a specific time. 

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Conjunctions hook phrases and clauses together so they fit like pieces of a puzzle.

#6: Conjunctions

Conjunctions are words that are used to connect words, phrases, clauses, and sentences in the English language. This function allows conjunctions to connect actions, ideas, and thoughts as well. Conjunctions are also used to make lists within sentences. (Conjunctions are also probably the most famous part of speech, since they were immortalized in the famous “Conjunction Junction” song from Schoolhouse Rock .) 

You’re probably familiar with and, but, and or as conjunctions, but let’s look into some subclasses of conjunctions so you can learn about the array of conjunctions that are out there!

Subclasses of Conjunctions, Including Examples

Coordinating conjunctions, subordinating conjunctions, and correlative conjunctions are three subclasses of conjunctions. Each of these types of conjunctions functions in a different way in sentences!

Coordinating Conjunctions

Coordinating conjunctions are probably the most familiar type of conjunction. These conjunctions include the words for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so (people often recommend using the acronym FANBOYS to remember the seven coordinating conjunctions!). 

Coordinating conjunctions are responsible for connecting two independent clauses in sentences, but can also be used to connect two words in a sentence. Here are two examples of coordinating conjunctions that connect two independent clauses in a sentence: 

He wanted to go to the movies, but he couldn’t find his car keys. 

They put on sunscreen, and they went to the beach. 

Next, here are two examples of coordinating conjunctions that connect two words: 

Would you like to cook or order in for dinner? 

The storm was loud yet refreshing. 

The two examples above show that coordinating conjunctions can connect different types of words as well. In the first example, the coordinating conjunction “or” connects two verbs; in the second example, the coordinating conjunction “yet” connects two adjectives. 

But wait! Why does the first set of sentences have commas while the second set of sentences doesn’t? When using a coordinating conjunction, put a comma before the conjunction when it’s connecting two complete sentences . Otherwise, there’s no comma necessary. 

Subordinating Conjunctions

Subordinating conjunctions are used to link an independent clause to a dependent clause in a sentence. This type of conjunction always appears at the beginning of a dependent clause, which means that subordinating conjunctions can appear at the beginning of a sentence or in the middle of a sentence following an independent clause. (If you’re unsure about what independent and dependent clauses are, be sure to check out our guide to compound sentences.) 

Here is an example of a subordinating conjunction that appears at the beginning of a sentence: 

Because we were hungry, we ordered way too much food. 

Now, here’s an example of a subordinating conjunction that appears in the middle of a sentence, following an independent clause and a comma: 

Rakim was scared after the power went out. 

See? In the example above, the subordinating conjunction after connects the independent clause Rakim was scared to the dependent clause after the power went out. Subordinating conjunctions include (but are not limited to!) the following words: after, as, because, before, even though, one, since, unless, until, whenever, and while. 

Correlative Conjunctions

Finally, correlative conjunctions are conjunctions that come in pairs, like both/and, either/or, and neither/nor. The two correlative conjunctions that come in a pair must appear in different parts of a sentence to make sense— they correlate the meaning in one part of the sentence with the meaning in another part of the sentence . Makes sense, right? 

Here are two examples of correlative conjunctions used in a sentence: 

We’re either going to the Farmer’s Market or the Natural Grocer’s for our shopping today. 

They’re going to have to get dog treats for both Piper and Fudge. 

Other pairs of correlative conjunctions include as many/as, not/but, not only/but also, rather/than, such/that, and whether/or. 

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Interjections are single words that express emotions that end in an exclamation point. Cool!

#7: Interjections 

Interjections are words that often appear at the beginning of sentences or between sentences to express emotions or sentiments such as excitement, surprise, joy, disgust, anger, or even pain. Commonly used interjections include wow!, yikes!, ouch!, or ugh! One clue that an interjection is being used is when an exclamation point appears after a single word (but interjections don’t have to be followed by an exclamation point). And, since interjections usually express emotion or feeling, they’re often referred to as being exclamatory. Wow! 

Interjections don’t come together with other parts of speech to form bigger grammatical units, like phrases or clauses. There also aren’t strict rules about where interjections should appear in relation to other sentences . While it’s common for interjections to appear before sentences that describe an action or event that the interjection helps explain, interjections can appear after sentences that contain the action they’re describing as well. 

Subclasses of Interjections, Including Examples

There are two main subclasses of interjections: primary interjections and secondary interjections. Let’s take a look at these two types of interjections!

Primary Interjections  

Primary interjections are single words, like oh!, wow!, or ouch! that don’t enter into the actual structure of a sentence but add to the meaning of a sentence. Here’s an example of how a primary interjection can be used before a sentence to add to the meaning of the sentence that follows it: 

Ouch ! I just burned myself on that pan!

While someone who hears, I just burned myself on that pan might assume that the person who said that is now in pain, the interjection Ouch! makes it clear that burning oneself on the pan definitely was painful. 

Secondary Interjections

Secondary interjections are words that have other meanings but have evolved to be used like interjections in the English language and are often exclamatory. Secondary interjections can be mixed with greetings, oaths, or swear words. In many cases, the use of secondary interjections negates the original meaning of the word that is being used as an interjection. Let’s look at a couple of examples of secondary interjections here: 

Well , look what the cat dragged in!

Heck, I’d help if I could, but I’ve got to get to work. 

You probably know that the words well and heck weren’t originally used as interjections in the English language. Well originally meant that something was done in a good or satisfactory way, or that a person was in good health. Over time and through repeated usage, it’s come to be used as a way to express emotion, such as surprise, anger, relief, or resignation, like in the example above. 

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This is a handy list of common prepositional phrases. (attanatta / Flickr) 

#8: Prepositions

The last part of speech we’re going to define is the preposition. Prepositions are words that are used to connect other words in a sentence—typically nouns and verbs—and show the relationship between those words. Prepositions convey concepts such as comparison, position, place, direction, movement, time, possession, and how an action is completed. 

Subclasses of Prepositions, Including Examples

The subclasses of prepositions are simple prepositions, double prepositions, participle prepositions, and prepositional phrases. 

Simple Prepositions

Simple prepositions appear before and between nouns, adjectives, or adverbs in sentences to convey relationships between people, living creatures, things, or places . Here are a couple of examples of simple prepositions used in sentences: 

I’ll order more ink before we run out. 

Your phone was beside your wallet. 

In the first example, the preposition before appears between the noun ink and the personal pronoun we to convey a relationship. In the second example, the preposition beside appears between the verb was and the possessive pronoun your.

In both examples, though, the prepositions help us understand how elements in the sentence are related to one another. In the first sentence, we know that the speaker currently has ink but needs more before it’s gone. In the second sentence, the preposition beside helps us understand how the wallet and the phone are positioned relative to one another! 

Double Prepositions

Double prepositions are exactly what they sound like: two prepositions joined together into one unit to connect phrases, nouns, and pronouns with other words in a sentence. Common examples of double prepositions include outside of, because of, according to, next to, across from, and on top of. Here is an example of a double preposition in a sentence: 

I thought you were sitting across from me. 

You see? Across and from both function as prepositions individually. When combined together in a sentence, they create a double preposition. (Also note that the prepositions help us understand how two people— you and I— are positioned with one another through spacial relationship.)  

Prepositional Phrases

Finally, prepositional phrases are groups of words that include a preposition and a noun or pronoun. Typically, the noun or pronoun that appears after the preposition in a prepositional phrase is called the object of the preposition. The object always appears at the end of the prepositional phrase. Additionally, prepositional phrases never include a verb or a subject. Here are two examples of prepositional phrases: 

The cat sat under the chair . 

In the example above, “under” is the preposition, and “the chair” is the noun, which functions as the object of the preposition. Here’s one more example: 

We walked through the overgrown field . 

Now, this example demonstrates one more thing you need to know about prepositional phrases: they can include an adjective before the object. In this example, “through” is the preposition, and “field” is the object. “Overgrown” is an adjective that modifies “the field,” and it’s quite common for adjectives to appear in prepositional phrases like the one above. 

While that might sound confusing, don’t worry: the key is identifying the preposition in the first place! Once you can find the preposition, you can start looking at the words around it to see if it forms a compound preposition, a double preposition of a prepositional phrase. 

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10 Question Quiz: Test Your Knowledge of Parts of Speech Definitions and Examples

Since we’ve covered a lot of material about the 8 parts of speech with examples ( a lot of them!), we want to give you an opportunity to review and see what you’ve learned! While it might seem easier to just use a parts of speech finder instead of learning all this stuff, our parts of speech quiz can help you continue building your knowledge of the 8 parts of speech and master each one. 

Are you ready? Here we go:  

1) What are the 8 parts of speech? 

a) Noun, article, adverb, antecedent, verb, adjective, conjunction, interjection b) Noun, pronoun, verb, adverb, determiner, clause, adjective, preposition c) Noun, verb, adjective, adverb, pronoun, conjunction, interjection, preposition

2) Which parts of speech have subclasses?

a) Nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs b) Nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, conjunctions, and prepositions c) All of them! There are many types of words within each part of speech.

3) What is the difference between common nouns and proper nouns?

a) Common nouns don’t refer to specific people, places, or entities, but proper nouns do refer to specific people, places, or entities.  b) Common nouns refer to regular, everyday people, places, or entities, but proper nouns refer to famous people, places, or entities.  c) Common nouns refer to physical entities, like people, places, and objects, but proper nouns refer to nonphysical entities, like feelings, ideas, and experiences.

4) In which of the following sentences is the emboldened word a verb?

a) He was frightened by the horror film .   b) He adjusted his expectations after the first plan fell through.  c) She walked briskly to get there on time.

5) Which of the following is a correct definition of adjectives, and what other part of speech do adjectives modify?

a) Adjectives are describing words, and they modify nouns and noun phrases.  b) Adjectives are describing words, and they modify verbs and adverbs.  c) Adjectives are describing words, and they modify nouns, verbs, and adverbs.

6) Which of the following describes the function of adverbs in sentences?

a) Adverbs express frequency, degree, manner, time, place, and level of certainty. b) Adverbs express an action performed by a subject.  c) Adverbs describe nouns and noun phrases.

7) Which of the following answers contains a list of personal pronouns?

a) This, that, these, those b) I, you, me, we, he, she, him, her, they, them c) Who, what, which, whose

8) Where do interjections typically appear in a sentence?

a) Interjections can appear at the beginning of or in between sentences. b) Interjections appear at the end of sentences.  c) Interjections appear in prepositional phrases.

9) Which of the following sentences contains a prepositional phrase?

a) The dog happily wagged his tail.  b) The cow jumped over the moon.  c) She glared, angry that he forgot the flowers.

10) Which of the following is an accurate definition of a “part of speech”?

a) A category of words that serve a similar grammatical purpose in sentences. b) A category of words that are of similar length and spelling. c) A category of words that mean the same thing.

So, how did you do? If you got 1C, 2C, 3A, 4B, 5A, 6A, 7B, 8A, 9B, and 10A, you came out on top! There’s a lot to remember where the parts of speech are concerned, and if you’re looking for more practice like our quiz, try looking around for parts of speech games or parts of speech worksheets online!

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What’s Next?

You might be brushing up on your grammar so you can ace the verbal portions of the SAT or ACT. Be sure you check out our guides to the grammar you need to know before you tackle those tests! Here’s our expert guide to the grammar rules you need to know for the SAT , and this article teaches you the 14 grammar rules you’ll definitely see on the ACT.

When you have a good handle on parts of speech, it can make writing essays tons easier. Learn how knowing parts of speech can help you get a perfect 12 on the ACT Essay (or an 8/8/8 on the SAT Essay ).

While we’re on the topic of grammar: keep in mind that knowing grammar rules is only part of the battle when it comes to the verbal and written portions of the SAT and ACT. Having a good vocabulary is also important to making the perfect score ! Here are 262 vocabulary words you need to know before you tackle your standardized tests.

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Ashley Sufflé Robinson has a Ph.D. in 19th Century English Literature. As a content writer for PrepScholar, Ashley is passionate about giving college-bound students the in-depth information they need to get into the school of their dreams.

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the 8 Parts of Speech

Understanding the 8 Parts of Speech: Definitions and Examples

Are you trying to master the grammatical rules of English? If so, understanding the 8 parts of speech is crucial. But what exactly are the parts of speech? How many are there? And how do you know which words fall into each category? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. In this comprehensive guide, we will break down the definitions and examples of the 8 parts of speech, making it easier for you to navigate the intricacies of the English language.

English can be a challenging language to learn, but by understanding the parts of speech, you’ll gain a solid foundation for constructing sentences with clarity and precision. Whether you’re a student, a writer, or simply someone looking to improve your language skills, this article will provide you with a clear understanding of each part of speech. So, let’s immerse and explore the definitions and examples of the 8 parts of speech, empowering you to communicate effectively and confidently in English.

Key Takeaways

  • Understanding the 8 parts of speech is crucial for mastering English grammar.
  • The 8 parts of speech are: nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections.
  • Nouns represent people, places, things, or ideas.
  • Pronouns replace nouns to avoid repetition.
  • Verbs describe actions or states of being.
  • Adjectives provide additional details about nouns.
  • Adverbs modify verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs.
  • Prepositions show relationships between words in a sentence.
  • Conjunctions join words, phrases, or clauses together.
  • Interjections express strong emotions or surprise.

What Are Parts of Speech?

When it comes to understanding the intricacies of English grammar, learning the different parts of speech is crucial. But what exactly are parts of speech? How many are there? And how do you determine which words belong to each part of speech? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll provide clear definitions and examples for each part of speech, helping you navigate the complexities of the English language.

Nouns are words that represent people, places, things, or ideas. They can be common or proper, singular or plural. Examples of nouns include “dog,” “New York City,” and “love.”

Pronouns are words used in place of nouns to avoid repetition. They can refer to individuals or groups. Examples of pronouns include “he,” “she,” “it,” and “they.”

Verbs are action words that describe what a subject does or the state of being. They can be in different tenses and forms. Examples of verbs include “run,” “jump,” and “is.”

Adjectives are words that describe or modify nouns, giving more details or information about them. They can describe qualities, size, shape, color, and more. Examples of adjectives include “beautiful,” “large,” and “blue.”

Adverbs modify verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs, providing information on how, when, where, or to what extent. They often end in “-ly.” Examples of adverbs include “quickly,” “happily,” and “very.”

Prepositions

Prepositions show a relationship between a noun or pronoun and other words in a sentence. They indicate position, direction, time, or manner. Examples of prepositions include “in,” “on,” “at,” and “from.”

Conjunctions

Conjunctions join words, phrases, or clauses together. They can be coordinating or subordinating. Examples of conjunctions include “and,” “but,” “or,” and “because.”

Interjections

Interjections are short exclamations used to express emotions or surprise. They are often followed by exclamation marks. Examples of interjections include “Wow,” “Yay,” and “Ouch!”

Parts of Speech

Understanding the different parts of speech is crucial for building a strong foundation in English grammar. Each part of speech plays a unique role in the construction of sentences, providing clarity and meaning to our language. In this section, we will explore the definitions and examples of the eight parts of speech: noun, pronoun, verb, adjective, adverb, preposition, conjunction, and interjection.

A noun is a word that identifies a person, place, thing, or idea. It can refer to both concrete objects, such as “book” or “dog,” and abstract concepts, such as “love” or “happiness.” Nouns are often referred to as “persons, places, or things,” but it is essential to recognize that they encompass much more than that. Here are some examples of nouns used in sentences:

  • The cat is sleeping on the couch.
  • I love to read a good book .
  • She has a beautiful voice .

Pronouns are words that are used to replace nouns in a sentence. They help avoid repetitive use of nouns and add fluency to our language. Personal pronouns, such as “he,” “she,” or “they,” refer to specific individuals or groups of people. Here are some examples of pronouns used in sentences:

  • She is going to the store.
  • We had an amazing time at the party.
  • Please give me the book.

Verbs are action words that express an action, occurrence, or state of being. They are the backbone of a sentence and provide information about what is happening. Verbs can be either transitive or intransitive, depending on whether they require an object to complete their meaning. Here are some examples of verbs used in sentences:

  • The dog ran in the park.
  • I love to swim in the ocean.
  • They are studying for the exam.

Adjectives are words that describe or modify nouns. They provide additional information about the nouns they accompany, such as their size, color, or quality. Adjectives help make our language more vivid and expressive. Here are some examples of adjectives used in sentences:

  • She has a beautiful smile.
  • The blue sky is clear today.
  • He is a talented musician.

Adverbs are words that modify verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs. They provide information about how, when, where, or to what extent an action is performed. Adverbs enhance the meaning of a sentence and add precision to our language. Here are some examples of adverbs used in sentences:

  • He quickly finished his assignments.
  • She sings beautifully .
  • They went outside to play.

Preposition

Prepositions are words that indicate the relationship between a noun or pronoun and other words in a sentence. They often express location, direction, time, or manner. Prepositions are essential for understanding spatial and temporal relationships. Here are some examples of prepositions used in sentences:

  • The cat is under the table.
  • We walked through the park.
  • The book is on the shelf.

Conjunction

Conjunctions are words that connect words, phrases, or clauses within a sentence. They help establish relationships between different parts of a sentence, coordinating or subordinating their meaning. Conjunctions are essential for creating complex sentences. Here are some examples of conjunctions used in sentences:

  • I will go to the store, but I need to buy milk.
  • Because it was raining, we stayed indoors.
  • He likes both chocolate and vanilla ice cream.

Interjection

Interjections are words or phrases used to convey strong emotions or reactions. They are often standalone expressions and can add emphasis or express surprise, joy, or frustration. Interjections bring life and emotion to our language. Here are some examples of interjections used in sentences:

  • Wow , that’s an impressive performance!
  • Ouch , that hurt!
  • Alas , I lost my wallet.

Understanding and mastering the eight parts of speech will greatly enhance your language skills and enable you to effectively communicate in English. From nouns that identify people and things to verbs that express actions, each part of speech contributes to the overall structure and meaning of a sentence. Keep practicing and exploring the various functions of these parts of speech to become a confident English speaker and writer.

Examples of Each Part of Speech

Nouns play a crucial role in sentence construction as they represent people, places, things, or ideas. Here are some examples of nouns:

Pronouns, on the other hand, replace nouns to avoid repetition. Here are a few examples for better understanding:

  • If you leave now, only James and I will remain behind.
  • Their feet ached more than ours .

Verbs express actions, feelings, or states of being. Check out these verb examples:

  • We sang songs , danced all night , and by the morning had fallen in love .
  • Can you bring me something from the kitchen?

Adjectives add descriptions to nouns. Here are a few examples:

  • The tall building stood out in the city skyline.

Adverbs add meaning to verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs. Take a look at these examples:

  • The car drove quickly down the street.
  • She performed very well in the competition.

Prepositions express the relationship between nouns, pronouns, and other words. Here are some examples:

  • The book is on the table.
  • The cat jumped over the fence.

Conjunctions connect words, phrases, or clauses within a sentence. Check out these examples:

  • He likes tea and coffee.
  • She is tired, but she is determined to finish the project.

Interjections convey strong emotions or sudden reactions. Here are a few examples:

  • Wow , what a beautiful sunset!
  • Oh no , I forgot to bring my umbrella.

Remember, understanding the different parts of speech and their functions is crucial in constructing meaningful sentences. Keep practicing and exploring the various examples to strengthen your language skills.

Now that you have a clear understanding of the eight parts of speech in English grammar, you are equipped with the knowledge to construct sentences with precision and clarity. By mastering the definitions and examples of nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections, you can effectively communicate in English.

Each part of speech serves a unique purpose in sentence construction, providing meaning and structure to our language. Nouns name people, places, things, or ideas, while pronouns replace nouns to avoid repetition. Verbs express actions or states of being, while adjectives and adverbs provide descriptions and modify other words. Prepositions indicate relationships between words, conjunctions connect words or phrases, and interjections express strong emotions.

By practicing and exploring the functions of these parts of speech, you will become a confident English speaker and writer. Remember to apply this knowledge in your daily conversations and written communication to enhance your language skills.

Continue to refine your understanding and usage of the eight parts of speech, and watch as your language abilities flourish.

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parts of speech definition in own words

The 9 Parts of Speech: Definitions and Examples

  • Ph.D., Rhetoric and English, University of Georgia
  • M.A., Modern English and American Literature, University of Leicester
  • B.A., English, State University of New York

A part of speech is a term used in traditional grammar for one of the nine main categories into which words are classified according to their functions in sentences, such as nouns or verbs. Also known as word classes, these are the building blocks of grammar.

Every sentence you write or speak in English includes words that fall into some of the nine parts of speech. These include nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, articles/determiners, and interjections. (Some sources include only eight parts of speech and leave interjections in their own category.)

Parts of Speech

  • Word types can be divided into nine parts of speech:
  • prepositions
  • conjunctions
  • articles/determiners
  • interjections
  • Some words can be considered more than one part of speech, depending on context and usage.
  • Interjections can form complete sentences on their own.

Learning the names of the parts of speech probably won't make you witty, healthy, wealthy, or wise. In fact, learning just the names of the parts of speech won't even make you a better writer. However, you will gain a basic understanding of sentence structure  and the  English language by familiarizing yourself with these labels.

Open and Closed Word Classes

The parts of speech are commonly divided into  open classes  (nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs) and  closed classes  (pronouns, prepositions, conjunctions, articles/determiners, and interjections). Open classes can be altered and added to as language develops, and closed classes are pretty much set in stone. For example, new nouns are created every day, but conjunctions never change.

In contemporary linguistics , parts of speech are generally referred to as word classes or syntactic categories. The main difference is that word classes are classified according to more strict linguistic criteria. Within word classes, there is the lexical, or open class, and the function, or closed class.

The 9 Parts of Speech

Read about each part of speech below, and practice identifying each.

Nouns are a person, place, thing, or idea. They can take on a myriad of roles in a sentence, from the subject of it all to the object of an action. They are capitalized when they're the official name of something or someone, and they're called proper nouns in these cases. Examples: pirate, Caribbean, ship, freedom, Captain Jack Sparrow.

Pronouns stand in for nouns in a sentence . They are more generic versions of nouns that refer only to people. Examples:​  I, you, he, she, it, ours, them, who, which, anybody, ourselves.

Verbs are action words that tell what happens in a sentence. They can also show a sentence subject's state of being ( is , was ). Verbs change form based on tense (present, past) and count distinction (singular or plural). Examples:  sing, dance, believes, seemed, finish, eat, drink, be, became.

Adjectives describe nouns and pronouns. They specify which one, how much, what kind, and more. Adjectives allow readers and listeners to use their senses to imagine something more clearly. Examples:  hot, lazy, funny, unique, bright, beautiful, poor, smooth.

Adverbs describe verbs, adjectives, and even other adverbs. They specify when, where, how, and why something happened and to what extent or how often. Many adjectives can be turned into adjectives by adding the suffix - ly . Examples:  softly, quickly, lazily, often, only, hopefully, sometimes.

Preposition

Prepositions  show spatial, temporal, and role relations between a noun or pronoun and the other words in a sentence. They come at the start of a prepositional phrase , which contains a preposition and its object. Examples:  up, over, against, by, for, into, close to, out of, apart from.

Conjunction

Conjunctions join words, phrases, and clauses in a sentence. There are coordinating, subordinating, and correlative conjunctions. Examples:  and, but, or, so, yet.

Articles and Determiners

Articles and determiners function like adjectives by modifying nouns, but they are different than adjectives in that they are necessary for a sentence to have proper syntax. Articles and determiners specify and identify nouns, and there are indefinite and definite articles. Examples of articles:  a, an, the ; examples of determiners:  these, that, those, enough, much, few, which, what.

Some traditional grammars have treated articles  as a distinct part of speech. Modern grammars, however, more often include articles in the category of determiners , which identify or quantify a noun. Even though they modify nouns like adjectives, articles are different in that they are essential to the proper syntax of a sentence, just as determiners are necessary to convey the meaning of a sentence, while adjectives are optional.

Interjection

Interjections are expressions that can stand on their own or be contained within sentences. These words and phrases often carry strong emotions and convey reactions. Examples:  ah, whoops, ouch, yabba dabba do!

How to Determine the Part of Speech

Only interjections ( Hooray! ) have a habit of standing alone; every other part of speech must be contained within a sentence and some are even required in sentences (nouns and verbs). Other parts of speech come in many varieties and may appear just about anywhere in a sentence.

To know for sure what part of speech a word falls into, look not only at the word itself but also at its meaning, position, and use in a sentence.

For example, in the first sentence below,  work  functions as a noun; in the second sentence, a verb; and in the third sentence, an adjective:

  • Bosco showed up for  work  two hours late.
  • The noun  work  is the thing Bosco shows up for.
  • He will have to  work  until midnight.
  • The verb  work  is the action he must perform.
  • His  work  permit expires next month.
  • The  attributive noun  (or converted adjective) work  modifies the noun  permit .

Learning the names and uses of the basic parts of speech is just one way to understand how sentences are constructed.

Dissecting Basic Sentences

To form a basic complete sentence, you only need two elements: a noun (or pronoun standing in for a noun) and a verb. The noun acts as a subject, and the verb, by telling what action the subject is taking, acts as the predicate. 

In the short sentence above,  birds  is the noun and  fly  is the verb. The sentence makes sense and gets the point across.

You can have a sentence with just one word without breaking any sentence formation rules. The short sentence below is complete because it's a verb command with an understood "you" noun.

Here, the pronoun, standing in for a noun, is implied and acts as the subject. The sentence is really saying, "(You) go!"

Constructing More Complex Sentences

Use more parts of speech to add additional information about what's happening in a sentence to make it more complex. Take the first sentence from above, for example, and incorporate more information about how and why birds fly.

  • Birds fly when migrating before winter.

Birds and fly remain the noun and the verb, but now there is more description. 

When  is an adverb that modifies the verb fly.  The word before  is a little tricky because it can be either a conjunction, preposition, or adverb depending on the context. In this case, it's a preposition because it's followed by a noun. This preposition begins an adverbial phrase of time ( before winter ) that answers the question of when the birds migrate . Before is not a conjunction because it does not connect two clauses.

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Parts Of Speech: Breaking Them Down With Examples

Author: sarah perowne, more content, why understanding parts of speech is important , the 8 parts of speech: definitions, examples, and rules, 2. pronouns, 3. adjectives, 6. prepositions, 7. conjunctions, 8. articles, takeaways - tips.

Parts of speech are like Legos. Instead of being made into houses or spaceships, they’re the building blocks we use to form written and spoken language.

Every word you speak or write is a part of speech. In the English language, there are 8 parts of speech: nouns , pronouns , adjectives , verbs , adverbs , prepositions , conjunctions , and articles (determiners). These parts of speech represent categories of words according to their grammatical function.

Parts of Speech examples

Having a basic understanding of the parts of speech in the English language gives you a specific terminology and classification system to talk about language. It can help you correctly punctuate a sentence, capitalize the right words, and even understand how to form a complete sentence to avoid grammatical errors.

Part Of Speech Function Example Vocabulary Example Sentences
Part Of Speech Noun Function is a person or thing. Example Vocabulary Birthday, cake, Paris, flat Example Sentences Today is my birthday. I like cake. I have a flat; It's in Paris.
Part Of Speech Pronoun Function is a noun substitute. Example Vocabulary I, you, she, her, him, some, and them. Example Sentences Susan is my neighbor; She is charming.
Part Of Speech Adjective Function describes the noun in a sentence. Example Vocabulary Happy, small, cozy, hungry, and warm. Example Sentences She lives in a small cottage. Her home is cozy and warm.
Part Of Speech Verb Function is an action word or state of being. Example Vocabulary Run, jump, sleep, can, do, (to) be, or like Example Sentences The teacher is happy; she likes her students.
Part Of Speech Adverb Function describes a verb, adverb, or adjective. Example Vocabulary Merrily, slowly, softly, or quickly Example Sentences The girl spoke softly. She walked away slowly.
Part Of Speech Preposition Function connects a noun or pronoun to another word. Shows the direction, location, or movement. Example Vocabulary In, on, at, to, after. Example Sentences We left by bus in the morning. Conjunction,"connects words, sentences, or clauses.
Part Of Speech Article Function shows whether a specific identity is known or unknown. Example Vocabulary A, an, and the. Example Sentences A man called today. The cat is on the table; get it off!

Still with us? Now, we will break down each of these English grammar categories and give some examples.

Nouns are words that name a person, place, thing, or idea. They can be further classified into different types of nouns .

Proper Nouns Vs. Common Nouns

There are some nouns we can count and others we cannot. Take a look at this table.

Type Of Noun Definition Examples
Type Of Noun Proper Nouns Definition Name a specific person, place, or thing. Always start with a capital letter. Examples Egypt, Paul, Eiffel Tower, Chicago
Type Of Noun Common Nouns Definition Don’t name a specific person, place, or thing. Don’t start with a capital letter unless they are placed at the beginning of a sentence. Examples dog, houses, sleep, homes, cup

Concrete Nouns Vs. Abstract Nouns

Type Of Noun Definition Examples
Type Of Noun Concrete Nouns Definition Identify material things. Examples apple, boy, clock, table, window
Type Of Noun Abstract Nouns Definition Express a characteristic or idea. Examples happiness, tranquility, war, danger, friendship

Singular Nouns Vs. Plural Nouns

Rule Add Singular Noun Examples Plural Noun Examples
Rule For most common nouns… Add -s Singular Noun Examples Chair Plural Noun Examples Chairs
Rule For nouns that end in -ch, -s, -ch, or x… Add -es Singular Noun Examples Teach Plural Noun Examples Teaches
Rule For nouns ending with -y and a vowel… Add -s Singular Noun Examples Toy Plural Noun Examples Toys
Rule For nouns ending with -y and a consonant… Add Remove -y and add -ies Singular Noun Examples Lady Plural Noun Examples Ladies
Rule For nouns ending in -o and a vowel… Add -es or -s Singular Noun Examples Tomato Plural Noun Examples Tomatoes
Rule For nouns ending in -f or -fe… Add Remove -fe or -f and add -v and -es Singular Noun Examples Leaf Plural Noun Examples Leaves
Rule For nouns ending in o- and consonant… Add -es Singular Noun Examples Echo Plural Noun Examples Echoes

Exceptions To The Rule

Some nouns are irregular, and it’s a case of learning their plural form as they don’t always follow specific rules. Here are some examples:

Singular Irregular Noun Plural Form
Singular Irregular Noun Man Plural Form Men
Singular Irregular Noun Woman Plural Form Women
Singular Irregular Noun Tooth Plural Form Teeth
Singular Irregular Noun Child Plural Form Children
Singular Irregular Noun Person Plural Form People
Singular Irregular Noun Buffalo Plural Form Buffalo

Countable Vs. Uncountable Nouns

Countable Nouns Uncountable of Mass Nouns Countable and Uncountable Nouns
Countable Nouns Singular and Plural Uncountable of Mass Nouns Cannot be pluralized Countable and Uncountable Nouns Depends on the context of the sentence
Countable Nouns Table / Tables Uncountable of Mass Nouns Hair Countable and Uncountable Nouns Chicken / A chicken
Countable Nouns Chair / Chairs Uncountable of Mass Nouns Air Countable and Uncountable Nouns Coffee / Two coffees
Countable Nouns Dog / Dogs Uncountable of Mass Nouns Information Countable and Uncountable Nouns Paper / Sheet of paper
Countable Nouns Quantifiers: some, many, a few, a lot, numbers Uncountable of Mass Nouns Quantifiers: some, any, a piece, a lot of, much, a little Countable and Uncountable Nouns

Other Types of Nouns

Possessive nouns.

Possessive nouns possess something and usually have ‘s or simply ‘ at the end. When the noun is singular, we add an ‘s. When the noun is plural, we add an apostrophe.

Here are examples of possessive nouns :

  • David’s sister has a dog.
  • His sister’s dog is named Max.

Collective Nouns

Collective nouns refer to a group or collection of things, people, or animals. Such as,

  • Choir of singers
  • Herd of sheep

Noun Phrases

A noun phrase is two or more words that function as a noun in a sentence. It also includes modifiers that can come before or after the noun.

Here are examples of noun phrases:

  • The little brown dog is mine.
  • The market down the street has the best prices.

If you want to know where to find nouns in a sentence, look for the subject or a direct object, and they will stand right out. For example:

  • Mary ate chocolate cake and ice cream .

(Mary = Subject) (Chocolate cake, and ice cream = direct objects)

This is an easy way to identify nouns in a sentence.

Pronouns are words used in the place of a noun or noun phrase. They can be further classified into different types of pronouns , such as personal, reflexive, and possessive.

Personal Pronouns

Subject Person Pronoun Examples
Subject 1st Person Singular Person Pronoun I Examples I am walking.
Subject 2nd Person Singular Person Pronoun You Examples You are walking.
Subject 3rd Person Singular Person Pronoun She, He, and It Examples It is walking.
Subject 1st Person Plural Person Pronoun We Examples We are walking.
Subject 2nd Person Plural Person Pronoun You (all) Examples You are walking.
Subject 3rd Person Plural Person Pronoun They Examples They are walking.

Reflexive Pronouns

Some examples of reflexive pronouns are myself, yourself, herself, and itself.

Here are examples of reflexive pronouns in sentences:

  • I helped myself to an extra serving of gravy.
  • She didn’t do the cooking herself.
  • The word itself is pretty easy to spell but hard to pronounce.

Reflexive pronouns can also be used for emphasis, as in this sentence:

  • Joe himself baked the cake.

Possessive Pronouns

Some examples of possessive pronouns are my, mine, your, yours, his, hers, its, ours, and theirs. We use these words when we want to express possession. Such as,

  • Is this your car?
  • No, it’s his .
  • It’s not mine .

Mine, yours, and his are examples of the independent form of possessive pronouns , and when showing possession, these pronouns never need an apostrophe.

Adjectives are words that describe nouns or pronouns. They make the meaning more definite. When we want to talk about what kind of a house we have, we can use adjectives to describe it, such as big, red, or lovely.

We can use adjectives to precede the word it modifies, like this;

  • She wore a beautiful , blue dress.

Or we can use adjectives following the word they modify, like this;

  • The athlete, tall and thin , was ready to win the race.

There are many types of adjectives, one being possessive . The seven possessive adjectives are my, your, his, her, its, our, and their. These words modify a noun or pronoun and show possession. Such as,

  • Their dog is brown.
  • How old is your brother?
  • That was my idea.

Verbs are words that express an action or a state of being. All verbs help to make a complete statement. Action verbs express a physical action, for example:

Other verbs express a mental action, for example:

These can also be called lexical verbs .

Lexical Verbs and Auxiliary Verbs

Sometimes lexical verbs need the help of another type of verb . That’s where helping verbs , or auxiliary verbs , come into action; they help to make a statement or express action.

Examples of auxiliary verbs are am, are, is, has, can, may, will be, and might have.

When we use more than one verb when writing or speaking to express an action or state of being, it’s a verbal phrase consisting of the main verb, lexical verb, and one or more auxiliary verbs.

Some examples of verbal phrases:

  • Should have done
  • Must have been broken
  • Will be following

Here are examples of verbal phrases used in a sentence.

  • You should have gone to the concert last night. It was amazing!
  • I may go to the concert next time if I have the money for a ticket.
  • I might have missed out this time, but I certainly won’t next time.

Adverbs are used to describe an adjective, verb, or even another adverb . They can express how something is done, as in splendidly or poorly .

Here are some examples of adverbs in use:

  • She was running extremely fast during that race .

The adverb extremely modifies the adjective fast , expressing just how rapid the runner was.

  • I can hardly see it in the distance.

The adverb hardly modifies the verb see , expressing how much is visible, which in this case is not much at all.

  • It’s been surprisingly poorly cleaned.

The adverb surprisingly modifies the adverb poorly, expressing the surprise at how badly the car has been cleaned.

They are used to show relationships between words, such as nouns or pronouns, with other words in the sentence. They can indicate spatial or time relationships. Some common prepositions are about, at, before, behind, but, in, off, on, to, and with.

Here are some examples of common prepositions in sentences:

  • She sat behind me in class.
  • Her mother was from Vietnam.
  • The two of us worked together on the project.

Prepositions are followed by objects of prepositions, a noun, or a noun phrase that follows to give it meaning.

  • Julie goes to school with Mark . (With whom? Mark.)

Groups of words can also act as prepositions together, such as in spite of .

  • In spite of all the traffic, we arrived just on time.

Conjunctions link words or groups of words together. We often use them to create complex sentences. There are three types of conjunctions: coordinating conjunctions , correlative conjunctions , and subordinating conjunctions.  

Coordinating Conjunctions

Examples of coordinating conjunctions are and, but, or, nor, for, so, and yet. Such as:

  • He wanted apple pie and ice cream.
  • She offered him fruit or cookies.
  • He ate the fruit but still wanted apple pie.

Correlative Conjunctions

Correlative conjunctions are used in pairs. Some examples are;

  • and neither/ nor.

Here is an example of the conjunctions above in use:

  • He wanted neither fruit nor cookies for dessert.

Subordinating Conjunctions

We use subordinating conjunctions to begin subordinate clauses or sentences.

Some examples of common subordinating conjunctions are after, before, then, when, provided, unless, so that, and while. Such as,

  • He left the house before it turned dark.
  • He realized he had forgotten a gift when he arrived at the party.
  • The party was better than he had imagined.

There are three articles in the English language: a, an, and the. Articles can indicate whether a specific identity is known or not.

A and an are called indefinite articles and refer to a general group. Such as,

  • A woman is at the front door.
  • She stood there for a minute.
  • She had a book in her hand.

The is a definite article and refers to a specific thing or person. Such as,

  • The woman at the door is my friend Tracy.
  • She’s returning the book she borrowed last week.

Getting these right to know if we’re talking about a specific item, person, or thing, in general, is important.

How many parts of speech are there in the English language? Are there 8, 9, or 10?

Many words can also be used as more than one part of speech..

Once you get the hang of it, identifying the various parts of speech in a sentence will be second nature, like riding a bike. And just think, it can help you craft stronger sentences!

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The Parts of Speech – Definitions and Examples

The different parts of speech are the breakdown and classification of words in English that show their unique functions and properties. In core language, a single word can function as two or more parts of speech.

Differentiating between the 9 parts of speech is the first step to building your grammar skills and writing tools. Keep reading to learn the definitions and examples of each category!

What are the 9 Basic Parts of Speech?

A noun is any place, person, idea, or thing. Some examples of nouns include:

There are various classifications of nouns you can use in your writing. Proper nouns are specific names for places, persons, ideas, or things. Meanwhile, common nouns are generic class nouns. A possessive noun is another type of noun that demonstrates belonging. 

We can also classify this part of speech as an abstract noun, concrete noun, count noun, and uncountable noun.

The placement of the noun in a sentence also determines its function. A noun can be in the nominative or objective case. The nominative functions include subject and subject complement. And the types of objects are direct object, indirect object, and object of a preposition.

A quick introduction to pronouns shows they are classes of words that take the place of nouns. Some examples of pronouns include he, that, whoever, myself.

This quick guide to pronouns shows they can be classified as: 

  • Personal pronoun (I, he, she, you, etc.)
  • Demonstrative pronouns (that, those, these, this, etc.).
  • Interrogative pronouns (what, when, why, how, etc.).
  • Relative pronouns (who/whom, whose, which, etc.).
  • Indefinite pronouns (anybody, everybody, somebody, everything, etc.).
  • Reflexive pronouns (myself, yourself, herself, etc.).
  • Intensive pronouns (myself, yourself, herself, etc.).

Pronouns can further be divided into first-person pronoun, second-person pronoun, and third-person pronoun.

A verb is a word that conveys time while showing a condition, an action, or the fact that something exists. All complete sentences should contain at least one verb unless using an interjection.

Verbs can be treated as either lexical verbs/action verbs (study, love, drink) or auxiliary verbs (seem, is, have). 

parts of speech definition in own words

A verb phrase combines verbs with linking verbs and lexical categories of verbs. Some examples include:

  • Has become.

Phrasal verbs are forms of verbs that consist of two or more words. Here are some examples:

  • Put up with.

When you add “up with” after the simple verb “put,” you create a brand-new verb with a new meaning. Therefore, phrasal verbs should be treated as complete verbs because of their unique definitions.

Some verbs are reflexive. A reflexive verb is where the subject and object are one since the sentence uses reflexive pronouns like “himself” or “itself.”

Whether you’re using a lexical or auxiliary verb, this part of the speech always expresses time through the different tenses. For instance, the verb “eats” is a present-tense verb, and its past form is “ate.”

4. Adjective

Another part of speech is the adjective , which modifies or describes a noun or a pronoun. It typically answers the questions “what kind,” “which one,” or “how much.” For example:

The articles “a,” “an,” and “the” are sometimes categorized as adjectives. “The” is a definite article, and “a” and “an” are indefinite articles.

Adjective classes include:

  • Absolute adjectives.
  • Appositive adjectives.
  • Attributive adjectives.
  • Predicative adjectives.
  • Compound adjectives.
  • Qualitative adjectives.
  • Denomial adjectives.
  • Participial adjectives.
  • Demonstrative adjectives.

Adverbs are a word class that modifies adjectives, verbs, and fellow adverbs. One frequent adverb marker is the suffix -ly, such as “healthily,” “badly,” and “swiftly.”

But the discussion of adverbs goes beyond words that describe actions. There are also adverbs of degree, place, time, and frequency. The English language also considers “most days,” “to visit my friend,” “very loudly,” and other adverbial phrases as adverbs.

Adverbial phrases are under the phrasal categories, including verb phrases, adjective phrases, etc.

6. Conjunction

A conjunction is a word that binds words, clauses, and phrases. “And,” “but,” “because,” and “consequently” are some examples of conjunctions.

Conjunctions make it easy to construct more complex sentences because you can easily add new clauses. The category distinctions of this part of speech are:

  • Coordinating conjunctions (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so, etc.)
  • Subordinating conjunctions (after, although, unless, since, if, etc.)
  • Correlative conjunctions (not only… but also, either… or, etc.)

7. Preposition

Prepositions show relations of space, time, and role between nouns, pronouns, and other words. They are at the start of prepositional phrases. Here are some examples of prepositions:

  • Apart from.

8. Determiner

A determiner is like an adjective because it also modifies nouns. However, these words are essential for proper syntax as opposed to adjectives. They can be classified as indefinite and definite. New grammar rules now treat articles as determiners. Examples of determiners include:

  • Which. 

9. Interjection

The last part of speech is the interjection which may have standalone functions in sentences. “Whoops,” “ouch,” “ah,” and “hooray” can be an entire sentence on their own.

Parts of Speech Chart

Analyzing the parts of speech is different for every individual language. Here’s an overview of the different categories in English.

NounPerson, thing, place, or eventShe is the new .
PronounReplaces a noun is the new assistant. bag is missing.
VerbExpresses time while demonstrating a condition, action, or the fact that something existsShe the new assistant. I what she that day.
AdjectiveModifies a noun or a pronounShe is the assistant. Jane is selling her apartment.
AdverbModifies a verb, adjective, or fellow adverb. remove your makeup.
ConjunctionConnects clauses, words, or sentencesI like candles I like reed diffusers. She asked me not to attend she won’t be there.
PrepositionConnects a noun to another wordMy dog went the neighbor’s house.
DeterminerDetermines a noun buzzcut suits your face shape.
InterjectionShort exclamation ! That was an impressive performance.

When A Word is Also Two Different Kinds of Speech

Sometimes, words have more than one role in the English language. For example, some nouns can also act as adjectives called adjectival nouns. In the phrase “race car,” “race” modifies “car,” so its usage is as an adjective instead of a noun.

A noun can be used in verbal senses. Consider the word “work” in these sentences.

  • My new work is more promising than the old one. (noun)
  • Shew works in a new industry. (verb)

Open and Closed Word Classes

The two classifications of the parts of speech include open and closed classes. The open classes can be changed and added as the language changes. 

  • Adjectives.

Meanwhile, closed classes are parts of speech that do not change. These include:

  • Prepositions.
  • Conjunctions.
  • Articles and determiners.
  • Interjections.

In some languages, verbs and adjectives form closed classes. This closedness of verbs is common in Basque and Persian verbs .

Linguistics , or the study of language, does not recommend the label “part of speech” anymore. Instead, the discipline favors “syntactic category” or “word class.”

What Part of Speech is With?

In the stricter sense, the only use of “with” is as a preposition. You can find it before a noun or a pronoun to form prepositional phrases. Use it to show togetherness, associations, and connections between people and objects.

What Part of Speech is And?

The conjunction “and” connects words, clauses, and phrases. It can also combine sentences that need to be presented at once.

What Part of Speech is My?

“My” is a possessive pronoun that can also act as an adjective, determiner, or interjection.

Are You Using the Parts of Speech the Right Way?

This guide has shown you the nine parts of speech and their grammatical functions. By now, you should already be able to give definitions and examples of each category, so they make sense. 

To correctly use the parts of speech, ask yourself, “what is the function of this word in the sentence?” Keep practicing until you master the traditional grammar rules of English!

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The 8 Parts of Speech | Definition & Examples

A part of speech (also called a word class ) is a category that describes the role a word plays in a sentence. Understanding the different parts of speech can help you analyse how words function in a sentence and improve your writing.

The parts of speech are classified differently in different grammars, but most traditional grammars list eight parts of speech in English: nouns , pronouns , verbs , adjectives , adverbs , prepositions , conjunctions , and interjections . Some modern grammars add others, such as determiners and articles .

Many words can function as different parts of speech depending on how they are used. For example, ‘laugh’ can be a noun (e.g., ‘I like your laugh’) or a verb (e.g., ‘don’t laugh’).

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Prepositions, conjunctions, interjections, other parts of speech, frequently asked questions.

A noun is a word that refers to a person, concept, place, or thing. Nouns can act as the subject of a sentence (i.e., the person or thing performing the action) or as the object of a verb (i.e., the person or thing affected by the action).

There are numerous types of nouns, including common nouns (used to refer to nonspecific people, concepts, places, or things), proper nouns (used to refer to specific people, concepts, places, or things), and collective nouns (used to refer to a group of people or things).

Ella lives in France .

Other types of nouns include countable and uncountable nouns , concrete nouns , abstract nouns , and gerunds .

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A pronoun is a word used in place of a noun. Pronouns typically refer back to an antecedent (a previously mentioned noun) and must demonstrate correct pronoun-antecedent agreement . Like nouns, pronouns can refer to people, places, concepts, and things.

There are numerous types of pronouns, including personal pronouns (used in place of the proper name of a person), demonstrative pronouns (used to refer to specific things and indicate their relative position), and interrogative pronouns (used to introduce questions about things, people, and ownership).

That is a horrible painting!

A verb is a word that describes an action (e.g., ‘jump’), occurrence (e.g., ‘become’), or state of being (e.g., ‘exist’). Verbs indicate what the subject of a sentence is doing. Every complete sentence must contain at least one verb.

Verbs can change form depending on subject (e.g., first person singular), tense (e.g., past simple ), mood (e.g., interrogative), and voice (e.g., passive voice ).

Regular verbs are verbs whose simple past and past participle are formed by adding’-ed’ to the end of the word (or ‘-d’ if the word already ends in ‘e’). Irregular verbs are verbs whose simple past and past participles are formed in some other way.

‘I’ve already checked twice’.

‘I heard that you used to sing ‘.

Other types of verbs include auxiliary verbs , linking verbs , modal verbs , and phrasal verbs .

An adjective is a word that describes a noun or pronoun. Adjectives can be attributive , appearing before a noun (e.g., ‘a red hat’), or predicative , appearing after a noun with the use of a linking verb like ‘to be’ (e.g., ‘the hat is red ‘).

Adjectives can also have a comparative function. Comparative adjectives compare two or more things. Superlative adjectives describe something as having the most or least of a specific characteristic.

Other types of adjectives include coordinate adjectives , participial adjectives , and denominal adjectives .

An adverb is a word that can modify a verb, adjective, adverb, or sentence. Adverbs are often formed by adding ‘-ly’ to the end of an adjective (e.g., ‘slow’ becomes ‘slowly’), although not all adverbs have this ending, and not all words with this ending are adverbs.

There are numerous types of adverbs, including adverbs of manner (used to describe how something occurs), adverbs of degree (used to indicate extent or degree), and adverbs of place (used to describe the location of an action or event).

Talia writes quite quickly.

Other types of adverbs include adverbs of frequency , adverbs of purpose , focusing adverbs , and adverbial phrases .

A preposition is a word (e.g., ‘at’) or phrase (e.g., ‘on top of’) used to show the relationship between the different parts of a sentence. Prepositions can be used to indicate aspects such as time , place , and direction .

I left the cup on the kitchen counter.

A conjunction is a word used to connect different parts of a sentence (e.g., words, phrases, or clauses).

The main types of conjunctions are coordinating conjunctions (used to connect items that are grammatically equal), subordinating conjunctions (used to introduce a dependent clause), and correlative conjunctions (used in pairs to join grammatically equal parts of a sentence).

You can choose what movie we watch because I chose the last time.

An interjection is a word or phrase used to express a feeling, give a command, or greet someone. Interjections are a grammatically independent part of speech, so they can often be excluded from a sentence without affecting the meaning.

Types of interjections include volitive interjections (used to make a demand or request), emotive interjections (used to express a feeling or reaction), cognitive interjections (used to indicate thoughts), and greetings and parting words (used at the beginning and end of a conversation).

Ouch ! I hurt my arm.

I’m, um , not sure.

The traditional classification of English words into eight parts of speech is by no means the only one or the objective truth. Grammarians have often divided them into more or fewer classes. Other commonly mentioned parts of speech include determiners and articles.

Determiners

A determiner is a word that describes a noun by indicating quantity, possession, or relative position.

Common types of determiners include demonstrative determiners (used to indicate the relative position of a noun), possessive determiners (used to describe ownership), and quantifiers (used to indicate the quantity of a noun).

My brother is selling his old car.

Other types of determiners include distributive determiners , determiners of difference , and numbers .

An article is a word that modifies a noun by indicating whether it is specific or general.

  • The definite article the is used to refer to a specific version of a noun. The can be used with all countable and uncountable nouns (e.g., ‘the door’, ‘the energy’, ‘the mountains’).
  • The indefinite articles a and an refer to general or unspecific nouns. The indefinite articles can only be used with singular countable nouns (e.g., ‘a poster’, ‘an engine’).

There’s a concert this weekend.

A is an indefinite article (along with an ). While articles can be classed as their own part of speech, they’re also considered a type of determiner .

The indefinite articles are used to introduce nonspecific countable nouns (e.g., ‘a dog’, ‘an island’).

In is primarily classed as a preposition, but it can be classed as various other parts of speech, depending on how it is used:

  • Preposition (e.g., ‘ in the field’)
  • Noun (e.g., ‘I have an in with that company’)
  • Adjective (e.g., ‘Tim is part of the in crowd’)
  • Adverb (e.g., ‘Will you be in this evening?’)

As a part of speech, and is classed as a conjunction . Specifically, it’s a coordinating conjunction .

And can be used to connect grammatically equal parts of a sentence, such as two nouns (e.g., ‘a cup and plate’), or two adjectives (e.g., ‘strong and smart’). And can also be used to connect phrases and clauses.

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Parts of speech, we have eight parts of speech in the english language: (1) nouns, (2) verbs, (3) adjectives, (4) adverbs, (5) pronouns, (6) conjunctions, (7) prepositions, and (8) interjections. every word you use in speech or writing falls into just one of these eight categories..

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  • Conjunctions
  • Prepositions
  • Interjections

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Prepositions, interjections, categorizing the parts of speech.

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part of speech , lexical category to which a word is assigned based on its function in a sentence.

There are eight parts of speech in traditional English grammar: noun, pronoun, verb , adjective , adverb , conjunction, preposition , and interjection . In linguistics , parts of speech are more typically called word classes .

Distribution of the Sino-Tibetan languages

A noun names a person, place, thing, or idea. There are many subcategories of nouns, including common nouns, proper nouns, collective nouns, and abstract nouns.

Common nouns name basic things that can be seen and touched. Examples of common nouns include dog , banana , table , and book .

  • The dog ate a banana .
  • The book was on the table .

Proper nouns name specific people, places, and things, and they begin with a capital letter . Examples of proper nouns include George, New York City , Empire State Building , and Atlantic Ocean .

  • George sailed the Atlantic Ocean .
  • The Empire State Building is in New York City .

Collective nouns name groups of people or things. Examples of collective nouns include team , flock , litter , and batch .

  • The team won the game.
  • The flock flew south for the winter.

Abstract nouns name things that cannot be seen or touched. Examples of abstract nouns include happiness , truth , friendship , and beauty .

  • He brings her so much happiness .
  • The friendship is a strong one.

A pronoun is used in place of a noun. There are many subcategories of pronouns, including but not limited to personal pronouns, possessive pronouns, and reflexive pronouns.

Personal pronouns replace names of people, places, things, and ideas. Examples of personal pronouns include she , he , it , and they .

  • They enjoyed the party.
  • Mikey likes it .

Possessive pronouns replace nouns and indicate ownership. Because they modify nouns, they are also frequently categorized as adjectives. Examples of possessive pronouns include his , its , mine , and theirs .

  • The house is theirs .
  • The parrot knows its name.

Reflexive pronouns replace nouns when the subject and object in a sentence are the same. Examples of reflexive pronouns include myself , herself , themselves , and oneself .

  • She baked a cake all by herself .
  • They prepared themselves for the adventure.

A verb indicates a state of doing, being, or having. There are three main subcategories of verbs: doing verbs, being verbs, and having verbs.

Doing verbs indicate actions. Examples of doing verbs include run , wash , explain , and wonder .

  • Oliver washed the windows.
  • I wonder where the cat is hiding.

Being and having verbs do not indicate action and are considered relating (or linking) verbs because they connect one piece of information to another. Examples of being and having verbs include am , are , has , and own .

  • We are at the store.
  • John has a red baseball cap.

An adjective describes or modifies a noun or pronoun.

Adjectives provide information about the qualities or classifications of a person or thing. Examples of adjectives include tall , purple , funny , and antique .

  • The Willis Tower is a tall building.
  • There were several antique cars in the parade.

An adverb describes or modifies verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs.

Adverbs provide information about the manner in which things are done, as well as when, where, and why they are done. Examples of adverbs include quickly , extremely , fiercely , and yesterday .

  • The boy ran quickly through the rainstorm.
  • That was a fiercely competitive game yesterday.

A conjunction links words, phrases, and clauses. There are two main subcategories of conjunctions: coordinating conjunctions and subordinating conjunctions.

Coordinating conjunctions link words, phrases, and clauses that are equally important in a sentence. Examples of coordinating conjunctions include and , but , or , and so .

  • The students read short stories and novels.
  • Liz went to the movies but not to dinner.

Subordinating conjunctions link subordinate clauses to a sentence. Examples of subordinating conjunctions include because , although , before , and since .

  • The team is cheering because it is excited.
  • Henry had Swiss cheese on his burger although he preferred cheddar.

A preposition provides information about the relative position of a noun or pronoun. Prepositions can indicate direction, time, place, location, and spatial relationships of objects. Examples of prepositions include on , in , across , and after .

  • The cat ran across the road.
  • The pencil is in the drawer.

An interjection acts as an exclamation. Interjections typically express emotional reactions to information in an adjoining sentence. Examples of interjections include eek , wow , oops , and phew .

  • Eek ! That was a huge spider.
  • Oops ! I didn’t mean to slam the door.

Although the number of parts of speech is traditionally fixed at eight, some grammarians consider there to be additional parts of speech. For example, determiners (also called determinatives) modify nouns and are therefore generally considered to be adjectives, but they differ from other adjectives in that their exact meaning is supplied by context . They include articles, demonstrative pronouns, possessive pronouns, and quantifiers. Examples of determiners include the , an , that , your , and many .

Over the years grammarians have also proposed changes in how parts of speech are categorized. The 2002 edition of the Cambridge Grammar of the English Language , for example, placed pronouns as a subcategory of nouns.

The 8 Parts Of Speech In English

There are eight major  parts of speech .

  • Nouns  name persons, places, things, ideas, or qualities, e.g., Franklin, boy, Yangtze River, shoreline, Bible, desk, fear, happiness.
  • Pronouns  usually substitute for nouns and function as nouns, e.g., I, you, he, she, it, we, they, myself, this, that, who, which, everyone.
  • Verbs  express actions, occurrences, or states of being, e.g., be, become, bunt, inflate, run.
  • Adjectives  describe or modify nouns or pronouns, e.g., gentle, helpful, small.
  • Adverbs  describe or modify verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs, e.g., almost, gently, helpfully, someday.
  • Prepositions  relate nouns or pronouns to other words in a sentence, e.g., about, at, down, for, of, with.
  • Conjunctions  link words, clauses, and phrases. There are coordinating conjunctions that link words, clauses, or phrases of equal importance, and there are subordinating conjunctions that introduce subordinate clauses and link them to main clauses.
  • Interjections  express feeling or command attention, either alone or in a sentence, e.g., darn, hey, oh, wow.

Some words ( adjectives ,  adverbs ,  interjections ,  nouns ,  verbs ) are productive classes allowing new members; others, with functional rather than lexical meaning ( articles ,  conjunctions ,  prepositions ) are nonproductive and have a limited number of members.

Some grammarians consider  articles ,  quantifiers , and  numerals  to also be parts of speech.

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Your Guide to the 9 Parts of Speech

Grammarians categorize English words into groups, which we call Parts of Speech. Most guides will tell you that there are eight or nine parts of speech, depending on a few factors, like whether they include interjections. Each part of speech serves a particular function, which I will describe below.

The parts of speech we will cover are:

  • noun, 
  • pronoun, 
  • verb, 
  • adjective, 
  • adverb, 
  • preposition, 
  • conjunction, 
  • determiner, and 
  • interjection.

I’ve also put together a table with all the parts of speech and examples of their use in sentences. Below the table, you’ll find a breakdown of each part of speech with further examples.

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Parts of Speech Cheat Sheet

NounA person, place, thing, or ideaJohn, forest, car, joy, house, business, MinneapolisWow! Those walked surprisingly quickly through the long and steep that they had planned.“Hikers” is a noun (more than one) and “trail” is a noun (just one). Nouns are divided into nouns, like “city,” and nouns, like “Detroit.”
PronounSubstitutes for a nounHe, she, they, it, my, these, thoseWow! Those hikers walked surprisingly quickly through the long and steep trail that had planned.In the example, “they” substitutes for the noun “hikers.”
VerbExpresses actions and statesGo, sit, draw, walk, do, be, was, were, driving, talkingWow! Those hikers surprisingly quickly through the long and steep trail that they had planned.This verb is a verb — it describes something that happened in the past.
AdjectiveModifies or describes a nounHappy, red, interesting, nice, wonderful, spookyWow! Those hikers walked surprisingly quickly through the and trail that they had planned.“Long” and “steep,” adjectives, both describe the noun “trail.”
AdverbModifies or describes a verb, adjective, or other adverbHappily, softly, angrily, intriguingly, forcefullyWow! Those hikers walked surprisingly through the long and steep trail that they had planned.“Quickly” modifies the verb “walked.” “Surprisingly” modifies “quickly.”
PrepositionLinks a noun to another word; shows location or timeAbove, along, by, on, in, with, under, at, upon, during, before, after, despite, via, throughWow! Those hikers walked surprisingly quickly the long and steep trail that they had planned.Though there are lots of other words in this sentence, we can see how the conjunction “through” links a noun with another word if we pare it down to where “through” connects the noun “trail” to the verb “walked.” We can also say that it shows the of the walking (the trail).
ConjunctionJoins words, phrases, or clausesFor, and, but, or, becauseWow! Those hikers walked surprisingly quickly through the long steep trail that they had planned.The conjunction “and” joins the words “long” and “steep.”
Determiner

Articles and other words that limit or determine a nounA, an, the, that, those, these, whichWow! hikers walked surprisingly quickly through long and steep trail they had planned.Determiners often answer the questions, “Which?” or, “What?” For example, “Which hikers?” “ hikers.” Possessives, like , etc., can serve as determiners. 
InterjectionA short exclamationOh!,  Ouch!, Blast!, Yikes!, @#$%! Those hikers walked surprisingly quickly through the long and steep trail that they had planned.Sometimes other types of words can serve as interjections. For example, “Mom! You cut your hair!”, where “Mom!” is both a noun an interjection.

Nouns are things. Stuff. People. Places. Ideas. (Yeah, things, stuff, people, places, and ideas are all nouns.) 

Common and Proper Nouns

Nouns can be common, like city, park, and building , or proper, like New York City, Central Park, and The Chrysler Building. Proper nouns are names. Michael and Mr. Blackwood , for example, are proper nouns.

Singular or Plural Nouns

Nouns can be singular or plural. A singular noun is when there’s only one. One man , one dog, one person . Plural nouns occur when there’s more than one. Two men , ten dogs , a million people .

Possessive Nouns

Nouns can also be possessive, which means a noun “owns,” belongs to, or is otherwise attached to another noun. In English, we use the apostrophe to denote possession. In the phrase “the man’s dog,” for example, man’s is possessive. Man owns (or belongs to) dog .

Pronouns substitute for nouns. Pronouns include he, she, they, you, it, and many more.

Plural, Possessive, and Plural–Possessive, Oh My

Pronouns can be possessive, like my, your, his, and her . Pronouns can also be plural like we and they. And pronouns can be plural and possessive, like our and their .

Words like that and which do double (or triple!) duty. That can be a determiner (see below), as in the phrase “ I ate that apple,” but can also become a pronoun, as in the phrase, “I ate that ” — where that substitutes for a noun, like apple.

To be or not to be, that is the…ultimate verb. Verbs show actions and states of being. This includes to be and its derivatives: is, are, were, will be, have been, etc. Verbs show all the things you can do . Crawl. Walk. Run. Sit, watch, enjoy, laugh, cry, and eat.

Verb Tense & Aspect

Verbs have a tense , which refers to when the thing is being done. There are three main tenses: Past, present, and future . In the past tense, I wrote. In the present tense, I write. In the future, I will write (which enlists the help of the “helping verb” will ) .

Furthermore, the tenses all have an aspect , which demonstrates further details, like whether an action is ongoing. The aspects are simple, perfect, continuous , and perfect continuous . So you can have any combination of aspects with tense; for example, simple past or perfect continuous future .

The subject of tenses and aspects is pretty complicated — it deserves its own article. But for now, here’s a simple chart that breaks down the tenses and aspects with examples.

Verb Tense and Aspect Chart

This information is pretty esoteric, so don’t get too distracted by it. The main thing to remember is that verbs show action and states of being.

Adjectives describe nouns. 

When you’re telling someone about your favorite English language blog, you would use adjectives to describe it. Smart, witty, clever, helpful, accessible, and concise are all adjectives. 

And were you to describe the writer of that blog you would continue to use adjectives. Smart, witty, clever, helpful, handsome, kind, approachable, and single are also adjectives.

Adverbs are like adjectives, except that they don’t describe nouns, they describe other parts of speech: verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs. Adverbs often end in -ly , but not always. They can come before verbs, as in, “she quickly ran,” or after, as in “she ran quickly. ” 

Here are some examples of adverbs in a sentence:

Modifying a verb : He quietly tip-toed through the dark hallway. 

( Quietly modifies the verb tip-toed. )

Modifying an adjective : He quietly tip-toed through the eerily dark hallway. 

( Eerily modifies the adjective dark. )

Modifying another adverb : He totally quietly tip-toed through the eerily dark hallway.

( Totally modifies the other adverb quietly. )

Prepositions

Prepositions link nouns to other words, showing us the relationship between them. They show location or time. For example, “We will meet on the bridge during sunset.”

Prepositions can also be used to show purpose, as in, “I am walking for my heart.”

Prepositions include in, on, toward, with, through, at, upon, toward, via, and many more.

Conjunctions

Conjunctions join words, phrases, and clauses together , so we can create complex sentences and express multiple ideas at once.  

Conjunctions include and, but, or, yet, although, because, and others. 

In this sentence, the conjunction joins two clauses: “I don’t like apples but I do like oranges.” And in this sentence, the conjunction joins just two words: “I like apples and oranges.”

One group of conjunctions (called correlative conjunctions) comes in pairs, like either/or, if/then, not only/but also . Here’s an example:

“ Either you will peel the oranges for me, or I won’t eat them.”

Determiners (Includes Articles)

Back in the day, your English teacher, like mine, may have taught you about articles: the , a , and an . 

Grammarians more and more frequently include these in a group of words called determiners , words that limit or “determine” nouns, which, in addition to articles include that, this, these, those , and others  — showing exactly which noun or nouns are being talked about. This includes possessive pronouns like my, your, their, her, and his.

Think of it this way: determiners often answer the questions What?, Which?, or Whose? For example, “Which article?” “ This article.” “Whose blog?” “ Our blog.” 

Interjections (!)

Consult more than one English grammar guide, and you’re likely to see that there are eight or nine parts of speech. Why the difference? Well, some sources don’t include the interjection as its own part of speech. But some sources do, so you ought to know about it.

Interjections can be, um, tricky to define. They are spontaneous, sometimes emotional, and they come before or between complete thoughts . Sometimes they interrupt a sentence right in its tracks. They include exclamations like Wow!, Yikes!, and Oh! They also include curses ( damn! ), greetings (like hi ) , and filler words (like um ).

Some examples of interjections:

  • Wow! Look at that sunset.
  • Let’s go to the, um, store.
  • I don’t understand why you would— oh! Now I get it.

Sometimes, other parts of speech can be interjections. 

  • Fantastic ! Let’s do it! (Here the adjective fantastic serves as an interjection.)
  • I’m just going to open the blinds and— snow! It’s snowing now! (The noun snow serves as an interjection.)

The Parts of Speech in Sum

There you have it — the nine parts of speech. Noun, pronoun, verb, adjective, adverb, preposition, conjunction, determiner, and interjection. 

Got an exam coming up? Working on your writing? Consult this guide anytime you need a refresher.

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The Eight Parts of Speech

  • Prepositions
  • Conjunctions
  • Interjections
  • Basic Sentence Structure
  • Sentence Fragments
  • Run-on Sentences and Comma Splices
  • Sentence Type and Purpose
  • Independent and Dependent Clauses: Coordination and Subordination
  • Subject Verb Agreement
  • Consistent Verb Tense
  • Other Phrases: Verbal, Appositive, Absolute
  • Pronoun Reference
  • Relative Pronouns: Restrictive and Nonrestrictive Clauses
  • Avoiding Modifier Problems
  • Transitions
  • Would, Should, Could
  • Achieving Parallelism
  • Definite and Indefinite Articles
  • Two-Word Verbs

TIP Sheet THE EIGHT PARTS OF SPEECH

There are eight parts of speech in the English language: noun, pronoun, verb, adjective, adverb, preposition, conjunction, and interjection. 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. Understanding parts of speech is essential for determining the correct definition of a word when using the dictionary.

1. NOUN

  • A noun is the name of a person, place, thing, or idea.

man... Butte College... house... happiness

A noun is a word for a person, place, thing, or idea. Nouns are often used with an article ( the , a , an ), but not always. Proper nouns always start with a capital letter; common nouns do not. Nouns can be singular or plural, concrete or abstract. Nouns show possession by adding 's . Nouns can function in different roles within a sentence; for example, a noun can be a subject, direct object, indirect object, subject complement, or object of a preposition.

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

See the TIP Sheet on "Nouns" for further information.

2. PRONOUN

  • A pronoun is a word used in place of a noun.

She... we... they... it

A pronoun is a word used in place of a noun. 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; and 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. Oh my!

See the TIP Sheet on "Pronouns" for further information.

3. VERB

  • A verb expresses action or being.

jump... is... write... become

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 . Oh my!

See the TIP Sheet on "Verbs" for more information.

4. ADJECTIVE

  • An adjective modifies or describes a noun or pronoun.

pretty... old... blue... smart

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.)

See the TIP Sheet on "Adjectives" for more information.

5. ADVERB

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

gently... extremely... carefully... well

An adverb describes or modifies a verb, an adjective, or another adverb, but never a noun. It usually answers the questions of when, where, how, why, under what conditions, or to what degree. Adverbs often end in -ly.

See the TIP Sheet on "Adverbs" for more information.

6. PREPOSITION

  • A preposition is a word placed before a noun or pronoun to form a phrase modifying another word in the sentence.

by... with.... about... until

(by the tree, with our friends, about the book, until tomorrow)

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:

See the TIP Sheet on "Prepositions" for more information.

7. CONJUNCTION

  • A conjunction joins words, phrases, or clauses.

and... but... or... while... because

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. Oh my!

See the TIP Sheet on "Conjunctions" for more information.

8. INTERJECTION

  • An interjection is a word used to express emotion.

Oh!... Wow!... Oops!

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

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

See the TIP Sheet on "Interjections" for more information.

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What Are The 8 Parts of Speech? Definitions and Examples

8 Parts of speech in English

Speaking and writing in any language involves using different parts of speech. Understanding what these parts are and how to use them correctly is important for effective communication. In English, there are 8 parts of speech, which include nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections. In this article, we will explore each of these parts of speech in detail, along with their definitions and examples. By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of the role and importance of the 8 parts of speech in English.

Content Guide

What Are Parts of Speech?

Parts of speech, also known as word classes, are categories that describe the role a word plays in a sentence. These categories help us understand how words work within sentences and how they relate to one another. In essence, parts of speech are a set of general rules that help us to form sentences that are clear, logical, and expressive. There are a total of 8 parts of speech in the English language, and each has its own set of rules. 

The 8 Parts of Speech

The 8 parts of speech are:

Prepositions

  • Conjunctions
  • Interjections 

Parts of Speech Chart

The following chart lists the 8 parts of speech—along with brief descriptions and examples.

Parts of speech chart with examples

It’s time to explore them in detail. So, let’s go ahead and learn the 8 parts of speech with definitions and examples.

A noun is a word that refers to a person, animal, place, idea, or thing. For example, John, cat, dog, table, house, office, etc. In English, nouns come in many different forms, including proper nouns, which are names that refer to people or places; descriptive nouns, which describe things; and common nouns, which are words that are used to refer to a wide range of things.

Common nouns are often used to refer to everyday objects, such as “chair,” “table,” and “door.” Other common nouns are used to refer to abstract concepts, such as “love,” “hate,” and “peace.” Nouns can also be singular, plural, and neuter. A singular noun refers to one person or thing, while a plural noun refers to more than one person or thing. A neuter noun is used to refer to something that isn’t either a person or a thing.

Let’s see some examples of nouns in sentences:

Person- Her name is Amy . Place – This park is so crowded. Thing- You never sit on this chair . Animal – They have a dog .

Pronouns are words that we use to replace nouns in sentences that refer to people, animals, objects, or places. Pronouns help us to avoid the repetition of nouns while we speak or write.  Words such as he, she, it, I, you, we, they, them, etc. are pronouns.

Let’s consider this paragraph without using pronouns:

Amy always wakes up early in the morning. Amy goes to the office and comes back in the afternoon. In the evening, Amy cooks dinner. After having dinner Amy goes to bed. This is Amy’s daily routine.

Did you find it a bit repetitive?

Now, when we replace the noun with pronouns, the paragraph becomes more engaging:

Amy always wakes up early in the morning. She goes to the office and comes back in the afternoon. She cooks dinner in the evening. And, after dinner, she goes to bed. This is her routine.

In this case, ‘She’ and ‘her’ are the pronouns we used instead of repeatedly mentioning Amy’s name.

Adjectives are words used to describe the person, place, or thing that a noun refers to. Adjectives are often used to add extra information about a noun. It can be used to describe a person’s age, gender, or personality. Adjectives are also used to describe the quality of a noun, such as its size, shape, or color. Some examples of adjectives are tall, short, good, bad, beautiful, large, funny, sad, etc.

Let’s see some examples of adjectives in sentences:

You look beautiful in this dress. It’s pleasant weather today. He is a kind person. She looks sad today. The movie we watched yesterday was engaging .

A verb is a word that describes specific actions, or an action that is being performed. They are also called action verbs. However, not all verbs are action verbs. There are non-action verbs that denote feelings or state of being. So, a verb can be either an action verb or a state verb. Action verbs are words such as “walk,” “run,” and “jump.” State verbs are words such as “be,” “look,” “love,” and “feel.”

Examples of verbs in sentences:

We play video games every day. They run very fast. I love pizza. He jumped off the bridge. She hates horror movies.

Adverbs describe or provide more information about verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs. They are often used to describe the way something is done, how something is done, or how something feels. Moreover, adverbs can highlight distinctions between things or actions. For instance, we use words such as “slowly” or “carefully” to describe the way something is done. We often use words such as “well” or “badly” to describe how something is done.

Some examples of adverbs are always, quickly, badly, quietly, early, slowly, etc.

He runs faster than me. Can you finish your work early ? She was badly injured while playing. Can you do it silently ?  She was walking slowly towards me.

Prepositions are words that connect words in a sentence. Prepositions can be used to describe the location of something, as well as the time and manner in which something is done. The most common prepositions are: at, on, by, under, over, beside, before, after, behind, above, below, in, out, with, and without. Prepositions can also be used to indicate the relationship between two things (for example, beside means “next to”).

Prepositions are one of the most important parts of speech that you must learn to use correctly. They can make your writing clear and make your sentences more interesting.

Examples of prepositions in sentences:

My books are on the table.  He leaves for home at 8 p.m. You can sit beside me. They came here after me. I travel by public transport.

Conjunction

A conjunction is a word or phrase that connects two ideas or clauses. For example, consider these sentences: “I like sports. I like music.” These are two separate sentences, but you can connect them using the conjunction “and” to say, “ I like sports and music. ” Conjunctions help make our sentences flow smoothly by joining related thoughts or actions.

There are many different types of conjunctions. Some examples of common conjunctions are: and, but, when, unless, or, nor, for, yet, although, but not, because, not only, etc.

Examples of conjunction in sentences:

I cannot go to work today because my mother is sick. My dad used to ride horses when he was young. You are likely to fail unless you work hard.

Interjection

Interjections are words that show sudden feelings or emotions such as joy, surprise, or shock. We usually use the exclamation mark (!) with interjection words.  

Some examples of interjections are:

Oh! Wow! Hello! Ouch! Bravo!

Examples of interjections in sentences:

Oh! I forgot the keys. Wow! It looks great. Hello! Is anybody there?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about “Parts of Speech”

1. what are the parts of speech in english.

English has eight primary parts of speech: nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, conjunctions, prepositions, and interjections.

2. Why is it important to understand parts of speech?

Understanding parts of speech is crucial for effective communication and writing. It helps you structure sentences correctly, convey your thoughts clearly, and avoid grammatical errors.

3. How can I identify the parts of speech in a sentence?

You can identify parts of speech by understanding their functions and looking for clues within the sentence. Nouns name things, verbs show actions, adjectives describe nouns, and so on. Context and practice are essential tools for identification.

4. Can words change their part of speech in different sentences?

Yes, some words can function as different parts of speech depending on their usage and context. For example, “work” can be a noun (“I have a lot of work to do”) or a verb (“I need to work hard”).

5. What’s the difference between adjectives and adverbs?

Adjectives describe nouns and answer questions like “What kind?” or “Which one?” (e.g., “red car”). Adverbs modify verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs, addressing questions like “How?” “When?” “Where?” or “To what extent?” (e.g., “She sings beautifully”).

6. How do conjunctions function in sentences?

Conjunctions connect words, phrases, or clauses to form more complex sentences. Common conjunctions are “and,” “but,” “or,” “so,” and “because.”

7. What’s the role of prepositions in sentences?

Prepositions establish connections between nouns or pronouns and other words in a sentence, indicating aspects like location, direction, time, or manner. Examples of prepositions include “in,” “on,” “under,” “with,” and “between.”

8. When should interjections be used in communication?

Interjections are used to express strong emotions or sudden exclamations. They add emotional depth to your speech or writing. For instance, “Wow, that’s amazing!” or “Ouch, that hurts!”

9. Are there any online tools to help identify parts of speech in sentences?

Yes, there are many online grammar-checking tools and apps that can analyze and label the parts of speech in a sentence. They can be useful for practice and verification.

10. How can I improve my understanding of parts of speech?

Improving your understanding of parts of speech requires practice. Analyze sentences from books, articles, or conversations. Engage in grammar exercises and quizzes. Reading widely and regularly can also help reinforce your knowledge.

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English Study Online

Parts of Speech: A Guide to Learning English Grammar

By: Author English Study Online

Posted on Last updated: December 27, 2023

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In this page, we will break down each part of speech and provide examples to help you understand their usage. We will also discuss how to identify the different parts of speech in a sentence and provide tips on how to use them correctly. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced English learner, this article will provide valuable insights into the parts of speech and improve your language skills. Let’s get started!

Table of Contents

Overview of Parts of Speech

In this section, we will provide a brief overview of the eight parts of speech in English. Understanding the parts of speech is essential for anyone learning the English language, as it enables them to construct meaningful sentences and communicate effectively.

The eight parts of speech are:

Prepositions

Conjunctions, interjections.

Each part of speech has a specific function in a sentence. For example, nouns are used to name people, places, things, or ideas, while verbs are used to describe an action or state of being. Adjectives are used to describe nouns, while adverbs are used to describe verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs.

Pronouns are used to replace nouns in a sentence, while prepositions are used to indicate the relationship between a noun or pronoun and other words in a sentence. Conjunctions are used to connect words, phrases, or clauses, while interjections are used to express emotions or feelings.

Parts of Speech: A Guide to Learning English Grammar

Nouns are words that represent people, places, things, or ideas. They are one of the most important parts of speech in English and are used in nearly every sentence. In this section, we will explore the different types of nouns and their functions.

Common Nouns

Common nouns are general names for people, places, or things. They are not capitalized unless they appear at the beginning of a sentence.

  • Examples of common nouns include “book,” “city,” and “teacher.”

Proper Nouns

Proper nouns are specific names for people, places, or things. They are always capitalized.

  • Examples of proper nouns include “Harry Potter,” “New York City,” and “Ms. Johnson.”

Abstract Nouns

Abstract nouns are names for ideas, concepts, or emotions. They are intangible and cannot be seen, heard, or touched.

  • Examples of abstract nouns include “love,” “happiness,” and “freedom.”

Collective Nouns

Collective nouns are names for groups of people or things. They can be singular or plural, depending on the context.

  • Examples of collective nouns include “team,” “family,” and “herd.”

In this section, we will discuss the different types of pronouns used in English grammar. Pronouns are words that replace nouns in a sentence. They help to avoid repetition and make sentences more concise.

Personal Pronouns

Personal pronouns refer to specific people or things. They can be used as the subject or object of a sentence. Here are the personal pronouns in English:

I me my mine
you you your yours
he him his his
she her her hers
it it its its
we us our ours
they them their theirs

Demonstrative Pronouns

Demonstrative pronouns are used to point to specific people or things. They can be used to indicate distance or location. Here are the demonstrative pronouns in English:

this refers to something nearby
that refers to something farther away
these refers to multiple things nearby
those refers to multiple things farther away

Interrogative Pronouns

Interrogative pronouns are used to ask questions. They are typically used at the beginning of a sentence. Here are the interrogative pronouns in English:

who refers to a person
whom refers to a person (object of a verb)
whose refers to possession
what refers to a thing or idea
which refers to a specific thing or idea

Indefinite Pronouns

Indefinite pronouns refer to non-specific people or things. They can be used as the subject or object of a sentence. Here are the indefinite pronouns in English:

anybody refers to any person
anyone refers to any person
anything refers to any thing or idea
each refers to individual members of a group
either refers to one of two things
everybody refers to every person
everyone refers to every person
everything refers to every thing or idea
neither refers to none of two things
nobody refers to no person
no one refers to no person
nothing refers to no thing or idea
one refers to a singular person or thing
some refers to an unspecified number or amount
somebody refers to some person
someone refers to some person
something refers to some thing or idea

Verbs are one of the most important parts of speech in English. They are used to describe an action, state, or occurrence. In this section, we will cover the three types of verbs: action verbs, linking verbs, and helping verbs.

Action Verbs

Action verbs are used to describe an action that is being performed by the subject of the sentence. They can be used in the present, past, or future tense. Here are a few examples of action verbs:

Linking Verbs

Linking verbs are used to connect the subject of the sentence to a noun, pronoun, or adjective that describes it. They do not show action. Here are a few examples of linking verbs:

Helping Verbs

Helping verbs are used in conjunction with the main verb to express tense, voice, or mood. They do not have a meaning on their own. Here are a few examples of helping verbs:

In conclusion, verbs are an essential part of English grammar. Understanding the different types of verbs and how they are used in a sentence can help you communicate more effectively in both written and spoken English.

In this section, we will discuss adjectives, which are an important part of speech in English. Adjectives are words that describe or modify nouns or pronouns. They provide more information about the noun or pronoun, such as its size, shape, color, or quality.

Descriptive Adjectives

Descriptive adjectives are the most common type of adjectives. They describe the physical or observable characteristics of a noun or pronoun. For example, in the sentence “The red car is fast,” “red” is a descriptive adjective that describes the color of the car, and “fast” is another descriptive adjective that describes its speed.

Here are some examples of descriptive adjectives:

Quantitative Adjectives

Quantitative adjectives are used to describe the quantity or amount of a noun or pronoun. They answer the question “how much” or “how many.” For example, in the sentence “I have two apples,” “two” is a quantitative adjective that describes the number of apples.

Here are some examples of quantitative adjectives:

Demonstrative Adjectives

Demonstrative adjectives are used to point out or indicate a specific noun or pronoun. They answer the question “which one” or “whose.” For example, in the sentence “This book is mine,” “this” is a demonstrative adjective that indicates the specific book that belongs to the speaker.

Here are some examples of demonstrative adjectives:

In conclusion, adjectives are an important part of speech in English. They provide more information about nouns and pronouns, and they help to make our language more descriptive and precise. By understanding the different types of adjectives, we can use them effectively in our speaking and writing.

In this section, we will discuss adverbs, which are words that modify or describe verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs. Adverbs give more information about the action, manner, place, time, frequency, degree, or intensity of a verb.

Adverbs of Manner

Adverbs of manner describe how an action is performed. They answer the question “how?” and usually end in “-ly”, but not always. Here are some examples:

  • She sings beautifully.
  • He speaks softly.
  • They ran quickly.
  • The dog barked loudly.

Adverbs of manner can also be formed by adding “-ly” to some adjectives. For example:

  • She is a quick learner. (adjective: quick)
  • He is a careful driver. (adjective: careful)

Adverbs of Place

Adverbs of place describe where an action takes place. They answer the question “where?” and usually come after the verb or object. Here are some examples:

  • She looked everywhere.
  • He lives nearby.
  • They went outside.
  • The cat hid underneath the bed.

Adverbs of Time

Adverbs of time describe when an action takes place. They answer the question “when?” and can come at the beginning, middle, or end of a sentence. Here are some examples:

  • She wakes up early every day.
  • He arrived yesterday.
  • They will leave soon.
  • The concert starts tonight.

Adverbs of time can also be used to show the duration of an action. For example:

  • She studied for hours.
  • He worked all day.
  • They talked for a long time.

In this section, we will discuss prepositions and their usage in English. Prepositions are words that show the relationship between a noun or pronoun and other words in a sentence. They usually indicate the position or direction of the noun or pronoun in relation to other elements in the sentence.

Prepositions of Time

Prepositions of time are used to indicate when an action took place. They include words such as “at,” “in,” and “on.”

  • “At” is used for specific times, such as “at 2 pm” or “at midnight.”
  • “In” is used for longer periods of time, such as “in the morning” or “in October.”
  • “On” is used for dates, such as “on Monday” or “on July 4th.”

Prepositions of Place

Prepositions of place are used to indicate where something is located. They include words such as “in,” “on,” and “at.”

  • “In” is used for enclosed spaces, such as “in the house” or “in the car.”
  • “On” is used for surfaces, such as “on the table” or “on the floor.”
  • “At” is used for specific locations, such as “at the park” or “at the beach.”

Prepositions of Direction

Prepositions of direction are used to indicate movement. They include words such as “to,” “from,” and “towards.”

  • “To” is used to indicate movement towards a specific destination, such as “I am going to the store.”
  • “From” is used to indicate movement away from a specific location, such as “I am coming from the park.”
  • “Towards” is used to indicate movement in the direction of a specific location, such as “I am walking towards the museum.”

In this section, we will discuss the different types of conjunctions and their functions in English grammar. Conjunctions are words that connect words, phrases, or clauses in a sentence. They are essential in creating complex sentences and conveying relationships between ideas.

Coordinating Conjunctions

Coordinating conjunctions join words, phrases, or clauses that are of equal importance. They are easy to remember using the mnemonic device FANBOYS: for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so. Here are some examples:

  • I like pizza and pasta.
  • She is neither tall nor short.
  • He wanted to go to the beach, but it was raining.

Subordinating Conjunctions

Subordinating conjunctions connect dependent clauses to independent clauses and establish a relationship between them. They are used to show cause and effect, time, condition, and contrast. Some examples of subordinating conjunctions are:

Here are some examples:

  • Because it was raining, we stayed inside.
  • Although she was tired, she stayed up to finish her work.
  • While I was studying, my roommate was watching TV.

Correlative Conjunctions

Correlative conjunctions are pairs of words that work together to connect words, phrases, or clauses. They are used to show a relationship between two elements. Here are some examples:

  • both…and
  • either…or
  • neither…nor
  • not only…but also
  • Both my sister and I like to read.
  • Either you come with us or you stay here.
  • Not only was he late, but he also forgot his homework.

In conclusion, conjunctions are important in creating complex sentences and conveying relationships between ideas. By understanding the different types of conjunctions and their functions, you can improve your writing and communication skills.

In English grammar, interjections are words or phrases that express strong emotions or feelings. They are also known as exclamations and are one of the eight parts of speech in English. Interjections are grammatically independent from the words around them, and they can often be removed from a sentence or context without affecting its basic meaning.

Interjections can be used to express a wide range of emotions, including surprise, joy, anger, frustration, and pain. Some common examples of interjections include “ wow ,” “ ouch ,” “ yay ,” “ oh no ,” and “ oops .” They can be used to add emphasis to a sentence or to convey a particular tone or mood.

It is important to note that interjections do not have any grammatical function in a sentence. They are not nouns, verbs, adjectives, or any other part of speech. Instead, they simply stand alone as a way to express emotion.

When using interjections in writing, it is important to consider the context in which they are being used. While they can be a useful tool for adding emphasis or conveying emotion, they can also be overused or misused, which can detract from the overall effectiveness of the writing.

Articles/Determiners

In English grammar, articles and determiners are words that are used with nouns to provide more information about them. They help us to understand the context and meaning of a sentence.

There are three articles in the English language: “ the ,” “ a, ” and “ an. ” “The” is known as the definite article because it refers to a specific noun that has already been mentioned or is known to the reader. For example, “The cat is sleeping on the sofa.” In this sentence, “the” refers to a specific cat that has already been mentioned or is known to the reader.

“A” and “an” are known as indefinite articles because they refer to any member of a group or class of nouns. “A” is used before words that begin with a consonant sound, while “an” is used before words that begin with a vowel sound. For example, “I need a pen” and “She ate an apple.”

Determiners

Determiners are words that come before a noun to provide more information about it. They can include articles, as well as words like “ this ,” “ that ,” “ these ,” and “ those .”

In addition to these, there are other types of determiners such as possessive determiners (e.g. “my,” “your,” “his,” “her,” “its,” “our,” and “their”), demonstrative determiners (e.g. “this,” “that,” “these,” and “those”), and quantifying determiners (e.g. “some,” “any,” “many,” “few,” “several,” etc.).

Determiners can also be used with adjectives to provide more information about a noun. For example, “She ate the delicious apple” and “I saw that beautiful sunset.”

Understanding articles and determiners is crucial for mastering English grammar. By using them correctly, you can convey your thoughts and ideas more clearly and effectively.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the 8 parts of speech in English?

In English, there are eight parts of speech: nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections. Each part of speech serves a different function in a sentence and helps to convey meaning.

What are some examples of different parts of speech?

Here are a few examples of different parts of speech:

  • Noun: dog, cat, book, table
  • Pronoun: he, she, it, they
  • Verb: run, jump, sing, dance
  • Adjective: happy, sad, tall, short
  • Adverb: quickly, slowly, loudly, softly
  • Preposition: in, on, at, under
  • Conjunction: and, but, or, so
  • Interjection: wow, oh, ouch, hooray

What is the difference between a noun and a verb?

A noun is a word that represents a person, place, thing, or idea. A verb is a word that represents an action, occurrence, or state of being. In other words, a noun is a subject or object in a sentence, while a verb is the action or occurrence that takes place.

What are the different types of nouns?

There are several different types of nouns, including:

  • Common nouns: refer to general, non-specific people, places, things, or ideas (e.g. dog, city, book)
  • Proper nouns: refer to specific people, places, things, or ideas and are always capitalized (e.g. John, Paris, The Great Gatsby )
  • Concrete nouns: refer to tangible, physical objects (e.g. table, chair, car)
  • Abstract nouns: refer to intangible concepts or ideas (e.g. love, happiness, freedom)
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  1. The 8 Parts of Speech

    The parts of speech are classified differently in different grammars, but most traditional grammars list eight parts of speech in English: nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections. Some modern grammars add others, such as determiners and articles. Many words can function as different parts of ...

  2. Parts of Speech: Explanation and Examples

    The 9 parts of speech are adjectives, adverbs, conjunctions, determiners, interjections, nouns, prepositions, pronouns, and verbs. (These are also known as "word classes.") A Formal Definition. A "part of speech" is a category to which a word is assigned in accordance with its syntactic functions. In English, the main parts of speech are noun ...

  3. Parts of Speech: Complete Guide (With Examples and More)

    The parts of speech refer to categories to which a word belongs. In English, there are eight of them : verbs , nouns, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections. Many English words fall into more than one part of speech category. Take the word light as an example.

  4. Understanding the 8 Parts of Speech: Definitions and Examples

    The parts of speech definitions in English can vary, but here's a widely accepted one: a part of speech is a category of words that serve a similar grammatical purpose in sentences. To make that definition even simpler, a part of speech is just a category for similar types of words .

  5. Understanding the 8 Parts of Speech: Definitions and Examples

    The 8 parts of speech are: nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections. Nouns represent people, places, things, or ideas. Pronouns replace nouns to avoid repetition. Verbs describe actions or states of being. Adjectives provide additional details about nouns.

  6. The 9 Parts of Speech: Definitions and Examples

    Every sentence you write or speak in English includes words that fall into some of the nine parts of speech. These include nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, articles/determiners, and interjections. (Some sources include only eight parts of speech and leave interjections in their own category.)

  7. Parts Of Speech: Breaking Them Down With Examples

    Every word you speak or write is a part of speech. In the English language, there are 8 parts of speech: nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, and articles (determiners). These parts of speech represent categories of words according to their grammatical function.

  8. The Parts of Speech

    6. Conjunction. A conjunction is a word that binds words, clauses, and phrases. "And," "but," "because," and "consequently" are some examples of conjunctions. Conjunctions make it easy to construct more complex sentences because you can easily add new clauses. The category distinctions of this part of speech are: Coordinating ...

  9. The 8 Parts of Speech

    The parts of speech are classified differently in different grammars, but most traditional grammars list eight parts of speech in English: nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections. Some modern grammars add others, such as determiners and articles. Many words can function as different parts of ...

  10. Parts of Speech

    In the English language, every word is called a part of speech. The role a word plays in a sentence denotes what part of speech it belongs to. Explore the definition of parts of speech, the different parts of speech and examples in this article. ... 8 Parts of Speech Definitions and Examples: 1. Nouns are words that are used to name people ...

  11. Parts of Speech

    We have eight parts of speech in the English language: (1) nouns, (2) verbs, (3) adjectives, (4) adverbs, (5) pronouns, (6) conjunctions, (7) prepositions, and (8) interjections. Every word you use in speech or writing falls into just one of these eight categories. 21 sec read. 28,030 Views.

  12. Part of speech

    adjunct. part of speech, lexical category to which a word is assigned based on its function in a sentence. There are eight parts of speech in traditional English grammar: noun, pronoun, verb, adjective, adverb, conjunction, preposition, and interjection. In linguistics, parts of speech are more typically called word classes.

  13. The 8 Parts Of Speech In English

    Prepositions relate nouns or pronouns to other words in a sentence, e.g., about, at, down, for, of, with. Conjunctions link words, clauses, and phrases. There are coordinating conjunctions that link words, clauses, or phrases of equal importance, and there are subordinating conjunctions that introduce subordinate clauses and link them to main ...

  14. Your Guide to the 9 Parts of Speech

    The parts of speech we will cover are: noun, pronoun, verb, adjective, adverb, preposition, conjunction, determiner, and ; interjection. I've also put together a table with all the parts of speech and examples of their use in sentences. Below the table, you'll find a breakdown of each part of speech with further examples.

  15. The Eight 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. Understanding parts of speech is essential for determining the correct definition of a word when using the dictionary. 1. NOUN

  16. What Are The 8 Parts of Speech? Definitions and Examples

    Team FEG. Speaking and writing in any language involves using different parts of speech. Understanding what these parts are and how to use them correctly is important for effective communication. In English, there are 8 parts of speech, which include nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections.

  17. What Are the 8 Parts of Speech? Examples and Usage

    Knowing the different parts of speech is essential for good grammar. Become an expert at knowing when and what parts of speech to use with these examples.

  18. Parts of Speech: A Guide to Learning English Grammar

    Overview of Parts of Speech. In this section, we will provide a brief overview of the eight parts of speech in English. Understanding the parts of speech is essential for anyone learning the English language, as it enables them to construct meaningful sentences and communicate effectively. The eight parts of speech are: Nouns. Verbs.

  19. Understanding Parts of Speech (9 Types With Examples)

    These nine parts of speech are namely: Verbs, Nouns, Adjectives, Determiners, Adverbs, Pronouns, Prepositions, Conjunctions, and Interjections. Another additional classification is used as a part of speech, i.e., Articles, a subprogram of determiners. To comprehend the meaning and use of each word in the English language, it is essential to ...

  20. Parts of speech: the noun

    Irregular plural nouns: mutant and foreign plurals. Here's the thing: I love nouns. But wait! Nouns aren't just things! They can also be people and places. They're my favorite parts of speech. Without them, we'd never be able to talk about *anything*!

  21. Part of speech Definition & Meaning

    part of speech: [noun phrase] a traditional class of words (such as adjectives, adverbs, nouns, and verbs) distinguished according to the kind of idea denoted and the function performed in a sentence.

  22. Parts of Speech: Definitions, Examples & 8 Types

    There are 8 different types of parts of speech i.e., Nouns, Pronouns, Adjectives, Verbs, Adverb, prepositions, Conjunction, and Interjection. Noun -. A noun is a word that names a person, place, thing, state, or quality. It can be singular or plural. Nouns are a part of speech.

  23. What Is a Noun?

    compound noun is a noun made up of more than one word. This could be two nouns, a noun combined with another part of speech such as an adjective, or various other combinations, as long as the resulting combination functions as a noun. Compound nouns, like other compound words, are written in several different ways:

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