PARTS OF SPEECH
Words, which are the building blocks of language, are used in eight different ways. They have, therefore, eight different names, called PARTS OF SPEECH. These parts of speech are: NOUN, PRONOUN, ADJECTIVE, VERB, ADVERB, PREPOSITION, CONJUNCTION, AND INTERJCTION. Each of these parts of speech can be used in various ways, as seen below
A word that names a person, place, thing, or idea; it may be proper or common; concrete or abstract; singular or plural; compound or collective
Person – student, mother, Jamie, Mrs. Jones
Place – kitchen, classroom, Grand Canyon, Hawaii
Thing – surfboard, video, year, gum
Idea – thought, education, democracy, peace
Proper –names a particular person, place, or thing; capitalized
Common – a general name; not capitalized
Concrete – something you can see, hear, smell, touch, or taste
Abstract – names an idea, quality, or state (pride, sadness)
Singular – names a single person, place, thing, or idea (foot)
Plural – names more than one (feet)
Compound - made up of two or more words; it may be written as one word (baseball), separate words (parking lot), or as a hyphenated word (runner-up)
Collective - refers to a group of people of things (audience, crowd)
A word used in place of one or more nouns; it may stand for a person, place, thing, or idea; the word to which it refers is its ANTECEDENT. There are several types
Personal I, me, you
he, him, she, her, it
we, us, they, them
Possessive my, mine, your, yours
his, her, its
our, ours, their, theirs
Indefinite anybody, somebody
each, either, everything
none, some, both, few, etc.
Interrogative who, whom
what, which, whose
Demonstrative this, that, these, those
Reflexive/Intensive myself, yourself, himself, herself
itself, ourselves, yourselves, themselves
NOTE: A reflexive pronoun reflects action back upon the subject and adds information to the sentence; an intensive pronoun adds emphasis to a noun or pronoun in the same sentence: ie. Donna prepared herself for the party; Donna herself prepared for the party.
A word that expresses action, describes a state of being, or otherwise helps to make a statement; there are several types:
Action Verbs express mental or physical action:
EX: The dog ran through the waves and chased the Frisbee.
She though hard but couldn’t remember the answer.
Linking Verbs do not show action, but connect the subject with a word in the predicate; the most common linking verb is “be” and its many forms:
am, is, are, was, were
has been, have been, had been, will be, shall be
may be, would have been, can be, should be
Other common forms are:
taste, feel, smell, sound, look, appear
become, seem, grow, remain, and stay
EX: I am a teacher.
He has been sick.
The cakes were delicious.
The flowers smelled good.
(but NOT, “She smelled the flowers”).
Helping Verbs help the main verb to express action or make a statement; together they form verb phrases; the most common helping verbs are shown below:
is, am, are, was, were, be, being, been
has, have, had, do, does, did, shall, will,
should, would, may, might must, can, could
EX: We have been enjoying our vacation.
He will have been running for an hour.
ADJECTIVE A word that modifies a noun or pronoun; they are describing words which answer the following questions:
What kind? happy children; sunny day
Which one or ones? any book; seventh grade
How many or how much? five dollars; full tank
EX: The cheerful young girl had numerous friends.
The cantankerous old man suffered through many lonely days.
NOTE: The most commonly used adjectives – a, an, the – are called ARTICLES.
ADVERB A word that modifies a verb, an adjective, or another adverb; like adjectives, they also answer certain questions. Some of the most common forms are listed below:
Where? here, there, away, up
When? now, then, later, soon
How? clearly, easily, quietly, slowly
How often? never, always, often, seldom
To what extent? very, too, almost, so, really
EX: The sun is shining brightly in the sky today.
Yesterday the student completed him homework very carefully.
NOTE: Both adjectives and adverbs may appear BEFORE or AFTER the word (or words) they modify; sometimes an adverb may appear in the middle of a verb phrase.
EX: The friendly student pointed us in the right direction.
The student, who was friendly and intelligent, pointed us in the right direction.
The class often complains about homework.
The class complains often about homework.
Suddenly, the door opened.
The door opened suddenly.
He did not know the answer.
Movie stars are often seen in Hollywood.
A word that shows the relation of a word or pronoun to some other word in the sentence; below are some of the most common prepositions:
around behind for throughout at
about below in to before
above beneath into toward except
across beside like under for
after between of during since
against beyond off until through
along by on up within
among down over with without
EX: The skater rolled down the hill and crashed into the bushes.
She walked through the store on her way to the parking lot.
She bought a bouquet of flowers for her mom.
NOTE: Prepositions never stand alone in a sentence; they are always used with a noun or pronoun called the OBJECT OF THE PREPOSITION
(ie. under the boardwalk; during the last week; in the kitchen)
ALSO NOTE: Sentences should not end with a preposition.
EX: He realized he had nothing to start with. (incorrect)
He realized he had nothing with which to start. (correct)
The Alaskan wilderness is a difficult place to survive in. (incorrect)
The Alaskan wilderness is a difficult place in which to survive.(correct)
A word that joins words or groups of words; they are also used to join compound sentences. The most common conjunctions can be remembered with the word FANBOYS (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so)
EX: Jeff and Robert; sun or rain; fun but expensive; tired yet happy
Philip is listening, but Kenny is talking.
She plays the guitar, and her brother plays the piano.
A word that expresses strong emotion; set apart by a comma or exclamation point; it has no grammatical relationship to the rest of the sentence
EX: Ouch! That hurts.
Wow! What a beautiful day!
Oh no, I broke a nail.