English Grammar Basic Grammar and syntax

What are the parts of speech? (with examples)

What are the parts of speech? (with examples)

The 8 parts of speech are adjectives, adverbs, conjunctions, interjections, nouns, prepositions, pronouns, and verbs. (These are also known as“word classes“).

A formal definition

One“part of speech“it is a category to which a word is assigned according to its syntactic functions. In English, the main parts of speech are noun, pronoun, adjective, determiner, verb, adverb, preposition, conjunction, and interjection. (Oxford Dictionary)

Parts of speech

Here is an explanation for each part of speech with examples:

(1) adjective

An adjective modifies a noun or a pronoun.

Examples of adjectives:

  • red, happy, huge

Examples of adjectives in sentences:

  • Ask the boy in the red sweater.
    (The adjective“rojo“modifies the noun“jumper“).
  • I live in a happy place.
    (The adjective“feliz“modifies the noun“place“).
  • I caught a fish this morning! I mean a huge one.
    (The adjective“huge“modify the pronoun“one“.)

(2) adverb

An adverb modifies a verb.

Examples of adverbs:

  • happily, freely, often

Examples of adverbs in sentences:

  • They happily jumped onto the counter.
    (The adverb“happily“modify the verb“jumped off“).
  • Tie the knot loosely so they can escape.
    (The adverb“loosely“modify the verb“atar“).
  • I often on the way to work.
    (The adverb“often“modify the verb“to walk“).

Note that adverbs can also modify adjectives and other adverbs.

  • It’s an intriguing magical setting.
    (The adverb“intriguingly“modify the adjective“magical“).
  • He plays the piano extremely well.
    (The adverb“extremely“modify the adverb“good“).

(3) Conjunction

A conjunction joins words, phrases or clauses.

Examples of conjunctions:

  • and, or, but

Examples of conjunctions in sentences:

  • It is a large and important city.
    (The conjunction“y“match the words“little“ e “important“, which are adjectives).
  • Should we run for the hills or hide in the bushes?
    (The conjunction“ o “join the sentences“run to the hills“ y “hide in the bushes“).
  • I know you’re lying, but I can’t prove it.
    (The conjunction“ pero “join the clauses“i know you’re lying“ y “I can’t prove it“).

(4) Determinant

A determiner specifies a noun or pronoun or indicates quantity.
Examples of determiners:

  • my, those, two, many

Examples of determiners in sentences:

  • My dog is fine with those cats.
    (The determiner“mi“modifies the noun“dog“to specify it. the determiner“those“modifies the noun“gatos“to specify them).
  • There are two dogs but many cats.
    (The determiner“From“modifies the noun“dogs“to indicate the quantity. the determiner“Many“modifies the noun“gatos“to indicate the amount).

(5) Interjection

An interjection expresses emotion.

Examples of interjections:

  • ouch, oops, eek

Examples of interjections in sentences:

  • Ouch , that hurt.
    (The interjection“is“expresses pain.)
  • Oops , it’s broken.
    (The interjection“oops“expresses dismay.)
  • Eek ! A mouse just ran past my foot!
    (The interjection“eek“expresses panic.)

(6) Noun

A noun names a person, place, or thing.

Examples of nouns:

  • leader, town, apple

Examples of nouns in sentences:

  • Take me to your leader.
    (The noun“leader“names a person.)
  • I’ll see you in town later.
    (The noun“pueblo“name a place.)
  • An apple fell on her head.
    (The nouns“apple“ y “head“name things).

All nouns classified as a common noun (that is, the words we use as“men“, “ciudad“, “río“) or a proper name (that is, the personal names or titles we use as“Peter“, “Boston ,“ “El Mississippi“).

Nouns are further classified by their nouns (eg, something abstract like“courage“something concrete like“barro“), its structure (eg, a word like“pool“the two words like“swirl“) or a peculiarity. about your grammar (for example,“oxygen“does not have a plural form).

(7) Preposition

A preposition shows the relationship between a noun (or pronoun) and other words in a sentence.

Examples of prepositions:

  • at, near, about, with

Examples of prepositions in sentences:

  • Sarah hides in the box.
    (The preposition“in“shows the relationship between“to hide“ y “cash register“.
  • I live near the train station.
    (The preposition“fence“shows the relationship between“live“ y “train station“.
  • Put your hands on your head.
    (The preposition“about“shows the relationship between“manos“ y “head“.
  • She yelled excitedly.
    (The preposition“con“shows the relationship between“scream“ y “enthusiasm“.

(8) pronoun

A pronoun replaces a noun (or a noun phrase).

Examples of pronouns:

  • she, we, they, it

Examples of pronouns in sentences:

  • Joanne is smart. She is also funny.
    (The pronoun“ella“replaces the noun“Joanne“).
  • Our team has studied the evidence. We know the truth.
    (The pronoun“us“replaces the noun phrase“our team“).
  • Jack and Jill went up the hill, but never came back.
    (The pronoun“they“replaces“Jack y Jill“).
  • That is smart!
    (The pronoun“it’s“replaces the noun that names whatever the speaker is pointing to, perhaps a machine).

(9) Verb

A verb identifies an action or state of being.

Examples of verbs:

  • work, be, write, exist

Examples of verbs in sentences:

  • Tony works on the hole now. I was unemployed.
    (The verb“construction“express an action. The verb“era“expresses a state of being).
  • I’ll write a song for you.
    (The verb“to write“expresses an action.)
  • I believe that aliens exist .
    (The verb“think“expresses an action (a mental action in this case). The verb“exist“expresses a state of being.)

The part of speech is determined by the function of the word

In a sentence, each word or phrase can be classified as one of nine parts of speech based on its function in the sentence. Remember that, in English, a word that performs a particular function in one sentence may perform a different function in another. let’s take the floor“good“for instance.

  • You need to dig a well . (noun)
  • You look good. (adjective)
  • You dance well . (adverb)
  • well , I agree. (interjection)
  • My eyes will fill with tears. (verb)

Are there 8 or 9 parts of speech?

Before the 1960s, determiners were classified as adjectives, meaning there were 8 parts of speech and not 9. Since the 1960s, there has been a gradual acceptance among grammarians that determiners are different to adjectives. This acceptance has grown to the point that determiners must now be considered a separate part of speech. However, even today, terms like“possessive adjective“ y “demonstrative adjective“are much more commonly used than“possessive determiner“ y “demonstrative determiner“[evidence].

Also, foreign language equivalents are still described as adjectives in those countries, adding to the confusion. This much is clear: determiners are similar to adjectives, but there are differences. However, there is still a strong argument that there are 8 parts of speech and not 9.

Why should I care about parts of speech?

Most native English speakers master English grammar without even consciously learning parts of speech. However, when learning a foreign language (particularly in the classroom), mastering the grammar is a much less natural process. It must be done systematically. Therefore, it is necessary to learn the parts of speech because the teacher’s explanations and exercise books will be full of them.

In addition to helping you study a foreign language, learning parts of speech will also help you analyze other people’s writing and take your own writing to the next level.

The most important writing problems

Here is the most important writing problem for each part of speech.

The main problem related to adjectives

When choosing adjectives, try to reduce the number of words by selecting the appropriate adjective. Usually this means avoiding words like“very“ y “extremely“. Don’t use those words. Choose better adjectives.

don’t write… Type…
very happy boy ❌ lovely boy✔️
very angry❌ livid✔️
extremely elegant hotel❌ luxury hotel✔️
very serious look❌ severe look✔️

The above examples are not bad, but they are not succinct. The best writing is precise and concise.

The main problem related to adverbs

Many adverbs end in“-ly“and tell us how a verb is executed (for example,“slowly“, “erratically“). As a general rule, professional writers try to avoid the use of adverbs that end in“-ly“because they consider them unnecessary clutter. Most professional writers believe that good word choice makes such adverbs redundant.

  • Extremely annoyed, she glared menacingly at her rival.
    (Critics would attack this style of writing.)
  • Enraged, she glared at her rival.
    (This is much sharper.)

NB: We voted this as the top topic for creative writers. There are other serious problems with adverbs, the most obvious of which is creating ambiguity with a misplaced adverb.

The main problem related to conjunctions

The most frequently asked question related to conjunctions is“Do you put a comma before“y“?“. Unfortunately, the answer to this question is not short. Here is a summary of the rules:

The rule for two items

When“y“joins two elements, do not use a comma.

  • Mark ate all the cakes and cakes.✔️

So far so good. However, if he thinks he is helping his reader, he can use a comma.

  • The Bakerloo line runs between Elephant and Castle, and Harrow and Wealdstone. ✔️
    (Here, the comma helps.)
  • I love King Rollo and Rick and Morty. ✔️
    (In this example, the comma is important because the items in the list could be“King Rollo and Rick“ y “Morty“).

However, there is one important exception to this rule.

The exception to the two-element rule

  • Bonzo eats ants and eats honey.
    (Here, the joining clauses (shown in bold) could stand alone. They are independent clauses. That is why there is a comma before“y“).

The Rule for Three or More Items
When there are three or more items in the list, it’s more complicated because there are two different conventions.

Some people will write this:

  • Burger, fries and a milkshake
    (the comma before“y“It is called an Oxford comma. This is the convention followed by most (but not all) Americans).

Some people will write this:

  • Fish, chips and peas
    (This is the convention followed by most (but not all) Britons. The most notable exception is Oxford University Press, after which Oxford Comma is named.)

The main problem related to determiners

Don’t confuse a possessive determiner (eg,“you“, “you“, “are“) with an identical-sounding contraction (eg,“es“, “are“, “son“).

“It’s“is a contraction of“it is“ o “it has“. This is a 100% rule. If you can’t expand your“es“ a “es“ o “have“then it is wrong.

A country can be judged by the quality of its proverbs.❌

The same is true for“you’re“(a contraction of“you are“), they’re (a contraction of“they are“) y “who’s“(a contraction of“who is“ o “who has“) . He does not confuse them with“are“, “are“ o “over there“ o “whose“.

If you used an apostrophe, test your apostrophe by expanding your word back into two words. If it can’t, the apostrophe version is wrong.

The main problem related to interjections

The most common question related to interjections is“What punctuation follows an interjection?“.

If your interjection is not a question (for example,“Really?“is an example of an interjection that is a question), then you have a choice. You can use a comma, a period (dot), or an exclamation mark. Commas and periods are used for mild interjections, while exclamation marks are used for stronger expressions of emotion.

  • Yes that is correct.✔️
  • Crikey! Think before you speak!✔️

The main problem related to nouns

Do not capitalize a common noun (for example,“dog“, “user information“, “mountain“) just because it is an important word in your sentence. Only proper nouns (for example,“Dexter“, “the summer brochure“, “Ben Nevis“) are written in uppercase.

  • We value the opinions of our Clients. ✔️
    (“Customers“is a common noun. It should not have a capital letter).

The main problem related to prepositions

The word or words that follow a preposition are called the object of a preposition. The object of a preposition is always in the objective case. This simply means that words like“yo“, “ella“, “us“ y “they“change to“yo“, “ella“, “us“ y “they“when they follow a preposition (eg,“about me“, “with her“, “for us“, “Against them“). This is a fairly simple concept for a native English speaker, but it still surprises some people.

  • It’s a gift from my wife and me. ❌
    (This is wrong because“yo“cannot be the object of the preposition“of“).
  • Between you and me ❌
    (This is wrong because“yo“cannot be the object of the preposition“in between“).
  • between you and me✔️

The main problem related to pronouns

Do not put an apostrophe in“dry“, “ella“, “our“ o “from them“. There are no apostrophes in any possessive pronoun.

  • There are gods above gods. We have ours and they have theirs. That is what is known as infinity. (French poet Jean Cocteau)

The main problem related to verbs

Writing can be boring, corporate, predictable, and abnormally structured. These bad traits are usually caused by excessive use of nouns. Therefore, opting for verbs instead of nouns will help you write more fluid sentences. Additionally, using more verbs will also reduce the word count because you will avoid articles (eg,“and“, “the“) and prepositions (eg,“in“, “about“) necessary for nouns to function.

Unnatural (excessive use of nouns) Natural (using a verb)
They agree that she violated several rules. td> They agree that he violated several rules.
She will be on hand to present a demonstration of how the weather will affect our process. She will attend to demonstrate how the weather will affect our process.

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