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Parts of Speech

What is Parts of Speech?

Every word in the English language can be assigned to at least one of the eight categories called the parts of speech.The meaning of a word and the way it is used in a sentence determines its parts of speech.

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List of Parts of Speech

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The following table lists the eight parts of speech.



  A word that names a person, a place, a thing, or an idea    Nelson Mandela, born in South Africa, fought   for the freedom of his people.
  A pronoun is a word that takes the place of a noun or           another pronoun.
 Tina almost panicked when she couldn’t find  her wedding ring.                                                   
  A verb is a word or group of words that expresses  action       or state of being.

 Ms.Sally teaches English. She has taught the  subject for thirty  years and is regarded as an  efficient teacher. 
  Adjective  An adjective is a word that modifies a noun or pronoun by  limiting its meaning. An adjective may answer any of the  following questions: What kind? Which one? How many?  How much?  
 A nice handsome young American boy held  everyone’s attention in the museum.

 Note: Adjectives usually come in the following  order: determiner, observation, physical  description (size, shape, age, and color),  nationality, material

 An adverb is a word that modifies or describes a verb, an  adjective, or another adverb. Adverbs answer the questions  How? When? Where? and To what degree?

 Alan drove extremely fast on the race track. 
 A preposition is a word that shows the relationship of a noun  or a pronoun to some other word in the sentence.  Children went across the lane in a line towards  their school bus.
 A conjunction is a word that joins other words or group of  words.

  Francis and Catherine got a good grade   because they were well prepared.
 An Interjection is a word that expresses the feeling or  emotions and functions independently in a sentence.

  Wow! What a beautiful scene it is!

Look at this example.

Otto Frederick Rohwedder, an American inventor from Iowa, invented the bread-slicing machine that not only sliced the bread but also wrapped it, and the first loaf of sliced bread was sold commercially on July 7, 1928. Eh, really?
Now let us see into which category of parts of speech each word in the above sentence falls, based on its meaning and purpose.

  1. NounName of person, place, thing, or idea
  • Name of the person - Otto Rohwedder, inventor
  • Name of place – Iowa
  • Name of thing – bread-slicing machine, bread, loaf, sliced bread
  • Name of month – July

  2. PronounWord that stands in the place of a noun.
  • ‘it’ is used in the place of the noun ‘bread.’

  3. VerbAction word
  • Words that express action: invented, sliced, wrapped, was sold

  4. Adjective – Word that modifies a noun or a pronoun.
  • Words that modify the noun inventoran, American
  • Words that modify bread - slicing machinethe
  • Words that modify loaf – thefirst

 5. AdverbWord that modifies a verb, an adjective, or another adverb.
  • Words that modify verbs – commercially, really

 6. Preposition  Word that relates noun or pronoun with another word in the sentence.
  • Words that show relationship – from, of, on

 7. Conjunction – Word that joins words, phrases, or clauses.
  • Words that join other words – not only … but also

 8. InterjectionWord that expresses emotions.
  • Words expressing surprise - Eh

Test Yourself

I. In the following sentences, identify the parts of speech of each underlined word.
  1. The farmer chopped the logs with an axe. 

  2. Doyle was competing in the marathon in spite of her injury.

  3. Please walk with me to the truck as it is very dark outside.

  4. Cindy visits her cousins in Arizona every holiday.

  5. Hey, wait a minute!

II. Frame sentences as per the direction given:


a. Pronoun + verb + adjective + noun + preposition + adjective + adjective + noun.

b. Interjection + verb + adjective + adjective + noun + verb + adverb.

c. verb + pronoun + conjunction + adjective + noun + conjunction + adjective + noun.

d. pronoun + verb + adverb + verb + conjunction + pronoun + verb + adjective + noun.

e. pronoun + verb + preposition + adjective + noun + preposition + adjective + adjective + noun.
More topics in Parts of Speech
Adverbs Adjective
Noun Infinitive
Pronouns Indefinite Pronouns
Verbs Preposition
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