Parts Of Speech

Parts of Speech #

** I. Noun:** ** a word used as name of a person, place or thing. e.g. tree; horse ** Ex: The boy threw the ball

There are three kinds of nouns:  Common, Proper and Abstract.

          Common:  Any person place or thing – boy ,city or hat

          Proper:   Specific name of person, place or thing – Sean,  Sydney, Sombrero

          Abstract: Not concrete or tangible – a concept – jealousy, beauty, truth 

**II. Noun Equivalents **

A pronoun is a noun equivalent, i.e. it is used in place of a noun.


Nominative Objective Possessive
First person I Me Mine
Second person You You Your
Third Person He/She Him/Her Theirs
Interrogative Who Whom Whose
Indeterminate It It Its

The other noun equivalents in English are:

  1. The adjective used as a noun,   -  The good are always merry.

  2. The gerund:   Surfing has become a very popular pastime.

We like surfing during the summer months.

  1. The noun infinitive:

To keep silent is often too difficult.

I desire to dream away an hour or two.

  1. The noun phrase:

What to wear is my problem.

Do you know how to study effectively?

  1. The noun clause:

Why Snodgrass acted in that way puzzled his friends.

They all thought that Snodgrass behaved foolishly.

If, in the above examples, you of ask; Who? or What? before the verb, and Whom? or What? after it, you will find that noun equivalents, like pure nouns, can be used either as subjects or as objects. 

**III.   Verb:  **part of speech used to indicate action or state of being.  As a predicate it makes a statement about the subject of the sentence.

The girl threw the ball

She is the best girl for the position. 

**IV.  Adjective: ** a describing word to a noun; a word which qualifies a noun.

e.g. a tall boy; a white house

There are at least six different types of adjectives:

Descriptive:           A big house

Demonstrative:      That house.

Possessive:          Their house.

Numerical:             Eight houses.

Distributive:           Each house.

Interrogative;                  Which house? 

Adjectives can have three degrees of comparison:

Positive       -  a good house.

Comparative          -  a better house.

Superlative  - the best house.

Extreme adjectives do not need qualification or magnification:

Unique, ultimate, quintessential, utter, absolute, final, thorough, complete exclusive, inimitable, sole… 

V. Adverb:

 a word used to express the attribute of an attribute; a word which qualifies an adjective, verb or other adverb. Adverbs tell us when, where, how or why things happen. 

e.g. a very tall boy; he spoke quietly. 

VI. Preposition:

    A word to introduce a phrase or to indicate relative position. 

Down, in, under, over, through, around, above, below, on,** **

I lately lost a preposition: it hid I thought beneath my chair, so angrily I cried, ‘perdition’* up from out of in under there.”  *(everlasting punishment in hell)* *

For years it was believed you did not finish a sentence with a preposition."   Winston Churchill mocked this pedantic “rule”, which was obsolete half a century ago, saying that for some pedants, seeing prepositions at the end of a sentence ***“is something up with which they will not put”.   ***

“Most of the enlightened authorities now allow this construction.” ***  ******“is something which they will not put up with”.  ***** **

**VII.    Article:  ** a word to introduce a noun:  “A”,   “An”,  “The”  

A house  -  “A”  is used before a noun beginning with a consonant.

.         An apple/an hour -  “An” is used before a noun beginning with a vowel/sound. 

**VIII.   Conjunction:  **joining words, the glue that unites words or clauses. 

Co-ordinate conjunctions join equal statements;  and/or/but
Subordinate conjunctions combine unequal statements or clauses. (when, while, because, until………)

Jack played on the swing and Jill went down the slippery slide.

I arrived at the station when the train arrived.** **

**XI.  Interjections:  **Any word thrown into a sentence to show surprise, awe or fear.

          Wow! That’s a big fish you caught!

          Oh no! not another wave! 

Parts of a Sentence: 

Subject:  The noun or its equivalent central to the idea of the sentence. What the sentence is about. 

Predicate:  The action or the state of being of the subject. 

**The Object:  **The recipient of the action or the state of being of the subject. 

**Clause: ** a single passage of a discourse or writing containing a subject and predicate.  Any compound sentence has two independent clauses, while a complex sentence has a main clause and a subordinate (dependent) clause.

e.g. The boy, who spoke quietly, was chosen as the best speaker. (Complex)

       The boy spoke quietly and I spoke loudly.                             (Compound) 

Phrase  a small group of words which has some degree of unity within the structure of a sentence. e.g.

The leading lady took the centre of the stage.

 Smiling sweetly, she acknowledged the applause.