Parts of Speech

In the English language, we may consider words as the smallest units that have distinctive meanings. Based on their use and functions, words are categorized into several types or parts of speech. There are eight major parts of speech in English grammar: noun, pronoun, adjective, verb, adverb, preposition interjection and conjunction.

A noun is a naming word. It names a person, place, thing, idea, living creature, quality or action. A pronoun is a word which is used in place of a noun in order to avoid repetition in a sentence. An adjective, on the other hand is a word that describes a noun.

A verb is a word which describes an action (doing something) or a state (being something) whereas an adverb is a word which usually describes a verb. It tells you how/when/where/how often something is done.

A preposition usually comes before a noun, pronoun or noun phrase. It joins the noun to some other part of the sentence. We also have interjection which is an unusual kind of word, because it often stands alone. Interjections are words which express emotion or surprise, and they are usually followed by exclamation marks. Lastly, we have conjunction as a part of speech which joins two words, phrases or sentences together.

It is important to be able to recognize and identify the different types of words in English, so that we can understand grammar explanations and use the right word form in the right place. There are certain words that can be used as different parts of speech. Take a look at the following examples:

It is but right to apologise. (Adverb) Nobody but he stood up. (Preposition) She wants to go but not today. (Conjunction)

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