English Parts of Speech

Parts of Speech

Commonly listed English parts of speech are noun, pronoun, verb, adjective, adverb, preposition, conjunction, interjection, and sometimes numeral, article or determiner.

Noun (names)

A Noun is a word or lexical item denoting any abstract (abstract noun: e.g. home) or concrete entity (concrete noun: e.g. house); a person (police officer, Steven), place (coastline, London), thing (neck-tie, television), idea (happiness), or quality (bravery). A noun is the most common part of speech, and it is also called as a naming word.

Pronoun (replace or again placed)

A pronoun is a substitute for a noun or noun phrase (he, she, they, them). Pronouns make sentences shorter and clearer since they replace nouns.

Adjective (describes, limits)

An adjective is a modifier of a noun or pronoun (big, brave). Adjectives make the meaning of another word (noun) more precise.

Verb (states action or being)

A verb is a word denoting an action (walk), occurrence (happen), or state of being (be). A clause or a sentence cannot be formed without a verb.

Adverb (describes, limits)

An adverb is a modifier of an adjective, verb, or another adverb (very, quite). Adverbs make language more precise.

Preposition (relates)

A preposition is a word that relates words to each other in a phrase or sentence and aids in syntactic context (in, of). Prepositions show the relationship between a noun or a pronoun with another word in the sentence.

Conjunction (connects)

A conjunction is a syntactic connector; links words, phrases, or clauses (and, but). Conjunctions connect words, phrases, or sentences.

Interjection (expresses feelings and emotions)

An interjection is an emotional greeting or exclamation (Hurrah, Alas, Gosh). Interjections express strong feelings and emotions.

Article (describes, limits)

An article is a grammatical marker of definiteness (the) or indefiniteness (a, an). The article is not always listed among the parts of speech. It is considered by some grammarians to be a type of adjective or sometimes the term ‘determiner’ (a broader class) is used.

NOTE: Many English words can belong to more than one part of speech. Words like neigh, break, outlaw, laser, microwave, and telephone might all be either verbs or nouns. In certain circumstances, even words with primarily grammatical functions can be used as verbs or nouns, as in, “We must look to the hows and not just the whys.”

1. Kroeger, Paul (2005). Analyzing Grammar: An Introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.  ISBN 978-0-521-01653-7.
2. The Oxford Dictionary of English Grammar by Bas Aarts, Sylvia Chalker & Edmund Weine. OUP Oxford 2014.
3. The Art of Grammar: A Practical Guide, Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald
4. wikipedia.org
5. Bimal Krishna Matilal (1990). The word and the world: India’s contribution to the study of language.

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