In this article you are going to get a quick introduction to the 8 parts of speech.
What is a part of speech?
Well, a part of speech is just the name given to a word based on the job that it does in a sentence. Think of parts of speech as being kind of like job titles Just like a person can be a teacher or a doctor or a lawyer – a word can be a verb, an adjective, a noun etc, depending on the job that it does in a sentence.
How many parts of speech are there?
There are 8 parts of speech in the English language. The 8 parts of speech are as follows
8 Parts of Speech with Examples
1. Verb: Action, state
Let’s start by talking about the verb. We start with the verb because verbs are probably the most important of the 8 parts of speech in the English language, and that is for two reasons:
1. Every sentence in English must have a verb.
2. Only verbs have tenses. I’m sure you know about past tense, present tense and future tense. That’s how we talk about different times and to do that we change the forms of verbs. So verbs are really important.
So what does a verb do?
Well, a verb is a word that shows an action or a state – state means a situation. For example,
1. “Dylan plays tennis three times a week.”
In the sentence, the verb is “play” because that’s the action, and we’re saying plays because for he, she and it. we say plays – we add the ‘s’ to the verb in the present tense, so “Dylan plays.”
2. “I am a teacher”.
The verb is “am” which’s basically just the verb to be – but we say I am, you are, he is etc.
Now I want you to notice a very important difference between these two sentences. Notice that in the first sentence we are talking about a physical action because playing is something that we do physically. But in the second sentence, we are not talking about any physical action we’re just saying “I am a teacher.” We call that a state, which means a situation. So verbs can show actions or they can show states or situations. Those are the two types of verbs.
2. Noun: Person, Place, Animal, Thing, Idea
A noun is a name given to a person, place, animal, thing, feeling or idea. For example here’s a sentence with a lot of nouns
“Rosie went to Malta on vacation with her family last year.”
1. Rosie – it’s the name of a person.
2. Malta – Malta is the name of a place.
3. Vacation – Vacation is the name given to a type of trip the people take.
4. Family – A family is a group of people.
5. Year – a year is just 365 days.
Now, of course, nouns can also be animals like dogs or cats or a noun could be a thing like a watch, pen, t-shirt etc. Or it could be a feeling such as love or anger those are all nouns.
3. Pronoun: Replaces a Noun
What is a pronoun?
A pronoun is a word that replaces a noun, replaces means it takes the place of a noun. But you might ask – why should a pronoun do that? Well take a look at this sentence
“Melvin is at the movies with Melvin’s girlfriend. Melvin really enjoys spending time with Melvin’s girlfriend”
Now, of course, that sounds really stupid and that is because the problem is that we keep repeating Melvin and Melvin’s girlfriend and that is very unnatural – we don’t talk like that. And to avoid that kind of repetition we can use pronouns in those sentences.
We can say
“Melvin is at the movies with his girlfriend. He really enjoys spending time with her.”
There are three pronouns there in the sentences his, He and her. OK, now I want you to notice that the pronoun ‘he’ is in the subject position. He is the subject of the verb enjoy “He enjoys”, and the pronoun ‘her’ is in the object position. Now to replace a noun in the subject position like Melvin, for example, we use what are called subject pronouns these are I, you, we, they, he, she, and it. And to replace a noun in the object position We use object pronouns those are me, you, us, them, him, her, and it. Now there are other pronouns also in English such as his, hers, this, that etc.
4. Adjective: Information about a noun or a pronoun
An adjective is a word that gives us information about a noun or a pronoun. Have a look at this sentence
“They drive an amazing big red sports car.”
Here the noun that we are interested in is the car. All the adjectives that give information about the car are amazing, big, red and sports, all of those are adjectives and if you look at them closely you will realize that these give us answers to questions like What colour? What size? What type? etc. The adjective ‘amazing’ gives us the answer to the question “What is your opinion of the car? If you ask me “What’s your opinion of the car?” I will tell you it’s amazing. What size is the car? It’s big. What’s the colour? It’s red. And what type of car is it? It’s a sports car.
OK now that’s all great but I don’t know if you noticed There’s actually one more adjective in this sentence and that is the word ‘an’. Now the words a, an, and the are called articles in English. And articles are also adjectives because they give us information about the nouns that come after them. In this sentence, for example, we know that they drive one car – we know that because we said an amazing big red sports car.
5. Adverbs: Information about a verb, an adjective or even another adverb (8 parts of speech)
An adverb can give information about a verb but it can also give information about an adjective or even another adverb. So these are really talented words you see – they can do a lot of things. And adverbs usually answer questions like When? Why? How? In what way? etc. Let me show you a sentence so you can see all the different things that adverbs can do
“Yesterday evening, we walked somewhat slowly in a very beautiful garden.”
In this sentence, the first adverb is ‘yesterday evening’ that shows us when the action happened. The action here is ‘walk’ – that’s the verb. There’s another adverb ‘slowly’ and that shows us how the action happened – How did we walk? We walked slowly. So both ‘Yesterday evening’ and ‘slowly’ tell us about the verb ‘walk’. But notice that you can further ask – how slowly did we walk? Did we walk very slowly or a little slowly? The answer is somewhat slowly. Somewhat means something like a little. Now notice that somewhat is actually giving us information about slowly – how slowly? Somewhat slowly. So that’s an adverb that gives information about another adverb, and there’s yet another one – ‘very’. That adverb is giving us information about ‘beautiful’. ‘Beautiful’ is an adjective.
6. Preposition: words like in, on, at, by, from, with, before and after
Prepositions are words like in, on, at, by, from, with, before and after. And these words help us to show relationships in time, place and position. For example, here’s a common thing that we say to people that we know a lot
“I’ll see you at the office on Monday.”
There are two prepositions in this sentence the prepositions are at and on. The first preposition ‘at’ shows us the place. Where? At the office. And the second preposition ‘on’ shows us the time When? On Monday. So that’s what prepositions do they help us to show relationships in time, place and position.
7. Conjunctions: words like and, but, or, so and because (8 parts of speech)
Conjunctions are words like and, but, or, so and because. And they help to connect ideas for example in the sentence
“Clara and Jasmine are best friends.”
The conjunction is ‘and’ and it helps to connect Clara and Jasmine both of which are nouns. But conjunctions can even connect sentences. For example
“I didn’t go to school today because I don’t feel very well.”
Here there are two sentences we call them clauses. The second clause “I don’t feel very well” is the reason and the first Clause “I didn’t go to school today” is the result. The conjunction here is ‘because‘ and it shows us this reason and result relationship. notice that we can also say “I don’t feel very well today so I didn’t go to school.” In that case, the conjunction would be ‘so’.
8. Interjection: Wow! Argh! Ouch! Oops! Hey! Hi!
Alright, the last of 8 part of speech that we will look at is the interjection. Interjections are words that have no real meaning but they help us to show sudden emotion or exclamation. For example, the interjection Wow! shows excitement, surprise or amazement. The interjection Argh! shows frustration or anger. Like if I’m trying to open a jar of cookies or a jar of pickles and I can’t open it, I might say Argh! I just can’t do it. That shows I’m angry or I’m frustrated. Some other common interjections are Ouch! Oops! Hey! and Hi! These last two words are used when we meet someone or when we want to call out to someone. For example, I can say “Hi, how are you?” or “Hey John, over here. Look, I’m standing over here!” So I want to call out to John.
Alright so those are the eight parts of speech