Parts of Speech

noun | pronoun | verb | adjective | adverb | conjunction | preposition | interjection |
Quiz over parts of speech

♦ Noun

A noun (sometimes called a nominative) is that part of speech which names someone or something.

Nouns supply information to a sentence by answering the question who? or what?

When nouns name ordinary, everyday people or things, such as boy or car, they are called common nouns.

When nouns name a specific, one-of-a-kind person or thing, such as John or Toyota, they are called proper nouns and are capitalized.

Nouns function in many different ways inside a sentence. They are used as subjects, predicate nouns, direct objects, indirect objects, objective complements, objects of prepositions, and appositives. See Types of Sentences.

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♦ Pronoun

A pronoun is that part of speech which substitutes for a noun and takes the place of the noun. The noun that the pronoun replaces is called the antecedent of the pronoun. That noun should usually be used before using any pronoun that refers to it.

Pronouns are usually classified into the following types:

Check Your Understanding:

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♦ Verb

Check Your Understanding:

Begin by determining whether the verbs in the following sentences are action verbs or linking verbs.

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♦ Adjective

Adjectives are modifiers, that is they alter or clarify the meaning of a noun. To determine whether a part of speech is used as an adjective, we must first consider the type of information the word provides to the sentence. Adjectives provide four basic types of information; that is to say, they answer four fundamental questions:


Adjectives usually precede the nouns they modify. An important exception to this rule is in a sentence containing a predicate adjective; in this case, the adjective comes after the linking verb and modifies the subject.

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♦ Adverb

Adverbs are also modifiers, but they alter or clarify the meaning of a verb, an adjective, or another adverb.

To determine whether a part of speech is used as an adverb, we must first consider the type of information the word provides to the sentence. Adverbs provide six basic types of information; that is to say, they answer six fundamental questions:

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♦ Conjunction

Conjunctions join parts of a sentence; they are the glue of English.

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♦ Preposition

Prepositions, somewhat like conjunctions, connect or join words, but unlike conjunctions, prepositions always combine with a noun or pronoun (called the "object of the preposition") to form a prepositional phrase, which is then used as an adjective or as an adverb to modify another word.

John made a peanut butter sandwich for his sister.

The preposition "for" connects the object of the preposition "sister" to the verb "made," telling "why" John made the sandwich.

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♦ Interjection

Interjections show emotion and may appear alone or as part of a sentence; however, interjections are not grammatically related to the sentence in which they appear. They are sometimes referred to as absolutes. As a rule, interjections showing strong emotion are written as a separate sentence; they are punctuated with an exclamation point. Interjections showing mild emotion are often written as part of a sentence, but separated from the sentence with a comma.

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Check Your Understanding:

Which part of speech is the word in brackets?

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