While learning anything, never be afraid of committing mistakes. Commit as many mistakes as you like since every unsuccessful attempt teaches you a new lesson and eventually leads you to a great triumph.#AKWords Parts of Speech: English Grammar

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Parts of Speech: English Grammar

Language is essential for all to communicate what they wish. It serves the purpose of its users by the help of elements that it consists of. These elements are words along with others like phrases, clauses, and sentences of varied lengths. In this regard, it is a string of those elements that tie together to make the largest unit (discourse) to convey meanings its users intend to share with others. Among them, the words after the morphemes are the second smallest units of the grammatical description of language. These words are labelled as eight different parts of speech based on i) the purpose for which they are used, ii) common grammatical features they share, and iii) occurrences in terms of positions in a sentence. These eight parts of speech are:

                            1. Noun,        2. Pronoun,        3. Adjective,        4. Verb,

                            5. Adverb,    6. Preposition,    7. Conjunction, and        8. Interjection.

We cannot be sure about the parts of speech to which a word belongs until that is used in a sentence because it may share the feature of others as well.

                Example:    a) fast                b) water                c) since

The above three words in isolation are sharing grammatical features of more than one part of speech. Here, "fast" can be listed under adjective as well as adverb; it won't be wrong if "water" is kept in the group of either noun or verb; and similarly, "since" can agree with either preposition or conjunction.

            i) Water the plants in the garden.
            ii) I want to drink water.
            iii) You can see many water animals in the zoo.

Unlike words in isolation, there is no confusion to determine which part of speech a word belongs to. Here in i), water is a verb; in ii), water is a noun, and in iii), water is an adjective.

1) NOUN: A noun is one of the most frequently used words in speech and writing. A word used for naming anything is called a noun, for example, "fan", "bikini" "girl", "parrot", "cow", etc. Thus, a noun is a naming word. Here, the word means i) all objects that we can see, hear, taste, or smell; and ii) something that we can think of, but cannot perceive by the senses, for instance, love. Remember "noun" and "name" are basically the same since "noun" belongs to the Latin nōmen meaning "name".

2) PRONOUN: A proper word used in place of a noun is called a pronoun.

                Example: Anshika loves reading. She is in the eyes of every teacher.

Here, "she" is a pronoun that has replaced the noun "Anshika". A pronoun always used to avoid the repetition of a noun. Hence, it is called a substitute word.

3) ADJECTIVE: A word used to add something to the meaning of a noun or a pronoun is called an adjective. It describes a noun or a pronoun.

            Example:     Anita is a beautiful girl.
                                Many boys are standing in the queue.

It means a word that is used to tell you something more about a thing, such as colour, quality, number, size, appearance, etc. All determiners like any, my, his, aan, the, whose, round, oval, etc. can be treated as adjectives because they modify noun phrases. However, a/an and the are dealt under the articles in English grammar.

Adjectives are used in two ways: attributively and predicatively. When adjectives are to precede nouns, that is called attributive use of an adjective. If it comes after the linking verb rather than before a noun, it is a predictive use.

            Example:       i)  She looks gorgeous in a red sari.
                                  ii) Her boyfriend is handsome.

Red has come before the noun "sari" while handsome is after the verb in the predicate part of the sentence. Hence, red is an attributive use and handsome is a predictive use of the adjective. Note the same adjective can be used in both ways, but not all the time, for example, Maria is alone at home.

While using more than one adjective in a phrase or sentence, it follows a preferred order.



















We can find a bit different from the above one as well while using more than one adjective together.







participle form


















4) VERB: A word which is essential in the predicate part along with the whole sentence is a verb. It denotes action, state or possession. Sentences are divided into two parts:  subject and predicate. In the sentence "My friend likes to travel by bus.", "My friend" is a subject part while "likes to travel by bus" is a predicate part.

            Example:     Children play in the garden. (action)
                                He seems afraid. (state)
                                I own this car. (possession)

No sentence can stand without a verb.

          Example:     Children in the park are playing hide and seek. (not Children in the park hide and seek.)

All verbs are categories into two groups. They are auxiliary verbs and main verbs. Auxiliary verbs are fixed in number; they are 24 only.


On the other hand, the number of main verbs is not fixed. However, these verbs are broadly divided into two types. They are finite verbs and non-finite verbs. Finite verbs are those which agree with the number and person of the subject of a sentence. Similarly, non-finite verbs do not care about the number and person of the subject.

            Example:     She learns grammar. (finite verb)
                                Jenith has done her homework. (non-finite verb)

In the above two examples, learns is a singular verb because of its singular subject "she", but done has nothing to do with the subject "Jenith".

5) ADVERB: An adverb modifies the meaning of a verb, an adjective, another adverb, a preposition, or the whole sentence. Examples of adverbs are sweetly, happily, eventually, apparently, always, seldom, often, partially, completely, fast, ultimately, absolutely, kindly, abruptly, etc.

            Example:     i)  A robber hurriedly ran straight to the bank.
                                ii) He is absolutely correct.
                                iii) She speaks very fast.
                                iv) Luckily, John managed to save his life from a man-eater.

Hurriedly shows how a robber ran, and straight in i) modifies the preposition "to". Absolutely in ii) and very in iii) show the degree of the adjective "correct" and the adverb "fast" respectively. Similarly, luckily in ii) modifies the whole sentence.

Adverbs are used in three different positions in a clause. These positions of adverbs are initial, middle and final but adverbs do not usually come between a verb and its object in the English language.

           Example:    He often brings chocolate for his children. (NOT He brings often chocolate for his children.)

6) PREPOSITION: A word that is used to link noun phrases and show the relationship of one noun phrase with another in a sentence.  It generally deals with the relationship between two noun phrases. A preposition is often a short word that precedes a noun or a pronoun. It sometimes comes before a gerund form as well.

            Example:    i)  a book on the table
                               ii) Speak to me.
                               iii) I am good at speaking.

Here, in i) "on" is a preposition that has come before a noun phrase "the table", but before this proposition, there is again a noun phrase "a book". In ii), a preposition "to" is before a pronoun "me" - a noun phrase. Likewise, in iii) "at" has preceded a gerund "speaking".

A preposition is one of the most variable parts in English grammar. It is difficult to learn to use preposition correctly. The same word can go with more than one preposition usually with a change in meaning. Different nouns, adjectives and verbs take particular prepositions.

            Example:    i) I'm talking to her.
                               ii) I'm talking with her.
                               iii) I'm talking about your father.
                               iv) He is bad at behaving with girls.
                               v) They are not interested in playing soccer.

In the above five example sentences, prepositions have been selected based on their preceding words verbs (talking) in i), ii) and iii), adjectives (bad) and (interested) respectively in iv) and v). It is difficult to say which preposition is used with the preceding words. It is usually advised to consult a good dictionary to learn the correct use of prepositions in the English language. However, there are three types of prepositions. They are prepositions of time, prepositions of place, and prepositions of direction/motion.

7) CONJUNCTION: Conjunctions are joining words. They join words, phrases, clauses or sentences.
             Example:   bread and butter
                               clever but lazy
                               He is clever while she is lazy.

Two kinds of conjunction are used in the English language. They are coordinating conjunctions and subordinating conjunctions.

Coordinating conjunctions join words, phrases, or clauses of the same nature. They must be independent.

            Example:    either play or rest
                               Javed reads stories and his sister likes poems.

In both examples, the joined parts are of the same nature. "play" and "rest" both are verbs. Similarly, "Javed reads stories..." and "... his sister likes poems." are independent while "and" is conjunction. Note words to be joined must belong to the same parts of speech.

Coordinating conjunctions join clauses in four different ways. Hence, there are four types of coordinating conjunctions. They are:

i) Cumulative conjunctions: These are used to add statements or facts. They are and, both...and, not only...but also, as well as, etc.

            Example:    Both old people and children need special care
                               Listening as well as speaking is a primary skill.

ii) Alternative conjunctions: These offer a choice between one statement and another. They are neither...nor, either...or, and or.

            Example:    Be silent or get lost.
                               She either sings or dances.
                               Neither he nor his mother likes pizza.

iii) Adversative conjunctions: These join statements that contrast with each other. They are but, while, whereas, nevertheless, etc.

            Example:    He is sad but hopeful.
                               Men talk less whereas/while women talk more.
                               He was not a good student; nevertheless, he became a successful writer.

iv) Illative conjunctions: These conjunctions are used when a kind of fact is inferred or proved from the given statement. The mostly used illative conjunctions are "so" and "for".

            Example:    He will certainly suffer from tuberculosis, for he smokes 40 cigarettes a day.

Subordinating conjunctions join clauses of different nature. They join a clause that depends on another. A dependent clause is called a subordinate clause which functions as part of another clause, for example as a subject, object or adverbial in the main clause of a sentence. While using these conjunctions, there must be a principal clause on which dependent clause lies on to get its meaning complete.

            Example:    She'll come here... (principal clause since it can take a full stop at last)
                               ... if you call her. (dependent clause because it starts with "if "; therefore, it cannot end with a full stop)

Subordinate conjunctions are that, before, after, when, while, till, until, where, whereas, because, because of, as, since, in order to, in order that, if, unless, provided (that), supposing that, given that, whether, although, though, even though, despite, in spite of, than, however, therefore, nevertheless, etc.

Conjunctions that denote:

time: before, after, when, while, till, until, then, etc.
place: where, whereas, whence, in that, etc.
cause/reason: because, because of, as, since, etc.
purpose: to, in order to, in order that, etc.
result/consequence: therefore, thus, hence, etc.
condition: if, unless, provided (that), given that, supposing that, so long as, on condition that, etc.
concession: although, though, even though, in spite of, despite, etc.
            Example:    Although he is not well, he takes part in the competition.
                               Don't move until I allow you.
                               You can use my cell phone provided that you talk short.
                               Given that a mother breastfeeds her baby, he still cries for her mother.

Remember we put a comma when the sentence starts with a subordinate/dependent clause. A subordinate clause and a principal clause can exchange their positions as well depending on what is to be emphasised. The most important information usually comes last.

            Example:    Do not come in unless I allow you.

Here, the emphasis is on permission but if their positions are altered, the emphasis will be shifted as well. For example, "Unless I allow you, do not move." Here, the main emphasis is on "what somebody is not to do". Let us have another example:

            I go shopping when I have a day off. (emphasises the time)
            When I have a day off, I go shopping. (emphasises the action "what happens")

8) INTERJECTION: An interjection is one of the parts of speech that is to show emotion or sudden feeling/reaction of the speaker. It can come alone or either at the beginning of the sentence or at the end of it. It is often followed by an exclamation mark (!).


 Alas!  the sound to express sadness on somebody's death
 Ahem!  the sound of someone clearing their throat to get somebody's attention
 Wow!  the sound to express surprise
 Boo!  the sound to frighten someone
 Oops!  the sound someone produces to show they have done something by accident
 Yahoo!  the sound to express joy or happiness
 Ouch!  used to express pain when someone steps on the foot or pinches
 Hmm/Umm!  means you're thinking or hesitating
 Ah!  used to express pleasure
 Bingo!  used to show that something is correct
 Ugh!  used to express discontentment
 Hurray!  used to express excitement

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