The different parts of speech in English

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The different parts of speech in EnglishThe different parts of speech in English. Although there are many different ways to communicate in English, it can be useful to know that there are only 9* different parts of speech from which all sentences, phrases or utterances are made.

*Some people believe that there are only 8 parts of speech, with articles being part of the adjective group.

The different parts of speech are:

  • nouns
  • verbs
  • adverbs
  • adjectives
  • articles
  • pronouns
  • prepositions
  • conjunctions
  • interjections

Understanding which groups words are in can help you to break down sentences and improve your understanding and grammatical accuracy. Below is a table showing the different parts of speech and an example.

Part of speechCommon useExample
Verbto describe an actionHe sat.
NounTo describe a thingHe sat on the chair.
AdverbTo describe the verbHe slowly sat on the chair.
AdjectiveTo describe the nounHe slowly sat on the tall chair.
PronounTo talk about whoHe slowly sat on the tall chair.
PrepositionTo talk about where or whenHe slowly sat on the tall chair.
ConjunctionUsed to join ideasHe slowly sat on the tall chair but fell off.
ArticleUsed to give more information about the nounHe slowly sat on the tall chair but fell off.
InterjectionA short exclamation – not a full sentenceOuch! He hit the floor.

 

It is also useful to keep a vocabulary list and group words together that come from the same parts of speech.

For example:

adjectives – e.g. glamorous

You should try to also learn their antonyms and synonyms to build your vocabulary.


e.g. alluring, attractive (synonyms) – dowdy, plain (antonyms)

and think about their comparatives and superlatives e.g. – (adj) more glamorous (comparative) the most glamorous (superlative)

nouns – e.g. accommodation

(check spelling and think about articles etc) – uncountable, no ‘a’ or ‘an’

You should try to also learn their synonyms to build your vocabulary.

e.g. place of residence, dwelling, abode (synonyms)

verbs – e.g. drive

(and their past and participle forms);

drove, driven

prepositions – e.g. on

(with examples of their different uses),

e.g. on the sofa, but in an arm chair.

conjunctions – e.g. moreover

(with examples of use and punctuation)

Smoking is expensive; moreover, it is detrimental to health.

 

Ready to test you skills? Try this test to see what you know!


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