GRAMMAR: Parts of speech

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Grammar for IELTS parts of speechIn order to improve your English skills, both for speaking and writing, it is important to be aware of the ‘parts’ of speech that create sentences in English. It is commonly accepted that there are only 9* different parts of speech from which all sentences, phrases or utterances are made.

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

The different parts of speech are as follows:

  1. nouns
  2. verbs
  3. adverbs
  4. adjectives
  5. articles
  6. pronouns
  7. prepositions
  8. conjunctions
  9. interjections

Understanding which groups words are in can also help you to break down sentences, making the passive skills (reading and listening) easier.
Below is a table showing the different parts of speech and an example.

Parts of speech

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.

Improving your knowledge of English

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.
Click here to try the parts of speech exercises.

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