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The Parts of Speech

The chart below is a review of the parts of speech of the English language.

Parts Purpose Examples Helpful Hints
Adjectives Describe or limit the meaning of nouns and pronouns. Answer one of three questions: Which one? What kind? How many? The tall building.
The laughing boys threw water on the little girls.
Change when used as comparatives (cold colder, coldest).
Usually precede the nouns they modify.
Adverbs Add to or modify the meaning of verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs. Answers one of three questions: How? When? Where? Mary drove carefully to the hospital. Most, but not all, adverbs end in ~ly. Adverbs may follow or precede the verbs they modify.
Articles Help define nouns I met the new student yesterday.
We have an hour before class.
Two classes of articles: definite article the and indefinite article a/an
The article an comes before words that begin with a vowel (a, e, i, o, u)
The article a comes before words that begin with consonants except silent h.
Conjunctions Connect words, phrases, and clauses within a sentence. I dropped the vase, but it didn't break. Some conjunctions (however, but, moreover, etc) also show the relationship between ideas.
Interjections Show surprise or emotion. Yes! Let's do it! Interjections are not acceptable in formal writing
Nouns Name persons, places, things, and ideas. There are two classes of nouns.
Common nouns - refer to non-specific places, things and ideas.
Proper nouns - refer to specific person, places, or things and always begin with a capital letter.
The girl was so embarrassed that she ran out of the room. Requires slight changes to indicate the plural form and possession.
Nouns are capitalized when referring to specific people , places, or things.
Prepositions Show the relationship between a noun or pronoun and some other word in a sentence. The man was sitting on the sofa watching TV. Prepositions usually come before a noun or pronoun to form a prepositional phrase.
Verbs Express action or state of being. This is the second time I have come here this Form changes to reflect person and time.
Agree with the subject in person and number.
Pronouns Take the place of a noun. This is the only time he can meet with me. Change form according to the noun they replace.

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