Parts of Speech

Parts Of Speech

“Parts of speech” are the basic types of words that English has. Most grammar books say that there are eight parts of speech: nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, pronouns, conjunctions, prepositions and interjections. We will add one more type: determiners/articles. In the modern era POS are known as “word classes”.

1. Noun

“A word which shows the name of some person, place, thing, condition etc.”.

For Example;

  • John bought a pen from New York.
  • There is a political disturbance in Libya.

Types Of Nouns

  • Common Noun, e.g. Cat, Chair, Book
  • Proper Noun, e.g. Qatar, China, Libya
  • Abstract Noun, e.g. Beauty, Love, Honesty
  • Collective Noun, e.g. Army, Class, Company
  • Concrete Noun, e.g. Book, Pencil, Gate
  • Countable Noun, e.g. Cap, Shirt, Bag
  • Uncountable Noun, e.g. Milk, Water, Air

Functions of Noun

  • Nominative: John goes to school (Noun and pronoun as subject)
  • Vocative: John, where are you going?
  • Accusative: Where is John?
  • Genitive: This is John’s book.
  • Dative: John gave me his book.


  • Feminine, An actress was standing near the mare.
  • Masculine, John saw a lion.
  • Neuter, Bicycle was hit by a truck.
  • Plurals

2. Pronoun

A word that is used instead of noun is called pronoun e.g. Personal pronoun, Reflexive Pronoun, Relative Pronoun, Demonstrative Pronoun

  • Personal: He is playing. (She, It, You, They etc.)
  • Reflexive: You will hurt yourself. (myself, itself)
  • Relative: I met Ali who had just returned.
  • Demonstrative: Each of the boys gets a prize.

3. Verb

A verb is the name of some action, state done by the subject or completes the meaning of the subject.

  • Faustus goes to University.
  • Faustus felt Hungry.

Kinds of Verb

Lexical Verb:

Lexical verb is a word one of the parts of speech, it conveys the complete meanings after the subject. It can stand without the auxiliaries or modals e.g. eat, drink, go, come etc. There are two kinds of lexical verbs.

  • Transitive: I Kick the ball.
  • Intransitive: I fall.

Auxiliary Verb:

Auxiliary verbs are also known as helping verbs but they cannot stand in the sentence without the lexical verbs. There are three types of auxiliaries.

  • Principal Auxiliaries: To be, to have, to do.
  • Modal Auxiliaries: can, may, must, will, ought
  • Semi-Modal: To need, to dare, used

4. Adjective

A word which qualifies the noun to show its quality, quantity, etc. is called Adjective.

Kinds of Adjective:

  • Demonstrative
  • Distributive
  • Quantitative
  • Interrogative
  • Possessive
  • Of Quality

Position of Adjective

  • Attributive; a type of adjective which comes with the noun e.g. Happy Faustus, Naughty Girl
  • Predicative; an adjective which comes after the verb to show the quality of the noun e.g. The farmer is small.

5. Adverb

An adverb is a word which modifies the meaning of a verb, an adjective or an other adverb.

  • This is a very sweet mango.
  • He comes here daily.

Kinds of Adverb

  • Manner (which shows how or in what manner) e.g. The boy works hard.
  • Time (Which Shows when) e.g. He came here Yesterday.
  • Place ( Which Shows where) e.g. He came out Yesterday.
  • Frequency (which shows How often) e.g. He always tries to do his best.
  • Degree (which shows how much or in what degree) e.g. You are quite wrong.
  • Interrogative (which enquires) e.g. Why was he late?

Formation of Adverb

Many adverbs of manner and some adverbs of degree are formed by adding ‘ly’ to the corresponding. For example

Position of Adverb

  • Adverbs of manner, which answer the question “how”? Are generally placed after the verb or after the object e.g. It is Rainy Heavily. The Ship is going slowly.
  • Adverbs or adverb phrases of place and of time are usually placed after the verb or after the object e.g. I met him yesterday.
  • When there are two are more adverbs after a verb, the normal order is MPT e.g. She should go there tomorrow evening.
  • If the verb is ‘Am’/ ‘Are’/ ‘is’/ ‘was’/ ‘were’/ , adverbs are placed after the verb; as

–He is always at home on Sunday.

–We are just off.

6. Preposition

A preposition is a word placed before a noun or a pronoun to show in what relation the person or thing denoted by its stands in regard to something else. For Example

–Faustus is fond of magic.

–There is a cow in the field.

Kinds of Preposition

There are three kinds of preposition

Simple: At, by, for, from, on, out, in etc.

–My book is in my bag.

Compound: These are generally formed by prefixing a preposition ( Usually a=no or be=by) For Example

Across, Around, before, behind

–I came the day before yesterday.

Kinds of Preposition

Phrase: A group a words which complete with more than two words or syllables. For Example

According to, In place of, in spite of, instead of, in order to etc.

According to Aristotle, tragedy cannot be completed in spite of catharsis.

7. Conjunction

A conjunction is a word which merely joins together sentences, clauses, and some times words. There are two types of conjunction

  •  Coordinating Conjunctions:

A coordinating conjunction joins together clauses of equal rank e.g. and, but, both…and, or, either…or, neither…nor, not only…but also

Both men and women were laughing at me but I was looking at their ice cream.

  • Subordinating Conjunction:

A subordinating conjunction joins a clause to another on which it depends for its full meanings e.g. if, that, though/although, unless, when, ete.

–Faustus will serve you, if you give him respect.

When it is wet the buses are crowded.

8. Interjection

An interjection is a word which expresses sudden feelings or emotions e.g. Alas!, Hurrah!, Bravo!, What!, etc.

Hurrah! We won the match.

Alas! He is dead.

9. Determiners

  • Determiners are uses at the beginning of noun, phrases, e.g. I met the two Pakistani girls in London.
  • You use specific determiner when people know exactly which things or people you are talking about e.g.

–The began to run toward the boy.

–Her face was red.

  • You use general determiners to talk about people or things without saying exactly who or what they are e.g. There was a man in the lift.

Specific Determiners:

  •  The definite article: the
  • Demonstrative: this, that, these, those
  • Possessive: my, your, his, her, its, our, their

General Determiners:

  •  Countable: All, any, an, few other
  • Uncountable: Enough, much, less


By: M. Zaman Ali

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