The Parts of Speech
Traditional grammar classifies words based on eight main parts of speech: the verb, the noun, the pronoun, the adjective, the adverb, the preposition, the conjunction, and the interjection. (There are also the articles, a, an, the but these are not always counted as parts of speech.)
Each part of speech explains not what the word is, but how the word is used. In fact, the same word can be a noun in one sentence and a verb or adjective in the next. The next few examples show how a word's part of speech can change from one sentence to the next, and following them is a series of sections on the individual parts of speech, followed by an exercise.
Books are made of ink, paper, and glue.
In this sentence, "books" is a noun, the subject of the sentence.
Deborah waits patiently while Bridget books the tickets.
Here "books" is a verb, and its subject is "Bridget."
We walk down the street.
In this sentence, "walk" is a verb, and its subject is the pronoun "we."
The mail carrier stood on the walk.
In this example, "walk" is a noun, which is part of a prepositional phrase describing where the mail carrier stood.
The town decided to build a new jail.
The sheriff told us that if we did not leave town immediately he would jail us.
Here "jail" is part of the compound verb "would jail."
They heard high pitched cries in the middle of the night.
In this sentence, "cries" is a noun acting as the direct object of the verb "heard."
The baby cries all night long and all day long.
But here "cries" is a verb that describes the actions of the subject of the sentence, the baby.
Review: Parts of Speech
- The clown chased a dog around the ring and then fell flat on her face.
- The geese indolently waddled across the intersection.
- Bruno's shabby thesaurus tumbled out of the book bag when the bus suddenly pulled out into traffic.
- Mr. Frederick angrily stamped out the fire that the local hooligans had started on his verandah.
- Later that summer, she asked herself, "What was I thinking of?"
- She thought that the twenty zucchini plants would not be enough so she planted another ten.
- Although she gave hundreds of zucchini away, the enormous mound left over frightened her.
- Everywhere she went, she talked about the prolific veggies.
- The manager confidently made his presentation to the board of directors.
- Frankenstein is the name of the scientist, not the monster.
- Her greatest fear is that the world will end before she finds a comfortable pair of panty-hose.
- Everyone in the room cheered when the announcement was made.
- The sun was shining as we set out for our first winter camping trip.
- Small children often insist that they can do it by themselves.
- Dust covered every surface in the locked bedroom.
- The census taker knocked loudly on all the doors but nobody was home.
- They wondered if there truly was honour among thieves.
- Exciting new products and effective marketing strategies will guarantee the company's success.
I hope you enjoyed this grammar lesson and exercises.