“Understanding the parts of speech is an important topic to mastering English grammar. In this article, I am going to explain what are parts of speech, their importance in communication, and the different types of parts of speech in English.
Whether you’re a student looking to improve your writing skills or a non-native speaker seeking to enhance your language proficiency, this article will provide a detailed overview of the various parts of speech and how to use them effectively in your speech and writing.”
Parts of speech are a very important part of English grammar. If you are looking to speak English then parts of speech will help you to form words in English. Let’s read about it in depth.
What are parts of Speech?: Definition
Parts of speech are also known as word formation or grammatical category and its abbreviated form is POS or PoS. When a word is used in a different sentence, it gives a different sense in each sentence, and parts of speech help to identify the correct sense of the word. Parts of speech help to know the exact meaning or function of the word in different circumstances.
Definition of POS:
Oxford Dictionary: One of the groups into which you can divide the words of a language based on grammar.
Kinds of Part of Speech:
To identify the correct meaning and use of words, part of speech is divided into 8 parts, which are;
Let’s understand these parts of speech individually with examples.
8 different parts of speech:
Noun: A Part Of Speech
Noun: “A noun is a word that names a person, place, thing, or idea. It can be a physical object, like a book or a chair, or an abstract concept, like love or happiness. Nouns are an important part of speech because they give us the ability to identify and refer to things in the world around us.”
e.g. of nouns: Aryabhatta, India, Mango, Happiness, etc
Nouns are divided into two parts
- Countable noun
- Uncountable noun
The two main categories of the noun are
- Proper noun– The particular name of a person, place or thing is known as a proper noun. It always starts with a capital letter. e.g. Varanasi, Narendra, Red fort, etc.
- Common noun– Non-naming a person, thing, or place is known as a common noun. It is often used with the article (a, an, the). e.g. Building, leader, city, etc.
A noun can be singular or plural and it plays various roles in a sentence e.g. subject, object, subject complement
Example sentences –
Mr. Narendra Modi is the prime minister of India.
Here in this sentence Narendra Modi and India is a proper noun and prime minister is a common noun.
Taj Mahal is a historic building.
In this sentence, the Taj Mahal is a proper noun and building is a common noun.
If you want to learn about nouns in depth please read this article- Noun in English grammar.
Pronoun: A part of speech
Pronoun: A pronoun is a substitute for a noun. It means a word that is used in place of a noun is called a pronoun.
Definition: “A pronoun is a word that is used in place of a noun. It helps us avoid repeating the same noun over and over again in a sentence, making our speech or writing clearer and more concise. Some common pronouns include ‘he’, ‘she’, ‘it’, ‘they’, ‘we’, and ‘you’.”
The pronoun is divided into nine parts, they are;
- Personal pronouns– personal pronouns are simple pronouns that are used to substitute nouns in a sentence, e.g. she, he, it, they, you, I, we, him, her, them, and us.
- Reciprocal pronoun– pronouns that express a mutual relationship in a sentence, e.g. each other and one another.
- Demonstrative pronoun– words that are used to point the specific objects in a sentence, e.g. this, that, these, and those.
- Distributive pronouns– pronouns that are used when there is a sense of distribution in a sentence, e.g. each, either, neither, any, not.
- Indefinite pronouns– pronouns that do not represent any particular person, place, or thing, e.g. somewhere, anybody, anywhere, anything, nothing, no one anyone, each, none, few, someone, everyone, and many.
- Reflexive pronoun– It is used when the object and subject of the sentence are the same. e.g. myself, yourself, herself, himself, itself, themselves, ourselves, yourselves.
- Interrogative pronoun– words that are used to ask questions, e.g. who, what, when, why, and where.
- Relative pronoun– words that are used to relate one part of a sentence to another, e.g. which, that, when, why, etc.
- Exclamatory pronoun– A pronoun that is used to express wonder or surprise in a sentence, e.g. what and how.
Personal pronouns are the most important part of the pronoun.
A pronoun which is used for a person, place, or thing is known as a personal pronoun. It has 3 sub-parts;
- First-person- I, we
- Second person- you
- Third person- he, she, it, they
Personal pronouns play three different roles in a sentence in three different cases i.e. subjective case, objective case, and possessive case.
In the sentence, the verb depends upon the number of pronouns. If the pronoun is singular i.e. he, she it then the verb will be singular and if the pronoun is plural i.e. they, we then the verb will be plural.
But in the case of “I” the verb will be am and in the case of you even if it’s singular or plural the verb will always be “are”.
She is writing a letter.
Here she is a personal pronoun of the third person in the subjective case.
Everyone was present in the meeting but me.
In this sentence, me is a personal pronoun and an objective case of I.
If you want to learn more and in depth about pronoun, please read our this article: Pronoun in English grammar.
Verb: A part of speech
Verb: A verb is a word that indicates the action or being of the subject in a sentence. Verbs are also called action words. Sometimes the verb behaves as a helping verb (is/am/are/was/were/has/have/had/will/shall) in a sentence and sometimes it behaves as a main verb (sing, play, eat, dance, run etc) in a sentence.
There can be more than one helping verb in a sentence. Verbs also go alongside with the subject meaning both will be singular or both will be plural.
The verb changes its form to express the tense (i.e. present, past, future)
The students are in the class
Here, are is a helping verb and expressing the present tense.
They played a game.
Here, played is a main verb and expresses past tense.
The verb is a very big and important topic in English grammar. If you want to learn about verbs in depth please read this article- Verbs and their types in English grammar.
Adjective: A part of speech
An adjective is another part of speech. “An adjective is a word that describes or modifies a noun or pronoun. It tells us more about the qualities or characteristics of the person, place, thing, or idea that the noun or pronoun represents. Some common adjectives include ‘big’, ‘small’, ‘happy’, ‘sad’, ‘red’, ‘blue’, ‘tasty’, and ‘delicious’.”
Adjectives describe or give more information about the subject of a sentence. It usually comes after a verb or before a noun. adjective are divided into 4 different parts based on their function in a sentence, they are;
- Possessive adjective (show possession of a quality. For example- my, your, his, her, etc.)
- Interrogative adjective (modify a noun or pronoun by asking a question. For example- whose, what, which)
- Demonstrative adjective (describes a position of a subject in space and time. For example- this, that, these, and those)
- Compound adjective (combination of two or more adjectives to modify the subject. For example- absent-minded, happy-go-lucky, etc.)
Adjectives can be used to compare similar qualities of different subjects and it’s called degree of comparison. There are three forms of the degree of comparison, they are;
- Positive degree– when there is no other subject to compare.
For example, She is beautiful.
- Comparative degree– when two subjects of the same quality and performing the same action.
For example, She is more beautiful than her.
- Superlative degree– When there are more than two subjects of the same quality and performing the same action being compared and to show that a subject is superior to others.
For example, She is the most beautiful girl in the class.
I want to buy a red pen.
Here, red describes the color of the pen, hence it is an adjective.
My brother is dumb.
Here, dumb describes brother, hence it is an adjective.
I you want to learn more and in depth about adjective, please read our this article: Adjective in English grammar.
Adverb: A part of speech
Adverb: An adverb is a word that qualifies adjective, verb, and adverb. It provides more information about adjectives, verbs,, or other adverbs in a sentence but never a noun. It generally is an answer to the question of how, when, where, and why.
Adverbs often end with -ly, e.g. beautifully, quickly, badly, shortly, etc. There are mainly 5 types of adverbs, they are;
- Adverb of manner– It describes the manner of action done by the subject in a sentence.
For example, She cries silently.
- Adverb of time– It depicts when an action is taking place in the sentence.
For example, They are playing today.
- Adverb of frequency– It describes the number of times that has been done by the subject in a sentence.
For example, She always smiles at him.
- Adverb of degree– It describes the meaning of ‘to what extent’.
For example, He is very handsome
- Adverb of place– It describes the place where the action is taking place.
For example, She is somewhere.
The students who came late were regularly punished.
Here in this sentence regularly is an adverb (adverb of frequency)
The train comes here in this section.
Here, in this sentence here is an adverb (adverb of place)
Preposition: A part of speech
Preposition: A preposition is used as a link to connect nouns, and pronouns, Generally preposition is positioned in the latter part of the sentence before the noun or pronoun. Prepositions are divided into various parts due to their function in a sentence, they are;
- Preposition of time– It shows when something is happening.
For example, Can you call me after 5 O’ Clock?
- Preposition of place– used to indicate the place or position of something.
For example, Apple is on the table.
- Preposition of direction– Indicates the direction in which something is traveling or moving.
For example, Please, pass this pen to Satya.
- Preposition of location– used to clarify the location of someone or something.
For example, She is at my home.
- Preposition of spatial relationship– Indicates the object’s movement toward or away from the source. She is leaning against a car.
Preposition also combine with a noun and makes preposition phrase means
Preposition + Noun = Prepositional phrase
You must arrive here on time.
Let’s do something for a change.
Why are you shouting at me?
Here, in this sentence ‘at’ is a preposition.
I am going to talk to him.
Here, in this sentence ‘to’ is a preposition.
Conjunction: A part of speech
A conjunction is a part of speech used to connect words, phrases, or clauses together in a sentence. It is used to show the relationship between two or more things, and to make the sentence more cohesive and coherent. Examples of conjunctions include “and”, “or”, “because”, “yet”, “so” and “but”.
It makes connections in a sentence so it can also be called the connector. The conjunction is divided into 3 parts. They are,
- Coordinating conjunctions– It is used to combine two independent clauses, e.g. But, for, and, etc.
Shruti and Vishal are good friends
- Subordinating conjunctions– It is used to combine an independent clause and a dependent clause, e.g. Although, If, though, after, before, etc.
Although she speaks harshly, she is kind-hearted.
- Correlative conjunctions– It is used to combine two-part sentences which have equal importance in a sentence, e.g. not only……but also, either…or, neither….nor, etc.
Either sleep or study
She was very happy, yet she was crying.
Here in this sentence yet is a conjunction.
I didn’t know what to do because my mind had stopped working at that time.
Here, in this sentence, because is a conjunction.
Interjection: A part of speech
Interjection- Interjection is a short phrase or word used to describe emotions and feelings.
Interjections always come with exclamation marks. Most often these interjections are placed at the beginning of the sentence.
According to the Oxford Learner’s Dictionary: “a short sound, word or phrase is spoken suddenly to express an emotion.”
For example- Wow!, Hurray!, Yipee!, etc.
Wow! It’s so beautiful.
Here in this sentence wow is an interjection.
Hurray! India won the match.
Here, in this sentence hurray is an interjection.
Parts Of Speech: Exercise
Let’s test your memory:
- She scolded the servant.
- She is going to the market.
- He wakes up at 4 am.
- Mr. Narendra Singh Modi is a great politician.
- Though he worked hard, he failed in the exam.
- I met him after many days
- I want to give you very beautiful scenery.
- Chandra Shekhar Azad was a freedom fighter.
- I am doing this work for my sister so she can win this competition.
- He is wearing a red cap today.
Check your answer:
- She- Pronoun, Scolded- Verb, Servant- Noun.
- She- Pronoun, Is- Helping verb, Going- Main verb, Market- Noun
- He- Pronoun, Wakes- Verb, At- Preposition.
- Narendra Singh Modi- Noun, Is- Verb, Great- Adjective, Politician- Noun
- Though- Conjunction, He- Pronoun, Worked, failed- Verb, Hard- Adverb, Exam- Noun
- I- Pronoun, Met- Verb, Him- Pronoun, After- Conjunction, Days- Noun
- I- Noun, Want- Verb, Give- Verb, You- Pronoun, Very- Adverb, Beautiful- Adjective, Scenery- Noun
- Chandra Shekhar Azad- Noun, Was- Verb, Freedom Fighter- Noun
- I, My, She- Pronoun, Doing, Work, Win, Can- Verb, For- Preposition, So- Conjunction, Sister, Competition- Noun,
- He- Pronoun, Is- Verb, Red- Adjective, Cap- Noun,
In conclusion, understanding the parts of speech and their types is very important for anyone who wants to improve their writing and communication skills in the English language.
Whether you are a student, a professional writer, or someone who simply wants to communicate effectively, a solid knowledge of grammar and its components is critical. By mastering the definition and types of parts of speech, you can improve your ability to construct clear, concise, and meaningful sentences.
At the end, I want to give you a suggestion, Remember, practice makes perfect, so take the time to review and practice these concepts regularly. By doing so, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a more effective communicator.