In the English language there are various parts of speech which are put together in order to form a sentence. Without these, the language would never be able to function. In this section, we are going to looking a little more closely at the various parts of speech such as the verb, the noun and the adjective, amongst others. This will allow us to gain a better understanding of how a sentence is formed and how the various parts of speech work.
Parts of Speech
The Noun (n.)
A noun is a word which gives a name to something, in some cases you might hear them referred to as a ‘naming word.’ There are various different subcategories of nouns such as the proper noun, the collective noun, the possessive noun and the common noun. Each one of these serves a different purpose, let’s look at this a little more closely.
Jeffrey, Korea, pen, New Year, dog, cat, elephant, garden, school, work, music, town, Manila, teacher, farmer, Bob, Sean, Michael, police officer, France, coffee, football, danger, happiness…
Noun example sentences:
- The teacher told the children to stop chattering in class.
- John is good at French but weak at History.
The Proper Noun
The proper noun is used to name a specific item, for example the names of places or people or perhaps a movie or song title.
- The capital of England is London.
- Sarah is beautiful.
The Collective Noun
A collective noun is used to refer to a group of nouns, for example people or animal groups.
- The swarm of bees were headed straight towards our picnic.
- At church on Sunday, the choir sings loudly.
The Possessive Noun
A possessive noun is used to show ownership of something, this is done by adding an apostrophe and an s, like in the following examples.
- This is my dog’s ball.
- That is Sarah’s friend.
The Common Noun
A common noun is the most simple form of a noun and gives a name to an item.
- Here is a cup.
- Do you want a cake?
The Article (art.)
An article is a word used before a noun to modify the noun. “The” is called the definite article and “a“, “an” are called the indefinite article.
An umbrella, the boy, the school, a mouse, an apple, an hour.
Article example sentences:
- I would like an apple.
- He was sitting in a chair.
- The whale is in danger of becoming extinct.
The Verb (vb.)
A verb is one of the most important parts of speech and is a word which is used to describe an action. There are three main types of verbs which are detailed below.
Walk, is, seem, realize, run, see, swim, stand, go, have, get, promise, invite, listen, sing, sit, laughed, walk…
Verb example sentences:
- Don’t try to run before you can walk.
- Did you kiss anybody?
- Leave me alone!
The Action Verb
An action verb does exactly what you might expect, it describes an action.
- The man walked down the street.
- I laughed at his joke.
The Linking Verb
A linking verb is used to show a state of being rather than a physical action.
- Sarah feels cold.
- I am very tired.
The Modal Verb
A modal verb is used to ‘help’ the main verb and can show the speakers thoughts or attitude about what they are saying. For example, words such as might, must, could and can are all modal verbs.
- I might walk to the park this afternoon.
- He can eat the last slice of cake.
The Pronoun (pron.)
A pronoun is one which replaces a noun, and once again there are various different types of pronouns within the English language. Each one is used in a different way, let’s take a look at some examples of this.
I, me, we, you, he, she, yours, himself, its, my, that, this, those, us, who, whom
Pronoun example sentences:
- Richard isn’t at work this week; he‘s gone on holiday.
- Don’t tell her the truth.
- She tried it herself.
- You can’t blame him for everything.
- The woman who called yesterday wants to buy the house.
The Reflexive Pronoun
A reflexive pronoun is used to refer to self, for example myself or yourself.
- I am going to keep this last cupcake for myself.
- Peter always puts himself first.
This type of pronoun is used to refer to a non specific person or item, you might see words such as anything, few, everyone or all.
- Can you take all of these?
- I need to speak to someone about this rash on my arm.
The Possessive Pronoun
A possessive pronoun is used to show possession or ownership of something, for example my, his, their or yours.
- Is this your bag?
- I have been looking after his daughter.
The Relative Pronoun
A relative pronoun is used to introduce an adjective clause. You might recognise these as words such as who, which, that or whose.
- This is the woman who will be working with you.
- Is this the book that everyone is raving about?
The Adjective (adj.)
An adjective is a word which describes a noun or pronoun, there are thousands of adjectives within the English language.
Beautiful, seven, cute, second, tall, blue, angry, brave, careful, healthy, little, old, generous, red, smart, two, small, tall, some, good, big, useful, interesting…
Brown dog, red car, tall boy, fat cat, big garden.
Adjective example sentences:
- This is a blue car.
- The small squirrel ran up the tree.
- During the thunderstorm, we saw some heavy rain.
- My mother has short hair.
- The documentary on TV last night was very interesting.
- My son has an impressive collection of toy soldiers.
- The weather is hot and sunny today.
- My vacation was exciting.
- The leaves on that tree are green and large.
The Adverb (adv.)
An adverb is used to modify, or further explain an adjective, verb or another adverb. They can add more information to a sentence making it more clear and easier for the listener to imagine what is being described in detail. Most of the time, adverbs will end in the letters -ly but there are some exceptions to this rule such as the words very and never.
Neatly, in the market, every day, tomorrow, very, badly, fully, carefully, hardly, nearly, hungrily, never, quickly, silently, well, really, almost…
Adverb example sentences:
- This is an extremely attractive photograph.
- I have a very large pet dog.
- My car drives quickly.
- When I am running late for work, I eat my breakfast rapidly.
- The boy is crying loudly.
- She carefully preserved all his letters.
The Conjunction (conj.)
A conjunction is used as a way of joining two or more ideas or words together. Most commonly you will see the words for, and, not, but, or, yet and so used as a conjunction.
And, however, still, but, or, so, after, since, before, either, neither, because, unless…
Conjunction example sentences:
- My boyfriend and I are going on a date.
- I will go to the shop but not before I have had something to eat.
- This is a gift for my friend.
- I was tired yet I still went to the gym.
The Preposition (prep.)
A preposition is used in English to show a relationship between two words or phrases. You might recognise a preposition as being words such as in, before, on, at, to, between etc.
In, on, at, about, apropos, according to, after, along, above, except, from, near, of, before, since, between, upon, with, to, after, toward…
Preposition example sentences:
- The cat is sitting on the wall.
- I am going to the salon after my dinner.
- The boy ran along the street for an hour.
- You will find the theatre in the town centre.
- I saw that news in the newspapers.
The Interjection (interj.)
An interjection could also be thought of as a exclamation. They are used to emotion, reaction or excitement and have no grammatical link to anything else within the sentence they appear.
Ahem!, aha!, gosh!, aw!, great!, hey!, hi!, hooray!, oh!, yeah!, oops!, phew!, eh!, oh!, ouch!, hi!, well!…
Interjection example sentences:
- Phew! That was a close call.
- Wow! Did you see how big that bird was?
- Oh, I forgot to tell you that I saw your father last week.
- Hooray! You passed your exam!
- Well, what did he say?
- Yeah! She’s going with us tonight!
Parts of Speech in English | Pictures
In the English language, there are eight different parts of speech and each one serves its own purpose. Without them, we would not be able to form coherent sentence and so it is important that we are familiar with what each of them are. In these images, we are going to look at each of the different parts of speech, what they are used for and some examples of how they work within a sentence.
Parts of Speech in English Image 1
English Parts of Speech Table Image 2
Parts of Speech Video
Learn all parts of speech in English with useful video lesson.
These eight parts of speech can all be merged together to help you in creating grammatically correct and cohesive sentences in English. Whilst some are further split into subcategories, others function on their own, but each one is just as important as the next.