Parts of Speech

The Structural Determination of Parts of Speech


We are not so much concerned with defining the parts of speech as with enabling the student to recognize them in context.  The definition of a noun (for example) only becomes meaningful after the student has seen and recognized many particular nouns in particular verb structures.


It should be noticed that the structural approach to the recognition and definition of parts of speech departs somewhat from the methods and terminology of traditional grammar.  The student who is at all familiar with traditional English Grammar will need to approach the present treatment without preconceptions.


In accordance with their use in the sentence, words are divided into eight classes called parts of speech, – namely, nouns, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections.

Nouns – A noun is the name of a person, place, or thing.

Examples: Elizabeth, sister, engineer, star, window, singer.

More on English Nouns Here

Pronouns – A pronoun is a word used instead of a noun.  It designates a person, place, or thing without naming it.

Examples: he, his, him, she, her, that, who.

More on English Pronouns Here


Adjective – An adjective is a word which describes or limits a substantive.   Most adjectives describe as well as limit.

Examples: square, small, wooden.

More on English Adjectives Here


Verbs – A verb is a word which can assert something (usually an action) concerning a person, place, or thing.

Examples:  The wind blows

More on English Regular and Irregular Verbs here

List of English Two-Word-Verbs or Phrasal Verbs.


Adverbs – An adverb is a word which modifies a verb, an adjective, or another verb.

To modify a word is to change or affect its meaning in some way.

Most adverbs answer the question “How?” “When?” “Where?”  or “To what degree or extent?”

More on English Adverbs Here


Prepositions – A preposition is a word placed before a substantive toshow its relation to some other word in the sentence.

The substantive which follows a preposition is called its object.

More on English Prepositions here


Conjunctions – A conjunction connects words or groups of words

A conjunction differs from a preposition in having no object, and in indicating a less definite relation between the words which it connects.

More on English Conjunctions Here

Interjections – An interjection is a cry or other exclamatory sound expressing surprise, anger, pleasure, or some other emotion or feeling.

Interjections usually have no grammatical connection with the groups of words in which they stand; hence their name which means “thrown in”

Examples: Oh! I forgot.  Ah, how I miss you! Bravo! Alas!


Source: An Advanced English Grammar: With Exercises By George Lyman Kittredge, Frank Edgar Farley


We recommend the following free Grammar E-Books:

The parts of speech: an easy grammar for beginners By Willian B. Irvine

An Advanced English Grammar: With Exercises By George Lyman Kittredge, Frank Edgar Farley

You will find more information about Parts of Speech in the following posts:

  1. Nouns

  2. Verbs

  3. Adjectives

  4. Adverbs

  5. Conjunctions

March 21, 2015