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Tuesday, 14 March 2017

The 8 Parts of Speech



If you understand the 8 parts of speech, everything else in grammar will be made simple for you.

It's true.

Just look at this list of seemingly complicated topics which can be easily understood and summarized if you know the parts of speech: prepositional phrases, dependent clauses, gerunds, participles, and infinitives.

Before I show you how easy all of those topics can be, let's review the parts of speech.

Every single word in the English language belongs to one of eight categories or "parts of speech." These categories give us a way sort through words and organize them based on their form and function.

1. Nouns name people, places, things, or ideas. (Mary ate the pie.)

2. Pronouns take the place of nouns. (She ate it.)

3. Adjectives modify nouns and pronouns. (Eat the apple pie.)

4. Verbs show an action or a state of being. (Eat the pie.)

5. Adverbs modify verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs. (Quickly eat the pie.)

6. Prepositions show the relationship between a noun or pronoun and some other word or element in the rest of the sentence. (Eat the pie in the kitchen.)

7. Conjunctions join words, phrases, or clauses. (Would you like the pie or the cake?)

8. Interjections show emotion. They are not grammatically related to the rest of the sentence. (Wow! I'd like both!)

Now, let's tackle that complicated list from above...

Prepositional phrases act as adjectives or adverbs. They are groups of words that begin with a preposition and end with a noun or a pronoun.

The dress with stripes is mine.

With stripes is a prepositional phrase. It begins with a preposition (with), it ends with a noun (stripes), and the whole phrase is acting as an adjective describing dress. Cool, huh?

Dependent clauses act as nouns, adjectives, or adverbs. They are groups of words with a subject and a verb.

Whenever I get nervous, I eat.

Whenever I get nervous is a dependent clause. It has a subject (I) and a verb (get), and the whole clause is acting as an adverb modifying eat.

Gerunds act as nouns. They are formed from verbs and end in -ing.

Running is fun!

Running is a gerund. It is formed from a verb (run), and it is acting as a noun. It is the subject of the sentence.

Participles act as adjectives. They are formed from verbs and end in -ing, -d, -t, or -n.

Look at the shooting star.

Shooting is a participle. It is formed from a verb (shoot), and it is acting as an adjective modifying the noun star.

Infinitives act as nouns, adjectives, or adverbs. They are formed with "to + a verb."

I love to run.

To run is an infinitive. It has the form of "to + a verb" and it is acting as a noun. It is the direct object of the verb love.



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