Parts of Speech

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Words are divided into eight parts of speech depending upon the role they play in a sentence. They are:

  1. Noun
  2. Pronoun
  3. Verb
  4. Adverb
  5. Adjective
  6. Conjunction
  7. Preposition
  8. Interjection

1. A noun names a place, animal, or thing. ‘Thing’ includes objects that can be perceived by the senses (those that can be seen, touched, smelt, heard, or tasted), as well as, abstract concepts. For e.g.,
(i) Ashoka was a great king.
(ii) The Taj Mahal is on the banks of the river Yamuna.
(iii) The flower smells sweet.
(iv) The light is bright.
(v) Her performance won her accolades.

2. A pronoun is used to replace a noun to avoid repetition of the noun. It can also be used instead of a noun. For e.g.,
(i) Sarah is absent because she is ill.
(ii) The plates are where he left them.

3. A verb expresses an action or state. For e.g.,
(i) I received an email from my boss.
(ii) Mumbai is the capital of Maharashtra.
(iii) Two and two make four.

4. An adverb adds meaning to a verb, adjective, or another adverb. For e.g.,
(i) She ran quickly.
(ii) The dress was very tight.
(iii) She played the piece quite correctly.

5. An adjective describes and adds meaning to a noun. For e.g.,
(i) She is a pretty girl.
(ii) There are ten chocolates in this box.

6. A conjunction joins words or sentences. For e.g.,
(i) The bat and ball are in the garden.
(ii) I thought so, but I was wrong.

7. A preposition is used to demonstrate how a noun/pronoun stands in relation to another object. For e.g.,
(i) The book is on the table.
(ii) The child is fond of chocolates.
(iii) The cat is under the table.

8. An interjection expresses a sudden feeling or emotion. For e.g.,
(i) Hurrah! We won the competition.
(ii) Alas! The cat is dead.

It is important to note that we cannot determine the part of speech of any word unless it is used in a sentence. The same word can function as a different part of speech depending upon how it is used in a sentence. For e.g.,

  • Sam arrived soon after. (Adverb)
  • Sam arrived after Sally. (Preposition)
  • Sam arrived after John had left. (Conjunction)

Exercise

1. Still waters run deep. (Still – adjective, because it describes the noun ‘waters’ that follows).

2. He still lives in that mansion. (Still – adverb, because it adds meaning to the verb ‘lives’ that follows).

3. After the rain came the sun. (After – preposition, because it shows the relation between the ‘rain’ and the ‘sun’).

4. The after effects of the drug are horrible. (After – adjective, because it describes the noun ‘effects’ that follows).

5. The up train is approaching. (Up – adjective, because it describes the noun ‘train’ that follows).

6. It weighs about five pounds. (Weighs – verb, because it describes the state of the object denoted by ‘it’).

7. He told us all about the play. (About – preposition, because it shows the relation between ‘he’ and ‘play’).

8. He was only a yard off the cliff. (Off – preposition, because it shows the relation between ‘he’ and ‘the cliff’).

9. Suddenly one of the buttons fell off. (Off – adverb, because it adds meaning to the verb ‘fell’).

10. Sarita fasts on Tuesdays. (Fasts – verb, because it describes the action of the noun ‘Sarita’).

11. She keeps the fast every Tuesday. (Fast – noun, because it describes an abstract concept that can be imagined).

12. Dr. Judson is on the committee. (On – preposition, because it shows the relation between ‘Dr. Judson’ and ‘ the committee’).

13. Let us carry on. (On – adverb, because it adds meaning to the verb ‘carry’).

14. Please sit down and rest a while. (While – noun, because it describes an abstract concept that can be imagined).

15. I will cook while you study. (While – conjunction, because it joins two phrases).

16. They while away their time with TV and computer games. (While – verb, because it describes the action of the pronoun ‘they’).

 

 

 

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