Parts of Speech Eng 050
Let’s go over the basics • There’s eight essential parts of speech • Nouns—people, places, things, or ideas • Verbs—Verbs are the action of the sentence, and show an action or a state of being. • Adjectives---These modify (a fancy word for describe) the noun. • Adverbs---These modify (again, a fancy word for describe) the verb. • Pronouns---Words that take place of the noun (I, me, she, him, etc.)
Let’s go over the basics • Preposition---Words that describe a relationship between other words in a sentence (we’ve used several already---between and in, for example) • Conjunction---Words that connect, or conjoins, parts of a sentence. Common conjunctions include and, but, or, yet, for, nor or so. • Interjections---Words or phrases used to exclaim or protest or command. Wow! Man! OMG! are a few examples.
Nouns • Again, a noun is a person, place, thing, or idea. • There’s two essential kinds of nouns: • Common nouns—these are general words, like chocolate, candy, class. They don’t refer to anything specific. • Proper nouns—these refer to specific people, places, and things. President Obama, the Philadelphia Phillies. • Note: It may depend on how a noun is used to determine whether or not it is common or proper. For example, She had the grace of a queen. In this case, you are using queen in a general sense, and so it is lower case. Another example: I watched Queen Elizabeth on television. Since you are referring to a specific person, the word queen is capitalized.
Nouns • Great hint from the book: If you aren’t sure if something is a noun, try putting one of the following in front of what you think is a noun: a, an, or the in front of it. • The nurse; the dog; the handbag---these are all nouns • A beautiful; a silly; a far---none of these are nouns • This doesn’t (usually) work for proper nouns: The Julia Roberts; An Adam Sandler. • Some exceptions: The can be used as an article (articles are technically pronouns). So the White House, the 76ers, for example, are both correct.
Verbs • Verbs are the most important part of a sentence because they refer to what’s going on in a sentence. A sentence cannot be classified a sentence unless there’s a verb in it. • For example, “No” is technically a complete sentence. • There’s three essential kinds of verbs • Action verb—this tells what someone or something is doing. Examples: “I applied for the job”; “We drove to the mall”; “I played touch football.” • Linking verb---this tells what someone or something is, feels, or looks like. Examples: “I felt like a princess in my new shoes”; “It was the happiest moment of my life”; “He looked handsome in his new suit.”
Verbs • Helping verb—this type of verb does what the name implies. It helps the sentence by adding more information, such as when an event takes place. They also convey different shades of meaning. These verbs also go by the term “auxiliary” verbs. • Complete verb---Not technically a type of verb, but an unofficial fourth type. It’s action or linking verb along with the helping verb (the entire verb phrase). In the sentence “She will be arriving tomorrow,” the complete verb is “will be arriving.”
Pronouns • Here’s where it gets more complicated. • Pronouns—Pronouns take the place of nouns in a sentence. These are great when repeating a noun would make a sentence too awkward. (On the first day of class, “Dianne said Dianne told a lot of bad jokes, then Dianne went over the syllabus, then Dianne had everyone introduce themselves.” See how irritating that is?). • To make that sentence less awkward, use pronouns. “Dianne said she told a lot of bad jokes, then she went over the syllabus, and had us all introduce ourselves.”
Pronouns • There’s many different types of pronouns, but for now we’ll be going over four essential kinds. • Personal pronouns—pronouns referring to people or things (I, me, mine, you, she, he, etc.). • These can be singular (referring to one person or thing), or plural • These can in first person (when referring to yourself), second person (when referring to the person as if your are speaking to him/her), or third person (when referring to a person or thing as if you weren’t speaking to him or her).
Pronouns • Demonstrative pronouns—pronouns that point out something or someone • Singular---this, that • Plural---these, those • Relative pronouns---these introduce a dependent clause (we’ll over over what a dependent clause is at a later time, but it’s essentially the part of the sentence that won’t make sense if you read it on its own). • Examples are who, whom, whose, which, and that
Pronouns • Indefinite pronouns---these refer to someone or something general, as opposed to something specific) • Singular---another, anybody, anything, anyone, each, either, everybody, everyone, everything, little, much, neither, nobody, none, no one, nothing, one, other, somebody, something, someone • Plural---both, few, many, others, several • Both singular and plural---all, any, more, most, some
Adjectives • Adjectives are the fun words---the words that give sentences color, life, and description. They modify—describe—the nouns in the sentence. • Aside from making sentences more interesting, they provide more information. • For example, say you ask someone a question, and they reply “Ask the woman in the office.” This may not help you, because there may be many several women in the office. • A better example would be “Ask the dark-haired woman wearing the blue blouse who is in the office.”
Adverbs • Adverbs are the verb counterpart to adjectives in that they modify---describe---the verbs. They also modify adjectives, and other adverbs. However, they DO NOT modify nouns (because that’s what the adjectives do). • Adverbs answer questions. The “how,” when,” “where,” how often,” and “to what extent” are all answered by adverbs • Here’s a hint: adverbs often (but not always) end in “ly.” • Some examples of adverbs include carefully, fast, swiftly, slowly, yesterday, lately, early, how, outside, here, there, deeply, usually, seldom, regularly, promptly, very, almost, too, hardly.
Adverbs • Examples of sentences with adverbs: • The Eagles played very poorly Sunday evening. • The Phillies won the division title easily. • Please come to work promptly at 8AM. • It was a very far drive to the mall last Saturday.
Prepositions • Prepositions—these indicate relationships among the ideas in a sentence. Something can be up, down, next to, behind, around, near, and under something else. • Prepositions are always followed by a noun or a pronoun. These are referred to as the object of the preposition. • The noun or pronoun with the preposition is called a prepositional phrase. • There’s 150 prepositions altogether! Common ones include • About, above, across, after, against, among, around, as, at, before, behind, below, beneath, beside, between, beyond, by, despite, down, during, except, for, from, in, in front of, inside, into, like, near, next to, of, off, on, on top of, out, out of, outside, over, past, since, through, throughout, to, toward, under, until, up, upon, up to, with, within, without
Conjunctions • Conjunctions—these words join (think of the similar word “conjoin” if it helps you to remember) connect groups of words. Conjunctions help our writing flow better, and be less choppy and repetitive. There’s two basic kinds: • Coordinating conjunctions—these words connect parts of a sentence of equal importance or weight. Another way to put this is that they connect two groups of words that could, without the coordinating conjunction, stand alone as sentences. • These are: and, but, or, nor, for, so, yet
Conjunctions • Subordinating conjunctions---these join two ideas by making one dependent on the other. In other words, these are used to connect two groups of words, one of which cannot stand alone as a sentence. • Common subordinating conjunctions: after, although, as, as it, as long as, as soon as, as though, because, before, even if, even though, how, if, in order that, since, so, so that, than, that, though, unless, until, when, whenever, where, wherever, whether, while.
Interjections • Like adjectives, these are the fun words. Their function in a sentence is to give it emotion and feeling. Interjections are usually followed by a comma or an exclamation point. • Examples are: Aha, awesome, great, hallelujah, neat, oh, oops, ouch, well, whoa, wow, yeah, yippee. • Other (less acceptable in formal writing) can include OMG, and a number of other words we can’t mention here! • Sentence examples include: • OMG! The Phillies won the division title again! • Wow, did you see the new Ugg boots at the mall? • I got the job! Awesome!
The End! • Now…onto phrases and clauses