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Parts of Speech Overview


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A guide to the 8 parts of speech in the English language, intended for use as ESL material. More English resources at

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Parts of Speech Overview

  1. 1. What are they? English has 8 parts of speech: 1. Noun 2. Verb 3. Adjective 4. Adverb 5. Pronoun 6. Preposition 7. Conjunction 8. Interjection
  2. 2. Why Learn Them?  English sentences can be divided into their parts of speech. Knowing these can help you understand and learn better.  It will help your listening, reading, writing, and speaking skills.  When you study vocabulary, pay attention to the part of speech.
  3. 3. Noun A person, place, idea, or thing Example: France, a mountain, Steven, sheep, socialism Sentences: The moon is bright. John is reading that book.
  4. 4. Pronoun A pronoun replaces a noun. Sometimes this is done to avoid repetition. Example: him, his her, theirs, we Sentences: They wanted us to go with them. He asked her to the dance but she said no.
  5. 5. Pronoun
  6. 6. Adjective An adjective describes, changes, or gives extra information about a noun or pronoun. Example: long, high, red, fast, British, angry Sentences: The tall man looked at the beautiful woman. The slow car stopped by the big supermarket.
  7. 7. Adjective There are different kinds of adjectives: 1. Descriptive (ie. difficult, cheap) 2. Proper (ie. Japanese, Italian) 3. Quantitative (ie. some, many) and so on…
  8. 8. Adverb An adverb describes a verb, adjective, or even another adverb. Example: quickly, silently, cunningly, amusingly, frankly, eventfully, coyly Sentences: She quickly ran out to get help. He drove carefully to the village.
  9. 9. Adverb Adverbs often give information about question words – how, where, when? There are often adverbs of frequency – always, never, sometimes
  10. 10. Verb A verb is usually an action, but may also indicate a state of being. Examples: think, run, dance, sing, believe Sentences: He studies English so he can go to America. They think they can beat their rivals.
  11. 11. Conjunction A conjunction joins two words or groups of words, and can connect clauses. Examples: and, but, or, yet Sentences: They want to go skiing, but it’s too expensive. She ate ice cream and cake for dessert.
  12. 12. Preposition Shows the relationship between a noun (or pronoun) and another word. Examples: on, at, in, from, about Sentences: The keys are on the table. She sat near the door.
  13. 13. Interjection A word or phrase that expresses emotion. Examples: wow, ah, watch out, ouch Sentences: Ouch! That hurt! Wow! That was amazing!
  14. 14. Basic Sentences A sentence can sometimes be one word, like an interjection or a verb: “Hey!” “Run!”
  15. 15. Better Sentences However, we really ought to at least have a subject (noun) and verb: noun verb Frank reads.
  16. 16. Improving Further We can add more verbs or nouns to add more specific meaning, or replace the noun with a pronoun: pronoun verb noun He likes computers. noun verb verb Paul was working.
  17. 17. Adding Details Adverbs and adverbs can alter verbs and nouns: noun verb noun adverb Sally speaks English well. noun verb adjective noun Peter has nice parents.
  18. 18. Adding More Prepositions give us more information: (*a determiner or article is another part of speech, sometimes considered an adjective) pronoun verb preposition determiner* noun adverb She walked to the shop slowly.
  19. 19. Adding Clauses Conjunctions allow us to add multiple clauses into a sentence: pron. verb adj. noun conjunction pron. verb pron. They like fast cars but I hate them.
  20. 20. Using All Parts This sentence includes all parts of speech: Interjection noun conj. pron. adj. noun verb prep. adverb Well, Jane and her old dog walked back sadly.
  21. 21. Notes word part of speech example work noun My work is easy. verb I work in London. but conjunction John came but Mary didn't come. preposition Everyone came but Mary. well adjective Are you well? adverb She speaks well. interjection Well! That's expensive! afternoon noun We ate in the afternoon. noun acting as adjective We had afternoon tea. Some words can be different parts of speech depending on their use.