A sentence, or a combination of words that express a thought, is composed of various parts of speech. They are verbs, nouns, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections. The following is a simple explanation of each. For a more detailed description, see HyperGrammar below.
The Eight Parts of Speech
A verb tells us something about the subject in the sentence. It is the action word or it expresses states of being.
Examples: reduce, reuse, recycle, is, was
A noun names a person, animal, place, thing, or abstract idea.
Examples: man, cat, house, freedom
A pronoun can be used to replace nouns or another pronoun. For example, if we're talking about someone named John, we can replace his name with the pronoun he.
Examples: he, she, you, I, we, they
An adjective describes a noun or pronoun by changing it in some way. It usually comes before the noun or pronoun.
For example, someone might say, "That's a tall tree."
Examples: small, red, heavy, thick
An adverb changes a verb, adjective, or another adverb to show manner, time, place, cause, or degree.
Examples: slowly, heavily, costly, happily
A preposition is used to link nouns, pronouns, and phrases to other words in a sentence.
Examples: above, against, around, between, of, from, for, onto, through
A conjunction is a connection word, which joins together sentences. It is also used to link clauses of a sentence or words.
Examples: and, but, or, for, so
An interjection is used to add emotion to a sentence. It is not related to other parts of a sentence, and it is usually followed by an exclamation mark.
Examples: Oh! Oops! Hey!
For more detailed information about the parts of speech, visit the University of Ottawa Writing Centre Web site, HyperGrammar.
© 2006 Marilyn J. Brackney
Volume 18 No. 3a