What is language without grammar? What is grammar without parts of speech? Each word used in a sentence has a different meaning and function. And based on the purpose of each word in a sentence, English language has 8 parts of speech. We all have been taught in schools about the parts of speech but how many of us remember those accurately? Let’s have a quick glance at the 8 different parts of speech and refresh our memory
Simply stated noun is a naming word. It can be a name of a person, place, animal or thing. Nouns are very simple and easy to identify. Nouns can be further divided into following subtypes:
- Common noun- A common noun, as understood, are general names of objects. For example-The girl is shy.
- Proper noun- As opposed to common noun, a proper noun, is a specific name for any object or person. A proper noun always starts with a capital letter. For example-The Nile is the longest river.
- Abstract noun- As the word ‘abstract’ goes, an abstract noun is used for those naming words which does not have a physical existence or cannot be described in a concrete way. For example- Friendship is precious.
- Collective noun- A collective noun is used to refer to a group or cluster of objects or persons and can be easily identified. For example- The herd of sheep is grazing in the field.
- Concrete noun- A concrete noun refers to those things which have a physical existence and can be described concretely. For example- There stands a tall building.
- Countable and Uncountable noun- As the names go, countable nouns are referred to those which can be counted, for example, there are two cups in the kitchen; uncountable nouns are used to refer to those which cannot be counted, for example, there is a lot of milk in the refrigerator.
A pronoun is used in place of a noun. It is a replacement for a noun.
For example- Vikrant is bright. He is the topper in his school.
Other examples of pronouns are she, it, they, we, etc. Pronouns can be further divided into the following categories:
- Personal- Personal pronouns refer directly to the subject, in the form of person, number or gender. For example- We are on a holiday.
- Relative- Relative pronoun refers to the noun previously mentioned in a sentence and can be used to join two sentences or clauses. For example- The book that is there is mine.
- Demonstrative- These pronouns are used to point out to specific object or person. For example- Those are the apples I bought today.
- Indefinite- Indefinite pronouns refer to those which are not definite i.e. cannot be properly counted. For example- Everyone was present in the morning assembly.
- Reflexive- A reflexive pronoun talks about the subject. For example- I will answer the call myself.
- Possessive- These refer to the ownership or possession of the subject. For example- The book is mine.
- Interrogative- These are used to ask questions. For example- Who ate my pie?
A verb is a doing word. It refers to some action. Verbs can be:
- Action verb- This is the main verb of a sentence and can stand alone. For example- The boys play
- Helping verb- These verbs ‘help’ the main verbs and cannot stand alone. For example- The birds are chirping
An adjective describes a noun or a pronoun. It can refer to quality, size or quantity. The different types of adjectives are:
- Qualitative adjective- This refers to the quality of a noun or pronoun. For example- The sky is blue.
- Quantitative adjective- This refers to the number or quantity of noun or pronoun. For example- There are two girls in each team.
- Demonstrative adjective- They refer to a specific noun or pronoun. For example- This is my favourite dress.
- Possessive adjective- This refers to possession of an object. For example- This is his
- Interrogative adjective- This is used in asking questions. For example- At what time is the appointment?
An adverb describes an adjective, a verb or another adverb. There are five basic adverbs. They are adverbs of:
- Time, for example, I always go the gym.
- Place, for example, let’s go inside the cave.
- Manner, for example, I finished the work quickly.
- Degree, for example, this sum is too hard for me.
- Frequency, for example, I am usually never late.
A preposition relates a noun or a pronoun to other words of the sentence.
The common types of prepositions are:
- Preposition of Time
Come at 10am.
- Preposition of Place
The cat is under the table.
- Preposition of Direction
The lion walked towards us.
A conjunction is a word used to join two words or sentences.
For example-and, but, or, so, etc.
This is used to express emotions and often followed by an exclamation (!) mark.
For example- Ouch! Bee sting hurts.
Hurray! We won.
Thus the above 8 parts of speech are the building blocks of sentences. Undoubtedly, these are the basics of grammar. The foundation, once strong, not only just helps in scoring marks in exam but also makes one fluent in writing as well as communicating.