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Understanding Parts of Speech

Based on the role, words play in a sentence, they are classified into eight categories called ‘Parts of Speech’. There are eight ‘Parts of Speech’.









Noun: A noun is used to name a person, place or thing.

Examples: John has a red shirt. The Sun rises in the East. LosAngeles is a metro city. Thomas came back yesterday. Roses bloom in the summers.

Nouns include tangible and intangible things.

Pronoun: Pronouns are used to replace nouns.

Examples: Ram won because he believed in good. John had told you to purchase the book. The Guru asked his disciples to fetch some wood. The King asked his men to return.

Adjective: Adjectives are used to add meaning to noun or pronoun or simply put to modify their meanings.

Examples: Rama was a brave king. Brave modifies the meaning of king or adds to its meaning.

Gandhi was a simple man. Simple adds to the meaning of man or modifies it.

Red Apples were selling in the market. Red modifies the meaning of Apple or adds to it.

Verb: Verb expresses an action or state.

Examples: Ronny is a naughty boy. Is expresses the state.

Ronny runs from here to there. Run expresses the action of running (fast movement) or the state in which Ronny is.

Adverb: Adverb adds to the meaning of adjective, verb or adverb.

Examples: Ram ran to check out quickly. Shelly has a very beautiful doll. Antarctica is very cold.

Preposition:   Preposition relates a noun or pronoun with something else. It shows how the noun or pronoun stands in relation to another thing in a sentence.

Examples: A cow stood in the yard. John was the first of all. He has a stake in it. He works for his master. Love is the greatest virtue of all. He was the King of Macedonia.

Conjunction: Conjunction, as its name implies connects words or sentences.

Examples: He and John are cousins. ‘And’ connects ‘He’ and ‘John’. He took a taxi but missed the interview. ‘But’ connects two sentences He took a taxi and he missed the interview.

Interjection: Interjection generally expresses some intense or sudden feelings. Some commonly used interjections are – Hurrah! Alas! wow!.

Wow! we finally achieved it. Hurrah! Our team won the game.

To know which parts of speech a word is you must use it in a sentence.

Determine the parts of speech in these sentences:

  1. Still waters run deep. – Still – Adjective. Waters – Noun, Run – Verb , Deep – Adverb. Still adds to the meaning of ‘waters’ and ‘run’ expresses a state while ‘Deep’ adds meaning to run.
  2. He still lives in that house. He – Pronoun still – adverb, lives – verb, house – noun. ‘Still’ adds meaning to ‘lives’ which expresses and action or state.
  3. After the storm comes the calm. Storm and calm are nouns. After is a preposition that shows the relationship between storm and calm. Comes is a verb expressing a state or action.
  4. The after effects of the drug are bad. Drug and effects are nouns. are is a verb and bad an adjective. After is also used an adjective to modify the meaning of effects.
  5. The up train is late. Train is a noun. ‘Late’ and ‘up’ modify its meaning, so they are adjectives and ‘is’ expresses the state so a verb.
  6. It weighs about a pound. ‘It’ is a pronoun. weighs is a verb. ‘Pound’ is the name of a measure.
  7. He told us all about the battle. – He – pronoun, told – verb, us – pronoun, battle – noun, about – a preposition that shows the relationship between ‘us’ and ‘the battle’.
  8. He was only a yard off me. He – pronoun, was – verb, only – adjective, yard – noun ( name of a measure), off – preposition, me – pronoun.
  9. Suddenly one of the wheels came off. Suddenly – adverb (modifies came off), one – adjective (modifies wheels), came – verb.
  10. Mohammedans fast in the month of Ramzan. Mohammedans – Noun, fast- verb, month – noun, Ramzan – noun, in – preposition.
  11. He kept the fast for a week. He – pronoun, kept – verb (action), the fast – noun, for – preposition, week – noun.
  12. He is on the committee. He – pronoun, is – verb, on – preposition, committee – noun.
  13. Let us move on. Let and move are verbs while us is a pronoun.
  14. Sit down and rest a while. Sit and rest are verbs. Down is an adverb and a while is also an adverb. (These are modifying the verbs they follow.)
  15. I will watch while you sleep. I and you – pronoun, will, watch and sleep – verbs (action or state), while – prepositions.
  16. They while away their evenings with books and games. They – pronoun, evenings – noun, while way (verb meaning pass their time) with – preposition, books and games – noun.

More exercises with sample answers.

Ram likes to play guitar. Ram and guitar are nouns. like and play are verbs (denoting action or state). ‘To’ is a preposition signifying the relationship between Ram and guitar.

He hurried to the market. He – pronoun, Hurried – verb, to – preposition, market – noun.

Bravo! Carry on team. Bravo – Interjection, carry – verb, team – noun.

Have a look at these files. Have, look -verbs, at – preposition, files – noun, these – pronoun.

Never touch open wires. Never- adverb (modifies the verb ‘touch’) touch – verb, open – adjective, wires – noun.

Create an extra column for expenses. – Create – verb, extra – adjective, column – noun, expenses – noun, for – preposition.

Go have some fresh air. –  Go and have are verbs. some – Adverb (modifies the adjective fresh) Fresh- adjective, air – noun.

Have you brushed your shoes? Have and brush – verbs, You and your – pronouns, shoes – noun.

The wind has grown calm. wind – noun, grown and has verbs ( action or state), calm  – noun

The flamingoes flew away.  Flamingoes – noun, flew – verb, Away – adverb.

The cock crowed before dawn. Cock, hour, dawn – nouns, crow – verb, before – adjective (modifies the noun dawn).

Ducks and ducklings were swimming in a shallow pond. Ducks, ducklings and pond ( noun), swim – verb, shallow – adjective (modifies the meaning of pond).

Drive carefully on the busy roads.  Roads – noun, drive – verb, carefully- adverb, busy- adjective, on – preposition.

He had nothing to do on the weekend. he – pronoun, had and do – verbs, nothing – adverb (modifies the verb – do), on and to are prepositions.