Quick Reference Study Notes for English Parts of Speech - 1 (Foundation)

Parts of speech-I

In the English language, words are considered to be the smallest elements that have distinctive meanings. On the basis of their use and functions, the words are categorized into several types or parts of speech.  

  1. Noun

This part of a speech refers to words that are used to name persons, things, animals, places, ideas, or events. Nouns are the simplest among the 8 parts of speech, which is why they are the first ones taught to students in primary school.

Examples:

  • Tom Hanks is very versatile.

  • The italicized noun refers to a name of a person.

  • Dogs can be extremely cute.

  • In this example, the italicized word is considered a noun because it names an animal.

  • It is my birthday.

  • The word “birthday” is a noun which refers to an event.

 

There are different types of nouns namely:

  • Proper– proper nouns always start with a capital letter and refers to specific names of persons, places, or things.

  • Examples: Volkswagen Beetle, Shakey’s Pizza, Game of Thrones

  • Common– common nouns are the opposite of proper nouns. These are just generic names of persons, things, or places.

  • Examples: car, pizza parlor, TV series

  • Concrete– this kind refers to nouns which you can perceive through your five senses.

  • Examples: folder, sand, board

  • Abstract- unlike concrete nouns, abstract nouns are those which you can’t perceive through your five senses.

  • Examples: happiness, grudge, bravery

  • Count– it refers to anything that is countable, and has a singular and plural form.

  • Examples:  kitten, video, ball

  • Mass– this is the opposite of count nouns. Mass nouns are also called non-countable nouns, and they need to have “counters” to quantify them.

  • Examples of Counters: kilo, cup, meter

  • Examples of Mass Nouns: rice, flour, garter

This part of a speech refers to words that are used to name persons, things, animals, places, ideas, or events. Nouns are the simplest among the 8 parts of speech, which is why they are the first ones taught to students in primary school.

Examples:

  • Tom Hanks is very versatile.

  • The italicized noun refers to a name of a person.

  • Dogs can be extremely cute.

  • In this example, the italicized word is considered a noun because it names an animal.

  • It is my birthday.

  • The word “birthday” is a noun which refers to an event.

There are different types of nouns namely:

  • Proper– proper nouns always start with a capital letter and refers to specific names of persons, places, or things.

  • Examples: Volkswagen Beetle, Shakey’s Pizza, Game of Thrones

  • Common– common nouns are the opposite of proper nouns. These are just generic names of persons, things, or places.

  • Examples: car, pizza parlor, TV series

  • Concrete– this kind refers to nouns which you can perceive through your five senses.

  • Examples: folder, sand, board

  • Abstract- unlike concrete nouns, abstract nouns are those which you can’t perceive through your five senses.

  • Examples: happiness, grudge, bravery

  • Count– it refers to anything that is countable, and has a singular and plural form.

  • Examples:  kitten, video, ball

  • Mass– this is the opposite of count nouns. Mass nouns are also called non-countable nouns, and they need to have “counters” to quantify them.

  • Examples of Counters: kilo, cup, meter

  • Examples of Mass Nouns: rice, flour, garter

  • Collective– refers to a group of persons, animals, or things.

  • Example: faculty (group of teachers), class (group of students), pride (group of lions)

  • – refers to a group of persons, animals, or things.

  • Example: faculty (group of teachers), class (group of students), pride (group of lions)

2.   Pronoun

A pronoun is a part of a speech which functions as a replacement for a noun. Some examples of pronouns are: I, it, he, she, mine, his, hers, we, they, theirs, and ours.

Sample Sentences:

  • Janice is a very stubborn child. She just stared at me and when I told her to stop.

  • The largest slice is mine.

  • We are number one.

The italicized words in the sentences above are the pronouns in the sentence.

3. Verbs

Verbs are the action words in a sentence that describe what the subject is doing. Along with nouns, verbs are the main part of a sentence or phrase, telling a story about what is taking place. In fact, without a verb, full thoughts can’t be properly conveyed, and even the simplest sentences, such as Maria sings, have one. Actually, a verb can be a sentence by itself, with the subject, in most case you, implied, such as, Sing! and Drive!

How to Recognize a Verb

As you can see from the examples above, one clue to help you recognize a verb is its location compared to the subject. Verbs almost always come after a noun or pronoun. These nouns and pronouns are referred to as the subject.  The verb thought comes after the noun Jack, so the action Jack (subject) was taking was thinking (verb).

  1. Mark eats his dinner quickly.

  2. We went to the market.

  3. You write neatly in your notebook.

  4. They thought about all the prizes in the competition.

Here are some other ways to recognize verbs in a sentence:

  1. If you’re not sure if a word is a verb, ask yourself, “Can I do ______?”

Can I think, wonder, walk, yawn? Yes, so these are verbs.

  1. You can also ask, ”What is happening?”

In the sentence Mark eats his dinner quickly, what is happening? Eating is happening, so eating is the verb.

In the sentence They thought about all the prizes what is happening? Thought (thinking) is happening, so thought is the verb.

4. Adjective

The simplest definition of an adjective is that it is a word that describes or clarifies a noun. Adjectives describe nouns by giving some information about an object's size, shape, age, color, origin or material.

  • It's a big table. (size)

  • It's a round table. (shape)

  • It's an old table. (age)

  • It's a brown table. (color)

  • It's an English table. (origin)

  • It's a wooden table. (material)

  • It's a lovely table. (opinion)

  • It's a broken table. (observation)

  • It's a coffee table. (purpose)

When an item is defined by its purpose, that word is usually not an adjective, but it acts as one in that situation.

  • coffee table

  • pool hall

  • hunting cabin

  • baseball player

What Do Adjectives Look Like?

English grammar can be tricky, there are often exceptions to the rules, so you need to be careful. You'll find that English adjectives often end with these suffixes:

  • -able/-ible - adorable, invisible, responsible, uncomfortable

  • -al - educational, gradual, illegal, nocturnal, viral

  • -an - American, Mexican, urban

  • -ar - cellular, popular, spectacular, vulgar

  • -ent - intelligent, potent, silent, violent

  • -ful - harmful, powerful, tasteful, thoughtful

  • -ic/-ical - athletic, energetic, magical, scientific

  • -ine - bovine, canine, equine, feminine, masculine

  • -ile - agile, docile, fertile, virile

  • -ive - informative, native, talkative

  • -less - careless, endless, homeless, timeless

  • -ous - cautious, dangerous, enormous, malodorous

  • -some - awesome, handsome, lonesome, wholesome

Many adjectives also end with -y, -ary, -ate, -ed, and -ing. However, nouns and adverbs can end with -y, lots of nouns end with -ary, nouns and verbs also end with -ate, and verbs also end in -ed and -ing. Remember we said you need to be careful! To work out if a word is an adjective or not, look at it's location in the sentence.

*NOTE : "This study material is collected from multiple sources to make a quick refresh course available to students."

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