The Eight Parts of Speech
Many of us have not had grammar in years, likely since elementary school. Here are a few grammar basics that will hopefully be useful to you and your children. The eight parts of speech are useful tools for not only understanding the English language, but equipping us for the study of other languages as well.
The eight parts of speech are nouns, verbs, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections. Each of these will be described briefly and an example will be provided below.
A noun is word for a person, place, thing or idea.
person – grandma
place – home
thing – book
idea - love
Grandma lives in our home. She likes to me to read a book to her.
I know what love is because of my family.
There are different types of verbs. Some show action and others show a state of being.
Examples of Action Verbs:
ran, scurry, march
He ran to the store.
The boys saw the mouse scurry away.
March to your room.
Examples of State of Being Verbs:
am, is, are, was
I am ten years old.
Tomorrow is Wednesday.
There are many types of flowers at the park we go to.
Sam was kind to his sister.
A pronoun takes the place of a noun.
she, it, they
Queen Esther was an amazing woman. She is remembered for her courage.
March to your room and clean it.
Your aunt and uncle are in town. They are coming over tomorrow.
An adjective modifies (describes) a noun or pronoun. It tells what kind, which one, or how many.
blue, seven, sneaky
The blue truck left quickly.
Seven sneaky kittens escaped.
An adverb modifies (describes) a verb, adjective, or adverb by telling how, when, or where.
quickly, reluctantly, shyly
The foal quickly followed its mother.
Elise reluctantly cleared the table.
The puppy shyly came out from behind the tree.
A preposition connects nouns or pronouns to the rest of the sentence.
under, through, inside
The puppy hid under the porch.
Go through the garage.
You can find the jar inside the cabinet.
A conjunction joins things together.
and, but, or
Kendra and Kaymon are siblings but they need to be kinder to one another.
Do you have any brothers or sisters?
An interjection is a word that exclaims something.
Help! The dog ran off with my purse!
Yes! She scored at the last second!
Each part of speech has a purpose in a sentence. I find the conciseness here helpful: “Words are classified according to the work which they do in sentences. We call such classes parts of speech” (p. 91, Center & Holmes, 1935). Here is a useful list of the work of words in sentences.
“Words used in sentences have one of the following purposes:
pronouns (substitute for nouns)
adjectives (describe nouns or pronouns)
adverbs (describe verbs, adjectives, and adverbs)
3. Joining and showing relationship
interjections” (p. 92, Center & Holmes, 1935)
Today we reviewed the eight parts of speech for parents to help their children with these concepts. We can review more of the eight parts of speech and how they function in sentences in the future. You are your child’s first and most important teacher!
What do you recall from previously studying grammar?
How does review help you better teach your child?
Center, Stella S. & Holmes Ethel E. (1935). Elements of English: Book one. Boston, Massachusetts: Allyn and Bacon.