Parts of Speech
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What are the Parts of Speech?

If you’re learning a second language or just trying to take your English to the next level then you must know these parts of speech. They are helpful for you to improve your understanding of sentence structure.

There are Nine Parts of Speech in English which are the categories/classes of words given alphabetically below:

List of 9 Parts of Speech

  1. Adjectives
  2. Adverbs
  3. Determiners
  4. Conjunctions
  5. Interjections
  6. Nouns
  7. Prepositions
  8. Pronouns
  9. Verbs
9 Parts of Speech
9 Parts of Speech

Basics of Parts of Speech


  • Adjectives are words that describe nouns (other things, persons, and places).
  • Here are some word examples of adjectives: big, yellow, angry, sweet, hot, brave, etc.
  • You can see that these are describing words. Let me show you some phrase examples:
  • Big pumpkin, yellow pen, angry birds, sweet dishes, hot weather, brave boy
  • Well, big describes the word pumpkin yellow pen the word yellow which is an adjective describes pen, angry man the word angry which is an adjective describes birds.
  • So, you can see that how adjectives describe things.


  • Adverbs tell us about actions how they take place.
  • Here are word examples of adverbs: quickly, patiently, fast, economically, and loudly
  • Some sentence examples are:
  • Mom walks quickly. You can see that the adverb quickly tells us about the action of mom how she walks.
  • Maham sat patiently. The adverb patiently tells us about the action
  • Nishat spoke loudly; loudly as our adverb and it tells us about the action that it was taken.


  • Conjunctions join things.
  • Here are three common conjunctions: and, or, but. Let’s look at some examples:
  • An apple and a banana.
  • Either you or Aslam went to Lahore.
  • The conjunction=and joins apple and banana, good or bad; the conjunction= or joins the words good and bad, strong but stupid; the conjunction= but joins strong and stupid.


  • Sometimes, determiners are classified as adjectives. They function in a very similar way to adjectives but there are some technical differences. Determiners are those words that specify and determine the meaning of a word.
  • If you remember adjectives describe things, nouns. Determiners specify things, nouns, or say how many.
  • Here are some examples: the, his, one, this, etc.
  • Let’s put up the examples we had for adjectives: big pumpkin, yellow helmet, angry man. Let’s change these adjectives with determiners.
  • So, instead of big, we can have the. =the’ is a determiner it specifies the pumpkin. It lets us know which pumpkin we’re talking about. Pass me the pumpkin, is different, ‘to pass me a pumpkin’, =a and=the are both types of determiners, and they specify things.
  • The determiner =his’ tells us which helmet it specifies the helmet. Remember determiners specify things. Let’s look at the third one we’ll change the word =angry to =one, the determiner =one which is just a number, tells us=how many.
  • Remember determiners specify things or say how many all of the numbers are determiners.
  • We could have said=five men. So, =five is another example of a determiner because it tells us =how many.
  • For example, articles are one of the determiners= a, an, the.
  • There are two types of articles in English: Definite=the’ and Indefinite=a, an’ articles.
  • For instance: ‘The black car is running faster than the red.
  • Here’ =the’ is specifying black car, it is a definite article. ‘A boy is holding an umbrella in his hands.’ Here, =a’, and =an’ are indefinite articles.


  • Interjections express emotions or sudden feelings.
  • Some examples are: yeh, ah, really, hooey, etc.
  • In sentences: “Yay! I passed my exam.”
  • The interjection=yay expresses joy. Ah! we have a problem, the interjection=ah expresses dismay or sadness. Really! I did not expect that, the interjection=really expresses surprise.


  • Nouns name things, everything we talk about has to have a name so we can talk about it
  • Here are some word examples: garlic, Lahore, I am a clever witch, etc.  So, the noun=witch is the word we use as a=noun. Garlic smells sharply. The noun=garlic is the word we use for this.
  • We like the city Lahore.
  • The noun =Lahore is the word, we use for this.
  • So, nouns can name people places, or things.


  • They show relationships between words.
  • Here are some examples: in, on, with, at, etc.
  • A mouse in the box.
  • The preposition=in shows the relationship between box and mouse.
  • Lots of prepositions tell us where things are in relation to other things.
  • They also tell us when things are in relation to other things. And that is something to keep an eye out for.
  • Here is another example: A mouse on the box. The preposition=on shows us the relationship between box and mouse. And here’s another example: a hot dog with mustard.
  • The preposition=with shows us the relationship between mustard and hot dog.
  • So, prepositions show relationships between words.
  • Very often, that relationship is about positioning but sometimes it is about time.
  • We used two examples with a mouse here to show you that when you’re first learning about prepositions you might want to think of them as anywhere a mouse could go.
  • So, in a box, on a box, between two boxes, among boxes, below a box, above a box, near a box, behind a box, in front of a box, beside a box, under a box, etc.
  • All of these words in red are prepositions. Notice that occasionally they’re not one word. In front of that doesn’t happen very often but just keep that in mind. So, anywhere a mouse could go.


  • Pronouns replace nouns.
  • We’ve already done the point on nouns so we know what a noun is.
  • Here are some examples of pronouns: he, she, it, they, etc.
  • Let’s put up some sentences that just have nouns in them.
  • A witch sat on the broom. Garlic is too smelly for Joe. Maham and Ali love pizza.
  • Let’s highlight the nouns in these sentences.
  • Witch, Broom, Garlic, Joe, Maham, Ali, Pizza
  • Before we replace these with pronouns, look what we have here.
  • We have conjunction, remember conjunctions join other words.
  • Now, let’s write these again with pronouns.
  • She sat on it. =She’ is a pronoun it replaces the noun. =it’ is a pronoun. it replaces the noun=broom.
  • Let’s do the next one. It is too smelly for her. =It’ pronoun replaces the noun=garlic, =her’ pronoun replaces the noun=Joe.
  • Now, the next one. They love it. =They’ replaces =Maham and Ali. =It’ replaces=pizza.
  • So, pronouns replace nouns.
  • There are lots of pronouns and these ones that we’ve looked at are called personal pronouns. But there are other types as well.
Personal Pronouns
Personal Pronouns


Recap of Parts of Speech

  • Verbs show actions or state of being: run, talk, think, is, am, are, etc.
  • You can see that these are all actions or states.
  • Dan runs home after work.
  • In this sentence, the verb is=runs’ it’s an action.
  • He talks loudly on his phone. =talks’ is an action, it’s a verb.
  • We think that dan is clever. =think’ it’s an action but it’s a mental action.
  • I am a teacher. =am is a verb that shows a state of me as a= teacher.
  • Verbs are not always about running, jumping, dancing, writing, etc.
  • Sometimes, they are about thinking, or considering, or guessing; so, actions that happen inside the head.
  • Let’s look at these verbs again. =runs is a physical action, = talk is a physical action, =think is a mental action.
  • He is my friend. This=is also a verb but this time it’s not action it’s just the=state of being.
  • So, the very act of being is also a verb. In fact, it’s a very common verb it’s the verb =to be.
  • In fact, it’s the most common verb. So, remember verbs are actions, whether they are physical actions, mental actions or a state of being.

Take an overview of the 9 Parts of the Speech.

  • Adjectives; they describe things; they describe nouns.
  • Adverbs; they tell us about actions, actually they modify verbs.
  • Conjunctions; they join things.
  • Determiners; they specify things or say how many.
  • Interjections; which express emotions.
  • Nouns; the words we use for people places or things.
  • Prepositions; they show relationships between words, especially when talking about where things are but remember they’re also common in saying when things are in January, on Saturday, before the summer.
  • Pronouns; they replace nouns.
  • Verbs are actions, they are physical actions like =run, and walk. But also, mental actions like =think and remember. They are also states of being.

By Waqas Sharif

Mr. Waqas Sharif is an English Language Teaching (ELT) Professional, Trainer, and Course Instructor at a Public Sector Institute. He has more than ten years of Eng Language Teaching experience at the Graduate and Postgraduate level. His main interest is found in facilitating his students globally He wishes them to develop academic skills like Reading, Writing, and Communication mastery along with Basics of Functional Grammar, English Language, and Linguistics.

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