Parts of Speech


Nouns – Words used to represent a person, place, thing, or idea. Examples: Cat, mountain, boy, Fred, scissors, freedom

Pronoun – Words that are used in place of a noun: I, me, he, him, she, her, it, we, us, they, them, and you. Example: Instead of John went to the store, He went to the store. He replaces John, meaning that he is a pronoun.

Verb – Words that express action or a state of being. They are the doing words in a sentence. Active verbs express action like to hike, to walk, or to think. Being verbs express a state of being. These include am, is, are, was, were, be, being, been, has, had, have, can, could, shall, should, will, would, do, does, did, may, might, and must.

  • Verb Tense – Verbs have tenses, or different forms depending on usage.

    • Infinitive – The most basic form, which is used in its to form. This is the verb without changes or endings, such as to swim, to be, to know.
    • Past tense – Express that the action happened in the past. Walked, Thought, Was
    • Present Tense – Express action happening at the current time. Swims, thinks, is
    • Future Tense – Expresses actions that happen in the future. Will swim, is going to be, will think

    Linking Verbs – Connects a subject and a predicate without showing an action. It often describes the subject Example: The boy is good. Is fills the role of a linking verb because it does not show a specific action, but rather describes the boy.

Adjectives – Words used to describe or modify nouns or pronouns. Examples: The gray book; the old man; the large one.

  • Types of Adjectives

    • Possessive – show ownership of an item. Example: My, his, her, its, their, our, your. Also called possessive pronouns because they replace nouns.
    • Demonstrative – Words like this, that, these, and those, which are used to point to specific nouns
    • Indefinite – Do not reference specific nouns – few, no, any, many, several
    • Interrogative – Used to make statements interrogative, or questions. Examples: Which type of bread will you use for your sandwich? What is your favorite movie?
    • Numbers – These are adjectives because they describe nouns
    • Predicate – An adjective that follows a linking verb and refers to the subject. Example: The cat looks hungry. In this case, the linking verb is looks, and hungry describes the cat, making it a predicate adjective.

Adverbs – Describe or modify verbs or adjectives.

  • Examples: She swam quickly. Quickly describes how she swam, so this is an adverb describing a verb.

    Her hair was very long. Very describes long, so this is an adverb describing and adjective.

Prepositions – Work with a noun or pronoun to make a prepositional phrase that modifies verbs, nouns, or adjectives.

  • Prepositions: aboard, about, above, across, after, against, along, amid, among, around, at, before, behind, below, beneath, beside, between, beyond, by, down, during, except, for, from, in, into, like, near, of, off, on, onto, out, over, past, since, through, throughout, to, toward, under, underneath, until, unto, up, upon, with, within, without.

    Example: The dog walked down the street. Down begins the prepositional phrase “down the street,” which modifies walked.

Conjunctions – A word that joins two independent clauses. These include and, but, or, nor, for, so, yet.

  • Example: I walked to school, but it started raining.

Articles – Precede a noun or noun phrase. Include the words a, an, and the. A and an are indefinite articles because they do not reference a specific noun. The is definite because it points to a specific noun.