Parts of Speech

What Are the Parts of Speech? (with Examples)

The term parts of speech refers to the eight word categories. They are: These categories are often referred to as "The Eight Parts of Speech." (They are sometimes called word classes.)

In a sentence, every word or phrase can be classified as one of these parts of speech depending on its function in the sentence. Remember, in English, a word which performs a particular function in one sentence might perform a different function in another. Let's take the word well for example.

The Parts of Speech (Quick Overview)

Below is a brief explanation for each part of speech with an example.
Part of SpeechBasic Function
Adjectivemodifies a noun or a pronoun

happy, red, enormous

Example in a sentence:

That is an enormous fish.
(The adjective enormous modifies the noun fish.)
Adverbmodifies a verb, adjective, or another adverb

happily, loosely, often

Example in a sentence:

They walked smartly to the counter.
(The adverb smartly modifies the verb walked.)
Conjunctionjoins words, phrases, and clauses

and, but, or

Example in a sentence:

A large bass still eluded Mark and Lee.
(The conjunction and joins the nouns Mark and Lee.)
Interjectionexpresses emotion

indeed, well, oops

Example in a sentence:

Ouch, that hurt.
(The interjection Ouch expresses pain.)
Nounnames a person, place, or thing

man, city, dancing

Example in a sentence:

Take me to your leader.
(The noun leader names a person.)
Prepositionshows the relationship between a noun (or pronoun) and other words in a sentence
Examples: at, in, near, on, with

Example in a sentence:

Sarah sang with Jeremy.
(The preposition with shows the relationship between Jeremy, sang, and Sarah.)
Pronounreplaces a noun

I, me, you, he, she, we, us, they

Example in a sentence:

Joanne is smart. She is also funny.
(The pronoun She replaces the noun Joanne.)
Verbidentifies an action or state of being

work, play, think, guess, write, exist, be

Example in a sentence:

Tony works down the pit now. He was unemployed.
(The verb works expresses an action. The verb was expresses a state of being.)

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See Also

What are adjectives? What are adverbs? What are conjunctions? What are interjections? What are nouns? What are prepositions? What are pronouns? What are verbs? Glossary of grammatical terms