Now that the summer is finally over and we are already back in class, how about refreshing our knowledge with some basics?

In our classes, we have several times spoken about parts of speech.

Parts of speech are the basic building blocks of grammar that categorize words based on their functions and meanings within sentences. In other words, a part of speech is a category that describes the role a word plays in a sentence.


How many parts of speech are there?

According to most traditional grammars, there are eight basic parts of speech in the English language: noun, pronoun, verb, adjective, adverb, preposition, conjunction, and interjection. Some modern grammars add other parts of speech too, such as articles and determiners.

Words can sometimes function as different parts of speech depending on their usage in a sentence and the specific context. For instance, the word “damage” can be a verb (e.g., “Many roads and buildings were badly damaged due to the bad weather”) or a noun (e.g., “The bad weather caused serious damage to many roads and buildings”).

Here’s a color-coded example sentence and, below, a simple explanation of each part of speech:


Well, we like to visit old friends now and then.


  1. NOUN:

A noun is a word that represents a person, thing, place, or idea. Examples include “teacher”, “notebook”, “city”, and “love”.

Nouns are frequently used with an article (“the”, “a”, or “an”); they can be singular or plural, concrete or abstract and they can function as a subject, direct object, or indirect object within a sentence.


A pronoun is a word that replaces a noun to avoid repetition. Common examples include “I”, “we”, “he”, “she”, “it”, “they”, etc., which are called personal pronouns. Other types of pronouns include possessive, reflexive, relative, and demonstrative ones.

  1. VERB:

A verb is a word that expresses an action (e.g., “walk”, “shout”) or a state (e.g., “be”, “know”). Every complete sentence must include at least one verb. Verbs have different forms, tenses (e.g., simple present), moods (e.g., interrogative), and voices (e.g., passive voice), and they can be regular or irregular, auxiliary, linking, modal, or phrasal.


An adjective is a word that describes or modifies a noun or a pronoun, giving more information about their qualities. Examples include “red”, “happy”, “tall”, and “delicious”. When they appear before a noun, they are called attributive; when they appear after a noun with the use of a linking verb, such as the verb “to be”, they are called predicative.

  1. ADVERB:

An adverb is a word that modifies a verb, adjective, or another adverb, providing information about how, when, where, or to what extent something happens. Examples include “quickly”, “often”, “very”, and “here”.

Adverbs are most frequently formed by adding the suffix “-ly” to the end of an adjective, for instance the adjective “quick” becomes “quickly”.

There are different types of adverbs, such as adverbs of manner (how), adverbs of degree (extent or level), and adverbs of place (location or event). Additionally, there are various other categories, including those denoting frequency, purpose, focus, and adverbial phrases.


A preposition is a word that shows the relationship between a noun or pronoun and other words in a sentence. Common prepositions include “in”, “on”, “under”, “between”, and “with”. Prepositions provide information about aspects, such as time, place, and motion, and sometimes a single preposition may indicate more than one aspect.


A conjunction is a word that connects words, phrases, or clauses within a sentence. Common conjunctions include «and,» «but», «or», «nor», «for», and «because”.

There are different types of conjunctions: coordinating conjunctions are used to connect grammatically equal elements; subordinating conjunctions connect clauses that are not equal (e.g., “because”, “although”, “while”, “since”); correlative conjunctions are used in pairs to connect grammatically equal parts.


An interjection is a word or phrase used to express strong emotion or sudden exclamations, to greet someone or to give a command. It is frequently used with an exclamation point. Examples include «Wow!», «Ouch!», «Oh dear!», “Psst!”, “um” and «Yay!».


Other parts of speech


Articles (a, an, the) are a type of determiner used to specify whether a noun is general (indefinite articles «a» and «an») or specific (definite article «the»). The articles “a” and “an” can only be used with singular countable nouns; on the other hand, “the” can be used with all countable and uncountable nouns (e.g., “the table”, “the energy”, “the books”).


Determiners are words like articles, demonstratives («this,» «that»), possessives («my,» «your»), and quantifiers («many,» «some») that introduce or modify nouns. Distributive determiners, determiners of difference, and numbers are some further types of determiners.


Understanding parts of speech is fundamental to constructing grammatically correct sentences and improving your overall language skills.


by Maria G. 

[1] Edited photo by Omar Flores on Unsplash.

[2] The example sentence was found on