Part of Speech

DEFINITION of PARTS OF SPEECH
Parts of speech are like the building blocks of the English language. There are 8 parts of speech in English language namely: Nouns, Pronouns, Verbs, Adverbs, Adjectives, Prepositions, Conjunctions and Interjections.

NOUNS
This is normally defined as the names of person, place, thing or animal. Examples of nouns are: Nigeria, Monday, Islam, fish.
In plural form, most nouns have additional letters like (s, es, ies, ves).
Example, plural of fish is fishes, plural of knife is knives, plural of leaf is leaves.

TYPES OF NOUNS:
1) Proper Nouns: These are names of people, things, animals or places. Proper nouns are always written in capital letters no matter where the nouns occur in a sentence. Example,
I am travelling to Ghana.
2) Common Nouns: These are usually used without capital letters. Example, book, house, fish, cat, country.

DEFINITE AND INDEFINITE ARTICLES
A, AN and THE are referred to as articles. A and AN are indefinite articles because they do not point to any definite person or thing.

‘A’ is used before a word that begins with a consonant sound. Example, a man, a shirt.
‘AN’ is used before words that begin with vowels sound. Example, an ant, an orange.
‘THE’ is a definite article because it refers to a particular noun. Example, the ground, the sun.

VERBS
A verb is an action word or a word that defines a state. Example,
The car (is) black. ‘is’ is a verb.
She took a (walk). ‘Walk’ is the verb.

REGULAR VERBS: These are verbs that form their past and past participle by addition of ‘ed’. Example,
Verb = Talk
Past Form = Talked
Past Participle = Talked

Verb = Type
Past Form = Typed
Past Participle = Typed

IRREGULAR VERBS: These are verbs that do not have a specific method of forming their past and past participle. Example,
Verb = Break
Past Form = Broke
Past Participle = Broken

Verb = Take
Past Form = Took
Past Participle = Taken

PRONOUNS
These are words used to replace a noun within a sentence to prevent repetition of the noun. There are several types of pronouns. These are:
– personal pronouns.
– relative pronouns.
– possessive pronouns.
– demonstrative pronouns.
– interrogative pronouns.
– distributive pronouns.

Example: Adam ate the food.
Adam is a noun. If replaced with a pronoun like He, the sentence becomes:
He ate the food. ‘HE’ is a pronoun.
Examples of pronouns are it, her, she, everybody, they, them, me, myself, our, mine.

PREPOSITIONS
A preposition expresses the relationship between two nouns or pronouns. It is usually placed before a noun or pronoun. Example, at, by, down, above, behind, opposite.
1) The bag is behind the door.
2) The ball is under the bed.

CONJUNCTIONS
This is a part of speech used in joining words or groups of words together. Example, and, but, either, as well as.
Example,
Salif and Halif are twins.
‘and ‘ is the conjunction.

The phone is small but powerful.
‘but’ is the conjunction.

ADJECTIVE
These qualify or modify nouns or pronouns. They can come before or after the noun or pronoun. Example,
The green bag is mine.
‘green’ is the adjective.

The boy is tall.
‘tall’ is the adjective.

Adjectives have three degrees of comparism namely, positive, comparative and superlative. Comparism can be done by adding ‘er’ and ‘est’ to the root word. Example,
Big – Bigger – Biggest
Small – Smaller – Smallest

Comparism can be done by placing ‘more’ or ‘most’ before the word. Example,
Beautiful – more beautiful – most beautiful
Foolish – more foolish – most foolish

Comparism can also be done by changing the root word entirely. Example,
Much – more – most
Good – better – Best

ADVERB
This is a part of speech that modifies or qualifies other parts of speech like verbs and adjectives. Example,
John walks very fast.
‘very’ is an adverb and modifies the verb ‘fast’.

Emeka is extremely thin.
‘extremely’ is an adverb and modifies the verb ‘thin’.

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