Parts of speech simplified

Each word in English belongs to one of the eight categories called parts of speech. If you know some English words, then you are already familiar with the parts of speech. However, learners sometimes find it difficult to figure out what part of speech a particular word is. In this lesson, we will teach you the basic rules. To start with read the paragraph given below.

My sister was walking through the garden in the morning when she saw a beautiful butterfly sitting on a pink flower. It had colorful wings which enhanced its beauty. She wanted to watch it closely so she walked towards it slowly. But before she could get closer, the insect flew away and sat on another flower. ‘Ah!’ my sister cried in disappointment.

Now let’s study this paragraph. As you can see it is about a butterfly.

A butterfly is the name of an insect. It is a noun. Sister, garden, flower, wings, beauty and insect are also nouns. Nouns are the names of people, places, animals and things.

Ideas such as honesty, beauty and kindness are also nouns.

Adjectives are describing words. They describe nouns. Examples are: beautiful, pink and colorful.

Words like walking, saw, sitting, enhanced, wanted, walked, flew, cried and sat are all words indicating actions. They are verbs.

Pronouns are words that avoid the repetition of a noun. Examples are from the paragraph are she and it. Words like he, they, I and you are also pronouns.

Adverbs are words that describe actions. Examples from the paragraph are: closely and slowly.

How did she want to watch the butterfly? Closely.

How did she walk towards the butterfly? Slowly.

Where was the butterfly sitting? It was sitting on a flower. On is a preposition. It shows the relation between two or more nouns or pronouns. Other examples from the paragraph are: Through, in and to.

Conjunctions are words that that join words or clauses together. Examples from the paragraph are: when, which, so, before and and.

Interjections are words that show sudden emotion. Examples are: ah!, oh! and alas!