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Parts Of Speech

1213 words - 5 pages

Traditional grammar classifies words based on eight parts of speech: the verb, the noun, the pronoun, the adjective, the adverb, the preposition, the conjunction, and the interjection.Each part of speech explains not what the word is, but how the word is used. In fact, the same word can be a noun in one sentence and a verb or adjective in the next. The next few examples show how a word's part of speech can change from one sentence to the next, and following them is a series of sections on the individual parts of speech, followed by an exercise.Books are made of ink, paper, and glue.In this sentence, "books" is a noun, the subject of the sentence.Deborah waits patiently while Bridget books the tickets.Here "books" is a verb, and its subject is "Bridget."We walk down the street.In this sentence, "walk" is a verb, and its subject is the pronoun "we."The mail carrier stood on the walk.In this example, "walk" is a noun, which is part of a prepositional phrase describing where the mail carrier stood.The town decided to build a new jail.Here "jail" is a noun, which is the object of the infinitive phrase "to build."The sheriff told us that if we did not leave town immediately he would jail us.Here "jail" is part of the compound verb "would jail."They heard high pitched cries in the middle of the night.In this sentence, "cries" is a noun acting as the direct object of the verb "heard."The baby cries all night long and all day long.But here "cries" is a verb that describes the actions of the subject of the sentence, the baby.An adjectiveAn adjective modifies a noun or a pronoun by describing, identifying, or quantifying words. An adjective usually precedes the noun or the pronoun which it modifies.In the following examples, the highlighted words are adjectives:The truck-shaped balloon floated over the treetops.Mrs. Morrison papered her kitchen walls with hideous wall paper.The small boat foundered on the wine dark sea.The coal mines are dark and dank.Many stores have already begun to play irritating Christmas music.A battered music box sat on the mahogany sideboard.The back room was filled with large, yellow rain boots.An adjective can be modified by an adverb, or by a phrase or clause functioning as an adverb. In the sentenceMy husband knits intricately patterned mittens.for example, the adverb "intricately" modifies the adjective "patterned."Some nouns, many pronouns, and many participle phrases can also act as adjectives. In the sentenceEleanor listened to the muffled sounds of the radio hidden under her pillow.for example, both highlighted adjectives are past participles.Grammarians also consider articles ("the," "a," "an") to be adjectives.Possessive AdjectivesA possessive adjective ("my," "your," "his," "her," "its," "our," "their") is similar or identical to a possessive pronoun; however, it is used as an adjective and modifies a noun or a noun phrase, as in the following sentences:I can't complete my assignment because I don't have the textbook.In...

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