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Learning Resource Centre Guides: Parts of Speech

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Parts of Speech

Parts of Speech

 

 

Prepositions             Adverbs                  Nouns                     Articles

 

Verbs                     Adjectives               Pronouns                 Conjunctions

 

Prepositions – connect one word to another and show how they are related.

 

Prepositions usually tell:               

WHERE?

WHEN?

 above, against, through, beside

 

e.g. There is a cat under the table.

about, after, since, by

 

e.g. Watch a movie before dinner.

 

Adverbs – qualify another word (a verb). 

 

Adverbs usually tell:

HOW?

HOW OFTEN?

WHEN?

WHERE?

loudly

always

soon

here

carefully

sometimes

always

everywhere

I sing happily

I visit rarely

She died recently

Go inside

Many adverbs end in –ly.

 

Nouns – are naming words.

 

Nouns tell the names of people, animals, things and places.      

 

 

COMMON NOUNS

common names of things:

e.g. pencil, desk, sun, computer

 

 

PROPER NOUNS

titles, places, dates; always begin with a capital:

e.g. Patea, May, Mount Taranaki, Aunty Mere

 

ABSTRACT NOUNS

names for things we cannot touch:

e.g. happiness, motherhood, culture

 

COLLECTIVE NOUNS

names of groups:

e.g. a bunch of grapes, a pod of whales

        

Articles – restrict or specify nouns.

 

There are four articles.  Each one gives a different meaning:

 

 

 

THE INDEFINITE ARTICLE – A/AN

refers to the nonspecific:

e.g. We need a car.

 

 

THE DEFINITE ARTICLE - THE

refers to the specific:

e.g. I need to go to the dentist.

 

SOME/ANY

the plural of a/an:

e.g. The newspaper has some cars advertised.

 

ZERO ARTICLE

when there is no article at all:

e.g. Do you speak Latin?

 

 

Special note:  When to use either a or an’ *

Use a before a consonant sound.  A vehicle, a keyboard, a screen.

Use an before a vowel sound (a,e,i,o,u).  An apple, an egg, an umbrella.

 

*There are exceptions.  See Learning Centre handout on Articles.

 

Verbs – are ‘doing’ words.

 

People do things:  People fly, surf, cry, shout and sing

 

Animals and objects do things:  Cats purr.  Computers hum.

 

TENSES – tell you WHEN?

Three simple tenses are:

 

PAST

(has happened)

PRESENT

(is happening now)

FUTURE

(will happen)

ate

eat

will eat

came

come

will come

said

say

will say

left

leave

will leave

 

Adjectives – describe nouns.

 

the white dove                  cold water                        French cheese

 

an American car               three blind mice

 

 

Pronouns – can replace nouns. 

 

Replacing the noun with a pronoun makes the sentence less repetitive.

 

For example:  Huia likes to read her newspaper while she is lying on her couch.

 

                   sounds better than

 

Huia likes to read Huia’s newspaper while Huia is lying on Huia’s couch.

 

PRONOUNS:

I                  we               you              he                she               it

they             me               us                him              her               them

 

 

Conjunctions – link words, sentences and phrases together.

 

and              because                  so                or                yet

 

For example:  I like you because you have a great sense of humour.

 

Conjunctions sometimes tell WHEN?

 

before          after             as                while             since             during

 

For example:  I will have dinner after I have seen the movie.

 

 

Further Learning Centre Handouts relating to this topic: 

 

·         Articles

 

 

Parts of Speech last updated 5 July 2011