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Parts of Speech

In English, there are nine types of words, or parts of speech. Knowing the parts of speech will make it easy to understand other Crowd Content University lessons.

1. Verbs

Verbs are key because you can’t have a sentence without them. They’re the action words that vivify your writing. Some verbs, like wrestle, sprint, and accelerate, are obviously active, but don’t be fooled into thinking that verbs have to be sporty.

Be, sit, and write are verbs because they all refer to doing something (even if it’s just existing).

2. Noun

You might remember learning that a noun is a person, place, or thing. So, Sherlock Holmes, Timbuktu, blogger, and love are all nouns. As you can see, some nouns are capitalized and some aren’t.

Don’t worry! You’ll learn all about that in the capitalization lesson.

3. Pronouns

Pronouns stand in for nouns. I, they, yourself, who, and somebody are all pronouns.

4. Adjectives

Adjectives modify nouns, meaning that they change nouns, usually by making them more specific. By adding adjectives to the noun “writer,” we can say “crazy, chocoholic, efficient writer.”

5. Adverbs

Adverbs have the same function of modifying, but they change verbs, adjectives, and adverbs. Live vicariously, extremely adventurous, and very malignantly are examples of of adjectives in their three uses. As the examples show, many (but not all!) adverbs end in -ly.

6. Prepositions

While we’re talking about modifiers, let’s cover prepositions, which specify when or where something happens or is. At, beside, in, to, and since are all prepositions.

Some people consider it bad grammar to end a sentence with a preposition, but don’t worry about this convention in informal, online writing.

7. Conjunctions

Conjunctions join words, phrases, and clauses together. They include, but, so, although, because, and as.

8. Articles

Articles are easy to learn because there are only two of them: a (which changes to an in front of vowels) and the. Articles always go before nouns.

A/an is the indefinite article, meaning that it refers to a non-specific noun (e.g. “a dragon” means any dragon). The is the definite article, so it does refer to a specific noun (e.g. “the dragon” is a particular dragon that you’re referring to).

9. Interjections

We’re almost done! Interjections are exclamations like wow, yes, well, darn, and um. They’re separated from the rest of the sentence by an exclamation mark or comma, depending on how strong the feeling is.

That’s it! You now know the nine parts of speech, and you’re all set for when this terminology appears in the rest of Crowd Content University.

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