In order to improve your English skills, both for speaking and writing, it is important to be aware of the ‘parts’ of speech that create sentences in English. It is commonly accepted that there are only 9* different parts of speech from which all sentences, phrases or utterances are made.
*Some schools believe that there are only 8 parts of speech, with articles being part of the adjective group.
The different parts of speech are as follows:
Understanding which groups words are in can also help you to break down sentences, making the passive skills (reading and listening) easier.
Below is a table showing the different parts of speech and an example.
Parts of speech
|Part of speech||Common use||Example|
|Verb||to describe an action||He sat.|
|Noun||To describe a thing||He sat on the chair.|
|Adverb||To describe the verb||He slowly sat on the chair.|
|Adjective||To describe the noun||He slowly sat on the tall chair.|
|Pronoun||To talk about who||He slowly sat on the tall chair.|
|Preposition||To talk about where or when||He slowly sat on the tall chair.|
|Conjunction||Used to join ideas||He slowly sat on the tall chair but fell off.|
|Article||Used to give more information about the noun||He slowly sat on the tall chair but fell off.|
|Interjection||A short exclamation – not a full sentence||Ouch! He hit the floor.|
Improving your knowledge of English
It is also useful to keep a vocabulary list and group words together that come from the same parts of speech.
adjectives – e.g. glamorous
You should try to also learn their antonyms and synonyms to build your vocabulary.
e.g. alluring, attractive (synonyms) – dowdy, plain (antonyms)
and think about their comparatives and superlatives e.g. – (adj) more glamorous (comparative) the most glamorous (superlative)
nouns – e.g. accommodation
(check spelling and think about articles etc) – uncountable, no ‘a’ or ‘an’
You should try to also learn their synonyms to build your vocabulary.
e.g. place of residence, dwelling, abode (synonyms)
verbs – e.g. drive
(and their past and participle forms);
prepositions – e.g. on
(with examples of their different uses),
e.g. on the sofa, but in an arm chair.
conjunctions – e.g. moreover
(with examples of use and punctuation)
Smoking is expensive; moreover, it is detrimental to health.
Click here to try the parts of speech exercises.