Grammar Geek Lesson 1: Parts of Speech
Being a superb writer means using the most efficient, concise and affective language possible, and using proper grammar while doing so. At Pubslush, we want to help our own authors and all writers to write to the best of their ability, so we’re debuting our Grammar Geek Series. Today we will start with the basics: The 8 parts of speech. The basics aren’t always the most FUN, but they are a FUNdemental part of understanding and using proper grammar. It’s best to be familiar with the different parts of speech so you can construct strong and concise sentences, which in turn will make your writing clearer and make you sound super smart!
8 Parts of Speech
1. Let’s start with the easy one…Nouns! Nouns are the “naming” words. They represent primarily any person, place, or thing, but more down to the nitty gritty, they can represent animals, objects (telephone, camera), substances (water, copper), qualities (beauty, honesty), actions (walking, drinking), or measures (month, inch, pound).
2. Okay, second easiest…Verbs. Verbs are “doing” words that expresses an action. Remember those commercials from back in the day–verbs are what you DO. Verbs can describe physical or mental actions and they can also express a state of being (is, am, was).
3. Now on to the lesser known, behind the scenes parts of speech. Adverbs are used to modify verbs. Adverbs give more information about a verb as in relation to time, place, circumstance, cause, degree, manner, or the like.
- She gently caressed.
- He walked quickly.
- I arrived early.
4. Pronouns replace nouns. I, you, he, she, it, they, who, we are all common pronouns.
- Sam said every time he watches The Notebook he gets a little teary eyed.
- The angry badger looked as though it was going to attack.
5. Adjectives are words used to describe nouns or pronouns.
- My gym teacher is big, hairy, and smelly. (Big, hairy, and smelly describe the gym teacher.)
- His thick, brown toupee is always crooked. (Thick and brown describe the toupee.)
6. Conjunctions are used to join words or groups of words together. And, or, but, for, yet are all common conjunctions.
- She was going to the the beach, but it started to rain.
- Are you going to watch the movie or read the book?
- The three stooges and I make a great team.
7. What! You don’t know what an interjection is? An interjection is used to express strong or sudden emotion. Often, they will be set off from the rest of the sentence.
- Yikes! That bug is disgusting.
- Hey! Don’t touch that.
Yes, no, indeed and well are also classified as conjunctions.
- Yes, I like movies.
- No, I don’t want to watch Star Trek with you.
- Indeed, you’re a geek.
Sounds may also be classified as conjunctions.
- Mmmmm, that smells great!
- Ahhh! What are you doing?
8. Last, but certainly not least (well, maybe a little…kidding), prepositions. Prepositions link nouns, pronouns, and phrases to other words in the sentence.
- I will sleep underneath the stars on the cliffs by the beach. I just hope I don’t roll off my cot and over the edge.
Here’s a super exciting list of the most common preps:
about, above, across, after, against, along, among, around, at, before, behind, below, beneath, beside, between, beyond, but, by, despite, down, during, except, for, from, in, inside, into, like, near, of, off, on, onto, out, outside, over, past, since, through, throughout, till, to, toward, under, underneath, until, up, upon, with, within, and without.
Check back next Monday for Grammar Geek Lesson 2. It may or may not be about easily confused words. You’ll just have to wait in suspense until then.