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08/31/2015

Writing Help: Knowing the Parts of Speech

Use this guide to learn the parts of speech.

Verbs

The verb is the action or state of a sentence. It tells you what is happening. Examples are: to be, run, listen, have, and sing.

Nouns

Nouns are things or people. They are the subjects and objects in sentences. They do the actions, experience the states, or have the actions done to them. Examples are: pen, dog, ball, boy, bat, Doug, Paris.

Adjectives

Adjectives describe nouns. They tell us more about the people or things in our sentences. For style, it is often said that adjectives are the enemy of nouns, because they are often superfluous. There is probably a noun that says what you mean without needing the adjective. For example, instead of saying, "a large house," you could just say, "a mansion."

Adverbs

As adjectives describe nouns, adverbs describe verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs. You often form adverbs by adding -ly to the end of an adjective- beautifully, gracefully, happily. Adverbs answer the questions how? where? when? how often? and how much?

Pronouns

A pronoun is a word that takes the place of a noun. There are:
  • personal pronouns- I, you, she, he, we, and they;
  • demonstrative pronouns- this, that, these, those;
  • possessive pronouns- mine, yours; ours;
  • interrogative pronouns- which, who, what;
  • reflexive pronouns- myself, himself;
  • indefinite pronouns- anybody, anyone, nobody, few, another; and
  • relative pronouns- who, which, whom.

Prepositions

A preposition expresses a relationship between a noun/pronoun and another element. There are prepositions of time- after, before, during- and prepositions of place- above, below, on, beside. Remember that a verb can never follow a preposition, only a noun or pronoun.

Conjunctions

When you need to connect two thoughts or elements of a sentence, use a conjunction. Examples are: and, but, though, for.

Interjections

Interjections are short exclamations, used almost exclusively in speech. We only write them when relaying dialogue. Examples are: wow, hey, oh, and ouch!

For Tutoring in Troy, MI

For additional help with grammar, or one-to-one tutoring help in math, reading, writing, and composition, call The Tutoring Center in Troy at 248-509-7177. Find out more about our academic programs online and schedule a free diagnostic assessment today.

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