The Eight Parts of Speech
1) a “thing”, in its concrete or abstract sense
2) person, place, thing / idea, quality, emotion
3) always a “subject” or “object”
4) forms plurals (usually with -s or -es)
5) often preceded by adjectives (incl. “the” and “a”)PRONOUN
- a word which takes the place of a noun. Its antecedent is a noun.
The door broke. It should be fixed. (“door” is the antecedent of “it”)
Types of pronouns:
Personal: I/me, you, she/her, he/him, it, we/us, they/them (subj./obj)
Demonstrative: this/that , these/those
Relative: who which that (act as conjunctions)
Intensive: I myself make mistakes occasionally
Reflexive: He told himself to slow down
Indefinite: either/any/anyone/someone/everybody/both/each/one etc,
Interrogative: who/whom, whose which (when asking a question)VERB
1)shows action (except the verb “to be”)
2) always forms a tense (past-present-future)
3) always has a “subject”ADJECTIVE
- modifies (i.e. describes or limits) a noun.
Ex. The big cat is dangerous.
a) modifies a verb by showing the manner time or place of the verb’s action. Asking how-when-where? of the verb will lead you to adverbs.
Ex. Yesterday, the birds sang sweetly here.
b) also, modifies another adverb or an adjective. Such adverbs are sometimes called intensifiers.
Ex. That very black cat screamed rather loudly last night.PREPOSITION
- a word which shows a relation between a) the noun (or pron.) which always follows it and b) some other noun or verb in the sentence.
Ex. The man in the street shouted at the sailor. The combination of the preposition followed by a noun is called a “prepositional phrase”. Prepositional phrases always act like oversized adjectives or adverbs.
Ex. a) in the street – prep. adj. phrase (modifies “man”)
b) at the sailor – prep. adv. phrase (modifies “shouted”)Some common prepositions:
CONJUNCTION- there are two types:
1)COORDINATE – and / but / or / for
It always joins 2 parts of speech or 2 phrases or 2 clauses of the same type (co = equal)
Ex. The girl and her cat stared and sighed through the evening and into the night, but they seemed quite happy nonetheless.2) SUBORDINATE – only joins clauses, making one sentence out of two. The subordinate conj. (unlike the coord. conj.) makes the clause that it startssubordinate to the one it attaches to.
Some common sub. conjunctions: because/when/ where/before/that/until/unless/except/than/as/if/although
Ex. The dog barked. It was hungry. (2 sentences)
The dog barked because it was hungry. (2 clauses,1 sentence) The clause beginning with “because” is subordinate to the opening clause; it needs the opening clause to make sense. The subordinate conjunction is additional meaning andalways forms the first word in a subordinate clause.INTERJECTION
-a word which is interjected (i.e. “thrown in”) to a sentence without any connection to the rest of the words. It is often for emphasis and so may be accompanied by an exclamation mark.
Example: Hey! are you listening?
Shucks, it warn’t nothin’.
Well, I’ll think of something.
Example: The dog barked and it shivered in the cold. (NO rel.)
The dog barked because it shivered in the cold. (reason)
The dog barked as it shivered in the cold. (time)
The dog barked furiously although it shivered in the cold.(condition)A principal clause is one that makes sense on its own.
- a group of words centered around a subject (noun or pronoun)+ Verb. A single such group of words makes a “simple” sentence. Two (or more)clauses will require one (or more) conjunction to make a complete sentence. Clauses joined by coordinate conjunctions add information, but do not make a relationship between the two clauses.
A subordinate clause needs another clause to make sense.(and so is sometimes called a dependentclause)
A subordinate clause always relates to another clause in one of three ways: by acting as an adjective or an adverb or a noun.
Subordinate adjective clause:
The man who followed me looked dangerous.(modifies the noun “man”)
Subordinate adverb clause
The man followed me while I returned from a movie.(modifies the verb “followed”)
Subordinate noun clause:
a) I gave you what you wanted. (the “thing” given – the object of “gave”)
b) Whoever interrupts me will get a detention. (subj. of “will get’)
SUBJECTS AND OBJECTS
Any noun or pronoun always functions as a “subject” or “object” when used in a sentence. There are 5 variations. Subjects do things. Objects do not.
1) Subject of the verb – the n. or pron. which every verb must have to perform its action. EX. The dog barked but the girl smiled.
2) Subjective completion. – a n. or p. which follows any form of the verb “to be”(was/will be/am/is/were etc.). Since the verb has no action, it makes the n. which follows it the same thing as the subject before it. Ex. Our principal is Mr. Blum.
3)(direct) Object of the verb – a n. or p. which receives the action of the verb.
(Note: every sentence must have a subject but need not have an object)
Ex. The dog bit the teacher on the leg.4) Object of the preposition – any n. or p. following a preposition is always in the objective case ( i.e. is an “object”)
Ex. a) The dog bit the teacher on the leg.
b)Beside Bill and me roared a huge lion. (Objects of the prep. “Beside”)
5) Indirect object of the verb – any n. or p. which is sandwiched between the verb and the object of the verb.
Ex. I gave John the message. ( It always has the effect of being a prepositional phrase; e.g. I gave the message to John. The noun “message” is the direct object of the verb.)
Verbals are words which, because they have no subject, are one-half verb AND one-half some other part of speech (i.e. a noun or adj. or adv.).There are three kinds of verbals: infinitive, gerund, and participle.
The infinitive is the verb form before it is conjugated to match with a subject. It always starts with “to” (which is part of the infinitive and not a proposition).
Ex. to run/ to laugh/ to shout/ to cry/ to die
The infinitive, like all verbals, is half verb because it may be modified by adverbs or be followed by an object. It still retains part of the action of its full verb form.
Ex.: I like to climb mountains in Alberta when it is warm.
This sentence has only one verb: “like”. The infinitive “to climb” is not a true verb because it has no subject. However, it still has the power to perform an action on an object (mountains), and to be modified by an adverb phrase (in Alberta) as well an an adverb clause (when it is warm) .The other half of this infinitive works like a noun. Clearly, “to climb” is a thing you like doing. It is what you like. It is the object of the verb “like”. In our example, then, “to climb” is both a verb and a noun.
This double power gives all verbals a special power to breathe energy into sentences.
An infinitive can be used in three ways:
1) I like to climb mountains. (1/2verb + 1/2noun)
2) I like mountains to climb. (1/2verb + 1/2adj)
3) That mountain is easy to climb (1/2verb +1/2adv.)”Participles” and “gerunds” are both created from present and past participles of the verb:
Present——— Past——— Pres. Participle——— Past Participle
I climb——— I climbed——— I am climbing——— I have climbed
run————– ran————- am running———— have run
write————- wrote———— am writing———– have writtenThe two participle forms require auxiliary verbs (e.g.: have, am) in order to be a full verb with a subject.
Ex. I am writing is O.K. but not I writing or I written. (or, heaven forbid, “I seen”!)
A gerund is a verbal noun. It is always in the form of the present participle of the verb. Like the infinitive, it keeps half of its verb power.
Ex.: Writing stories for money kills the creative impulse.
“Writing”, as the subject of the verb “kills”,- is a noun. It also behaves like a verb by a) acting on its object “stories,” and b) being modified by an adverb phrase (for money).
Gerunds always end in “ing” (the present participle) and can be any kind of subject or object.
I like writing books. (object of verb “like”)
I am proud of my writing. (obj. of prep. “of”)The “participle” is a verbal adjective. It uses either the present or the past participle of the verb without its auxiliaries. It is always 1/2verb +1/2adjective.
Ex. The note, written in an unsteady hand, inspired fear in its reader.
The only full verb is “inspired.” “Written” is an adjective modifying “note.” However, “written” is also an adjective with the action power of a verb. That verb half is here modified by an adverb phrase (in an unsteady hand). So, “written in an unsteady hand” is NOT a clause but a verbal phrase.Verbal adjectives (i.e. participles) can use either present or past participles.
Ex Reaching through the fence, Jill grabbed the frightened cat.Verbal phrases are just the verbal + any words attached to its verb half.
I like to climb mountains in Alberta.(infinitive phrase)
I like running races in Alberta. (gerund phrase)
A deer, running for its life, may inspire pity. (participial phrase)
Kinds of Sentences
Sentences are described according to 4 types or “kinds” which are determined by the number and type of clauses found in them.
A sentence with only one clause (one subject + verb).
Saddened by the loss of his master, the dog barked through the night and into the morning. (still only one clause)Compound
Ex.: The dog barked.
A sentence with 2 or more principal clauses.
Ex.: The dog barked and the young girl cried.
A sentence with 1 principal clause and 1 or more subordinate clauses.
Ex.: The dog barked as the young girl cried.
A sentence with 2 or more principal clauses and 1 or more subordinate clauses.
Ex.: The dog barked and the cat meowed as the young girl cried.