Parts of Speech

June 23rd, 2022 in Grammar by April Michelle Davis 0

To recognize parts of speech of words, it is essential to first understand the function of a word in a sentence and recognize its form, since many words can act as more than one part of speech. There are, however, a few words that have only one classification, such as notify (verb), sleepy (adjective), and practically (adverb).

Words are grouped into the following eight classes: noun, verb, pronoun, adjective, adverb, preposition, conjunction, and interjection. Of those classes, nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs make up more than 99% of all words in the dictionary. Only prepositions, conjunction, and interjections never change their form. As an example, the following sentence is broken down word by word and classified accordingly.

Watchful kittens typically pounce at bugs.

Word Form Function Part of Speech
Watchful -ful ending Modifier Adjective
Kittens -s (plural) Subject Noun
Typically -ly ending Modifier Adverb
Pounced -ed (past tense) Werb of predicate Verb
At Invariable Connector Preposition
Bugs -s (plural) Object of the preposition Noun


Try It!

  1. Classify each word in these sentences.
    a. He met the woman in the park on a Saturday afternoon.
    b. Gladys wrote three poems last week.
    c. Jason writes computer programs for his company.
    d. The two boys bought flowers for Stacy.
    e. The vagrant lives on 21st Street.
  2. Select a word and write sentences using it in as many different parts of speech as possible.

To learn more about English grammar, please take April Michelle Davis’s Grammar 101, a comprehensive course covering parts of speech, clauses, phrases, parallel structure, comparisons, double negatives, modifiers, punctuation, and spelling.