What is a part of speech?  In grammar, a part of speech is defined as the role that a word (or sometimes a phrase) plays in a sentence. This page describes each part of speech and provides examples of each.


    A noun names a person, a place, a thing, or an idea. For example:

    • Person (Jacob, girl, teacher, Mr. Singleton)
    • Place (Chicago, school, Montana)
    • Thing (computer, tree, elephant)
    • Idea (happiness, anger, responsibility)



    Names a general person, place, thing, or idea. These nouns are not capitalized.     

    • building, holiday


    • Names a specific person, place, thing, or idea. These nouns are always capitalized.

                         The Empire State Building, Labor Day

    • Names something that you can see, touch, taste, hear, or smell.

                          lion, table, The White House


    Names an idea, feeling, emotion, or quality. fear, kindness, beauty


    A noun that is singular in form but names a group of people, animals, or things.  People, crew, audience, committee; Animals-herd,  flock, litter; Things-collection, bundle, set


    Names a single person, place, thing, or idea.book, bush, piano, leaf, ox


    Names more than one person, place, thing, or idea.  books, bushes, pianos, leaves, oxen


    A verb is a word that describes action or a state of being. It is the main word in the predicate of a  sentence.


    A word that describes a physical or mental action.

    • The girl pointed to the correct  letter.
    • The teacher listened to the student's answer.

    Linking to a noun or adjective in the predicate of the sentence.

    A linking verb says that something is, was, or will be. It does not show action.

    • I will be the leader of my team.
    • She is a student in my class.
    • The food smells funny.


    Comes before the main verb. It helps state an action or show time. A main verb can have from one to three helping verbs. The helping verbs are <i>am, are, be, being, been, can, could, did, do , does, had, has, have, is, may, might, must, shall, should, was, were, will, would.

    • Janet was smiling at her new kitten.
    • James has a test on Monday.
    • I should have completed my project.


    Is used when the subject of a sentence is singular.

    • Samantha likes to write poems. (Samantha and likes are both singular.)


    Is used when the subject of a sentence is plural.

    • Some dogs eat bones. (Dogs and eat are both plural.)


    A verb is active if the subject of the sentence is doing the action.

    • Jack ran down the street. (The subject Jack is doing the action.)


    A verb is passive if the subject is not doing the action.

    • The project was made by Emma.(The subject project isn't doing the action.)


    Ends in ed when stating a past action or when using a helping verb. Most verbs in      English are regular.

    • I cook.
    • I cooked yesterday.
    • I have cooked.


    Does not end in ed when stating a past action or when using a helping verb.

    • I write.
    • I wrote yesterday.
    • I have written.


    A pronoun is a word that is  used in place of a noun.


    Include subject pronouns, object pronouns, and possessive pronouns.


    Used as the subject of a sentence. Subject pronouns are I, you, he, she, it, we, and they.

    • We were going to the zoo.


    Used after an action verb or as the object of a prepositional phrase. Object pronouns include me, you, him, her, it, us, and them.

    • Tim always calls me. (comes after action verb calls)
    • Mary waved to him. (object of prepositional phrase to him)


    Takes the place of a possessive noun. Possessive pronouns include my, mine, your, yours, his, her, hers, its, our, ours, their, and theirs.

    • Her shirt is dirtier than mine.


    Refer to a single person or thing. They include I, me, my, mine, he, she, him, her, his, hers, it, its, and you. Use a singular pronoun with a singular verb.

    • Al's yard looked great after it was mowed. (Singular it replaces singular yard.)


    Refer to more than one person or thing. They are we, us, our, ours, they, them, their, theirs, and you.

    • Millie hung the pictures after they were dry. (Plural they replaces plural pictures.)


    Point out nouns without naming them. They include this, that, these, and those.

    • That is a great project!


    Ask Questions. They include what, which, who, whom, and whose.

    • Which can I take with me?
    • I want to know who said that!

    Refer to nouns in a general way without naming the words they replace. They include all, another, any, anybody, anyone, anything, both, each, either, everybody, everyone, everything, few, many, most, much, neither, nobody, none, no one, nothing, one, other, others, several, some, somebody, someone, and something.

    • Everything is packed in the car.


    Emphasize the words they refer to. They include myself, himself, herself, yourself, itself, themselves, yourselves, and ourselves.           the story.


    Refer back to the subject of a sentence. The same pronouns that are intensive pronouns are also reflexive.

    • Lucy surprised even herself.


    An adjective is a word that describes a noun or pronoun. An adjective usually answers one of three questions: What kind? How many? or Which one?


    Points out a noun. It always answer the question "Which one?" Demonstrative adjectives are this, that, these, and those.

    • This dress is my favorite.


    Made from a proper noun and is always capitalized.

    • Lisa loves <b>Chinese</b> food. (from the proper noun China)


    Describes a noun without comparing it to anything or anyone else.

    • Our house is <b>big</b>.


    Compares two people, places, thing, or ideas.

    • Our house is bigger than Jim's apartment.


    Compares three or more people, places, things, or ideas.

    • Our house is the biggest house on the block.


    An adverb is a word that describes a verb, an adjective, or another adverb.

    Describes a Verb

    Answers one of three questions: how? when? or where?

    • The ballerina dances gracefully.  (How does she dance? Gracefully.)
    • The ballerina dances anywhere.  (Where does she dance? Anywhere.)
    • The ballerina dances daily. (When does she dance? Daily.)

    Usually answers the question how?

    • My dad is extremely tall. (How tall? Extremely.)

    Describes another Adverb. Usually answers the questions how?

    • My dog ran exceedingly quickly. (How quickly? Exceedingly quickly.)


    Doesn't' make a comparison.

    • Ann runs fast.
    • Phil sings loudly.


    Formed by adding er to one-syllable adverbs. Use more or less before most adverbs of more than one syllable.

    • Ann runs fast, but Bill runs faster.
    • Phil sings loudly, but Meg sings more loudly.


    Formed by adding est to one-syllable adverbs. Use most or least before most adverbs of more than one syllable.

    • Bill runs faster than Ann, but Rita runs fastest.
    • Meg sings more loudly than Phil, but Guy sings most loudly.


    A preposition is a word or group of words that combines with a noun or pronoun to form a phrase that usually acts as an adverb, adjective, or noun. Prepositions can tell four things - location (where something is in relation to something else), direction (where something is going), time, and relationship (between a noun or pronoun and another word).


    • My dad stood outside the car. (location)
    • My dad walked toward the car.  (direction)
    • My dad walked until 10:00 to wash the car. (time)
    • My dad washed the car with Brian. (relationship)



    Two or more words that work together like a one-word preposition. Some examples include according to, ahead of, along with, as for, instead of, except for, and in     case of.

    • Marilyn stood in front of me.

    Begins with a preposition and ends with a noun or pronoun known as the object of the preposition. There may also be descriptive words in between the  preposition and the object of the preposition.

    • Kelly sits near me.
    • We went camping in spite of the terrible weather.
    • Sue drove over the hill and around the forest.

    Object of the Preposition

    The noun or pronoun  that follows a preposition in a prepositional phrase.

    • I put the money inside my coat pocket.
    • The cat jumped out of the bag.



    A <b>conjunction</b> connects words or groups of words together.



    Connect words, phrases, and sentences (independent clauses). Examples are and, nor, but, for, yet, so, and or.

    • Megan bought apples and oranges for our lunch.


    Connect dependent clauses to independent clauses. Examples are after, before, so, till, where, although, for, so, that, unless, whereas, as, if, than, until, wherever, as if, once, that, when, whether, because, since, though, whenever, and while.

    • I won't go unless you apologize.


    Used in pairs that are split up by other words. Examples are either/or, both/or, neither/nor, not only/but also, just as/so, <and whether/or.

    • Not only is it raining today, but it is alsocold.


    Connects clauses of equal value. Examples are accordingly, furthermore, consequently, moreover, hence, however, nevertheless, and therefore.

    • I hate broccoli; however, I love cauliflower.


    An interjection is a word or phrase that expresses strong feelings or emotions. It usually comes at the beginning of a sentence, followed by a comma or an exclamation mark.

    • We won the race! 
    • I got an awesome present!