Parts of speech

category of words based on shared grammatical properties in a clause
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Parts of speech[1] are types of word in grammar. There are many different word categories: they are called 'lexical categories'. The most common are these:[2]

Part of Speech Function Example Words Example Sentence(s) Notes
Verb Identifies an action or state. (to) be, have, do, like, work, sing, can, must London is a big city. I like London. A verb has a subject, which is a noun performing the action. Some verbs also have an object, which receives the action.
Noun Identifies a person, place or thing. pen, dog, work, music, town, London, teacher, John New York City is very beautiful. Proper nouns are a type of noun that refers to something individual. Two proper nouns are New York City and the name Amelia. Proper nouns are capitalized. Other nouns are called common nouns.
Adjective Describes a noun. good, big, red, interesting The cat is black and white.
Adverb Describes a verb, adjective or adverb. quickly, silently, well, badly, very, really The giraffe eats slowly, but when he is very hungry, he eats really quickly. Slowly describes the verb eat, very describes the adjective hungry and really describes the adverb quickly.
Pronoun Replaces a noun. I, you, he, she, some, it She is very good at playing the piano.
Preposition Links a noun to another word. to, at, after, on, under The dog is under the table.
The man ran over the bridge.
Under links the noun dog to the noun table.
Over links the verb ran to the noun bridge.
Conjunction Joins clauses, sentences or words. and, but, when, or I like apples and oranges, but I don't like grapes.
Determiner Helps refer to a noun. the, a, an, my, your,this, that There is a drink on the table. It is my drink.
Interjection Short exclamation. oh!, ouch!, hi! Ouch! That really hurt!

Open and closed classes


Verbs, nouns, adjectives, adverbs, and interjections are called open classes because they are parts of speech that can easily add new words. On the other hand, pronouns, prepositions, and conjunctions are closed classes because new words cannot be added easily. For example, since pronouns are a closed class, there are fairly few pronouns: I, me, my, mine, myself, you, your, yours, yourself, he, him, his, his, himself, she, her, her, hers, herself, it, it, its, its, itself, we, us, our, ours, ourselves, they, them, their, theirs, themselves. Since pronouns are used to replace whole noun phrases, there is no need to have many kinds of pronouns. Instead of saying "The Earl of Sandwich introduced the Earl of Sandwich's favorite food, the sandwich", one uses the pronoun his to replace "the Earl of Sandwich's" to make the sentence not repeat itself when it doesn't have to, thus the sentence becomes "The Earl of Sandwich introduced his favorite food, the sandwich". New nouns, on the other hand, can easily be made, and are constantly being added into the English language.


  1. also called a word class, lexical class or lexical category.
  2. "Parts of Speech". English Club. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 12 December 2013.

(Retrieved 17/03/2023)