Essay: Parts of Speech
The term “word” is part of everyone’s vocabulary. Words are often viewed as units of meaning, such as when someone shouts “Fire!”, or as units of sentence structure, for instance when one is analyzing a sentence comprised of more than one word. Traditionally, these building blocks of language have been categorized under the label “parts of speech”. Members of the Indo-European group of languages have been analyzed in terms of parts of speech categories since classical antiquity. According to the Webster’s Dictionary, part of speech refers to one of the traditional class of words of a language according to their function (adjective, adverb, conjunction, etc.). Following a traditional perspective, I will begin this essay by defining what has been classically understood by each of the terms proposed in the title. In this perspective, if we are to exemplify with words, these would be in their dictionary form and not inflected as they may often appear in sentences, when they function as constituents of phrases and sentences. * Noun: a word that names a person, place, thing or idea; e.g. book. * Verb: a word that shows action, or links the subject to a word or phrase that tells about the subject; e.g. produce. * Adjective: a word that tells what kind, how many or which one; e.g. good. * Adverb: a word that tells when, where, how or how much; e.g. highly. * Determiner: a word that goes in front of a noun to identify what the noun refers to; e.g. this. * Preposition: a word that shows a relationship between a noun and another word in a sentence; e.g. to. * Pronoun: a word that takes the place of a noun or nouns; e.g. we. * Conjunction: a word that connects words or groups of words; e.g. and. * Demonstrative: a word that serves to point out; e.g. those. * Article: a word used to indicate nouns and to specify their application; e.g. the. * Interjection: a word that expresses a strong feeling; e.g. Ouch! Although I...
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LARSEN-FREEMAN, Diane. Teaching language: from grammar to grammaring. Boston: Heinle, Cengage learning, 2002.
LOCK, Graham. Functional English grammar. New York: Prentice Hall, 1996.
SWAN, Michael; WALTER, Catherine. The good grammar book: a new grammar practice book for elementary to lower intermediate students of English. Oxford: Oxford, 2001.
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