There are seven functional parts of speech:
Nouns are defined as a person, place, or thing. There are different types of nouns:
- Proper nouns (Abraham Lincoln, John McCain, Sir Wilfrid Laurier)
- Common nouns (president, presidential candidate, prime minister)
- Pronouns (I, You, He/She, They)
- Indefinite nouns (a dog, a cat)
A verb is used to express an action or a state of being. There are two types of verbs:
- Action Verbs (Donald laughed, Jane wrote a novel)
- Linking Verbs (Donald is funny, Jane is a writer)
All verbs have three tenses: Past, present, and future.
There are two roles adjectives can have. Adjectives in italics, Noun in bold:
- Noun modifiers (An awful noise, That dreadful old man)
- Predicate adjectives (The play was terrific, That old man was dreadful)
Noun modifying adjectives have determiners. There are five determiners:
- Articles (definite – the; indefinite – a or an)
- Demonstrative (this, that, these, those)
- Number words (Cardinal – one, two, three; Ordinal – first, second, third)
- Possessives used as adjectives (John’s, Mary’s, Kim’s)
- Quantifiers (Some, many, several)
Noun modifiers can take the form of comparative and superlative:
- Comparative (John took a smaller piece of pie than I did)
- Superlative (John has the biggest piece of pie)
Adverbs have three functions. They modify verbs, adjectives, and another adverbs. We’ll begin with how they can modify verbs.
Modifying Verbs (Verbs bolded, Adverb italicized)
- I ate there yesterday.
- I walked quickly.
Modifying Adjectives (Adjective bolded, Adverb italicized)
- The really big sandwich
- The terribly hot afternoon
Modifying Adverbs (Adverbs bolded, Adverb italicized)
The adverb that modifies another adverb can be easily spotted by a simple test. Try removing either adverb and see which makes sense. Generally, if the sentence does not make sense, you’ve removed the adverb that does not modify another adverb.
- I always answer my calls very promptly.
- I always answer my calls very. <= Adverb-modifying adverb
- I always answer my calls promptly.
- The student answered the question quite easily.
- …answered the question easily.
- …answered the question quite. <= Adverb-modifying adverb
- Harvard fought rather fiercely.
- Harvard fought rather. <= Adverb-modifying Adverb
- Harvard fought fiercely.
- I did even worse on the test than I had expected.
- I did even on the test… <= Adverb-modifying adverb
- I did worse on the test…
There are four types of pronouns that exist:
Personal pronouns have three groups: Subject (he, she, they), object (him, her, them), and possessive (his, hers, theirs).
Reflexive pronouns end with -self or -selves and require an antecedent.
You cannot say:
- The queen looked at the dwarves and myself.
- He picked them and myself.
But you can say:
- I looked at myself in the reflection of the water.
- The girl imagined herself winning the gold medal in her mind.
Indefinite Pronouns are used to refer to unspecified persons, things, or groups.
- All, another, many, most, several, other, none
But they must not be confused with Adjectives.
- I would like some
- I would like some water
- I saw several
- I saw several people
- I would rather have the other
- I would rather have the other option
Demonstrative Pronouns are composed of four pronouns: this, that, these, and those.
As with indefinite pronouns, demonstrative pronouns must not be confused with demonstrative adjectives.
There are two types of conjunctions. Coordinating and Subordinating.
Coordinating conjunctions join words of equal status. FANBOYS is an acronym for seven single-word conjunctions.
There is a subgroup of coordination conjunctions called correlative conjunctions. Correlative conjunctions are two-part conjunctions. For example:
- They had both cake and pie for desert
- I had to ether exercise more or eat less
- Not only was this fun, but it was educational
Prepositions are always bound together with their objects to form prepositional phrases.
- In the morning
- Under the bridge
- By Shakespeare
- To them
Some common prepositions are by, to, with, about, over, etc.