The Four Basic Parts of Speech in English – Grammar Lesson

Michael Grammar 1 Comment

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As you study English, I think it’s a good idea to know some of the basic terms that your English teacher may use in the class. As in any language, there are different types words in a sentence, and each word has a certain function or purpose in the sentence. These are called “parts of speech.” For today’s free English lesson, I would like to show you four basic parts of speech in English.

Nouns are words that show people, places and things. Nouns often do or receive actions. Some examples of nouns are:

  • People: Jack, teacher, sister, friend, etc.
  • Places: New York, park, garden, town, city, etc.
  • Things: Desk, iPhone, pen, house, door, etc

Adjectives describe nouns. They usually come before the noun and tell us what kind of noun it is. There are many categories, but I will put just a few here:

  • Colors: blue, green, red, purple, etc
  • Appearance: beautiful, strange, ugly, nice, etc.
  • Size: small, large, round, square, tall, etc.
  • Others: tired, excited, interesting, amusing, good, bad, etc

So, based on this, we can combine adjectives and nouns like this:

  • blue pen, large house, interesting teacher, good friend, beautiful garden.

Verbs show action and existence. Some examples of verbs are:

  • be (used to show existence)
  • Actions: run, walk, jump, talk, say, imagine, want, can, etc.

Adverbs describe verbs. They usually come after the verb (except for some frequency adverbs) and tell us how the action was done. Many, but not all, adverbs in English end in ly:

  • quickly, slowly, carefully, suddenly, gently

So, based on this, we can combine adverbs and verbs like this:

  • run quickly, speak slowly, walk carefully, play gently.

It’s possible then to take all four parts of speech and make some basic sentences:

  • Jim speaks slowly. noun – verb – adverb
  • Small oranges are inexpensive. adjectivenoun – verb – adjective
  • New York has tall buildings. noun – verb – adjective – noun

Knowing this vocabulary (noun, verb, adjective, & adverb) will help you understand how your teacher speaks. I hope you find this useful.

If you know anyone who might be interested in this English language point, why not help them out! Just share this lesson with them. Thanks for studying today!

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