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Parts of Speech Review

Nouns Verbs Adverbs Adjectives

Pronouns Conjunctions Prepositions Interjections


A noun is a the name of a person, place, thing, quality, concept or action

Persons Places Things Qualities Concepts Actions

child lobby desk dependability beauty walking/to walk

typist courtroom phone honesty truth typing/to type
Mr. Harris Chicago computer loyalty knowledge writing/to write
Martha college book sincerity happiness thinking/to think

The first letters of some nouns are capitalized to show a specific name or title (Alan). These are called proper nouns. Other
nouns that are not specific do not use a capital letter (man). These are called common nouns. Nouns that have a singular and
plural form are called count nouns. Nouns that only have a singular form are called non-count nouns.

Non-count nouns never add -s.

often count nouns { place Common Noun Proper Noun
Count Non-Count Count

Singular Plural Singular Plural

quality girl girls -------- Maria Marias
often non-count nouns { concept country countries -------- America Americas
action car cars homework Ford Fords

-------- -------- honesty -------- --------

-------- -------- beauty -------- --------
-------- -------- typing -------- --------

Nouns function in many ways:

Noun Functions
subject: The car runs well.
direct object: I bought a book.
complements: Mary was president.
object of the prep: He walked to the store.
indirect object: Sam mailed Joan a letter.
possession: The woman's daughter left early.

A verb is a word that tells what the subject of the sentence does, says, thinks, or feels. Sometimes the verb shows movement
(jump) or sometimes it shows how a thing is or that it exists (is). The verb also shows time which is called tense. The form of
the verb or its tense can tell when events take place.

For example, the verb kiss (*note: kiss is also a count noun):

Present Simple Past Simple Future Simple

kiss/kisses kissed will kiss

Present Perfect Past Perfect Future Perfect

has/have kissed had kissed will have kissed

Past Continuous
Present Continuous (Progressive) Future Continuous (Progressive)
is/am/are kissing will be kissing
was kissing

Past Perfect Continuous

Present Perfect Continuous (Progressive) Future Perfect Continuous (Progressive)
has/have been kissing will have been kissing
had been kissing


Adverbs modify or describe verbs (run fast), adjectives (often sad), or other adverbs (too often). Adverbs often, but not always,
end in -ly. A test for deciding if a word is an adverb is to think about the word's function. Adverbs tend to tell where, when, or

For example: very pretty, most unhappy, never angry, come soon

Adverbs often answer three questions:


Verb Manner Place Frequency Time Purpose

Beth swims enthusiastically in the pool every morning before dawn to keep in shape.

to get a
Dad walks impatiently into town every afternoon before supper

Tashonda naps in her room every morning before lunch.

In actual practice, of course, it would be highly unusual to have a string of adverbial modifiers beyond
two or three (at the most). Because the placement of adverbs is so flexible, one or two of the modifiers
would probably move to the beginning of the sentence: "Every afternoon before supper, Dad impatiently
walks into town to get a newspaper." When that happens, the introductory adverbial modifiers are
usually set off with a comma.
The Royal Order of Adverbs was created by Dr. Charles Darling, Professor of English, Capital Community College.
Source: Capital Community College Guide to Grammar & Writing: Adverbs. Reprinted with permission 25 February 2003.


Adjectives are words that describe a noun. Ugly, funny, big, round, and loose are all examples of adjectives. Some less obvious
examples are: that dog, her bone, enough food, every room. Adjectives can also describe how much or how many: fewer friends,
less food, more people.

colors quality size emotions numbers demonstrative

blue honest big sad one this (close)

red loyal small angry two that (far)
green sincere tiny happy three these (close)
orange efficient large nervous first those (far)
fuschia confident miniscule second
yellow rude huge third

action verbs of feeling possessive

(can be used as adj.) (+ noun)

interested/interesting a my (tradition) our (traditions)

satisfied/satisfying an your (tradition) your (traditions)
bored/boring the his (tradition) their (traditions)
excited/exciting her (tradition)
* its (tradition)

Verb+ED becomes an adjective when it is used to describe a person or animal that experiences an emotion We will call this
adjective the Experiencer adjective.
One good way to remember to use ED to describe the Experiencer is to remember that both words start with E. The
Experiencer is described with ED.
Verb+ING becomes an adjective when it is used to describe the things that cause an emotion. We will call this the Instigator
(Causing) adjective.
One good way to remember to use ING to describe the Instigator (or Causing) adjective is to remember that both
words start with I. The Instigator is described with ING.

Determiner Observation Physical Description Origin Material Qualifier Noun

Size Shape Age Color

a beautiful old Italian touring car

an expensive antique silver mirror

four gorgeous red silk roses

her short black hair

our big old English sheepdog

those square wooden hat boxes

that dilapidated little hunting cabin

several enormous young American basketball players

some delicious Thai food

The Royal Order of Adjectives was created by Dr. Charles Darling, Professor of English, Capital Community College.
Source: Capital Community College Guide to Grammar & Writing: Adjectives. Reprinted with permission 25 February 2003.


Pronouns are words that take the place of a noun.

Example: Carol is nice. She is also pretty.

Subject (of verb or Possessive Reflexive
I me mine myself
you you yours yourself
Singular he him his himself
she her hers herself
it it ----- itself
we us ours ourselves
Plural you you yours yourselves
they them theirs themselves

A conjunction is a word that connects phrases, words, or clauses. Conjunctions are often used as transitions.

There are two kinds of conjunctions:

COORDINATING: connects words, phrases, or clauses

and, but, or, for

Gallaudet teachers communicate in American Sign Language and English.
either... or; neither... nor; both... and; not only... but also
Most students use either ASL or English.
hence, therefore, moreover, however, besides, consequently
I like to read; however, I hate to write.

SUBORDINATING: introduces subordinate clauses and connects them with the main clause

who, which, that

People who live in glass houses don't like children to play catch in front of their houses.
although, because, since, though, if, as if
Although I work hard, I'm still broke.


Prepositions are words that express the relation of a noun or pronoun to another word in the sentence. Prepositions show the
relationships among things, people, and places.

Prepositions of
Direction Place Time
(to & from) (where) (when)

to the store in the hall in a minute

from the library on the ceiling on July 4
toward the floor over the doorway at lunch time


An interjection is an exclamatory word (or words) that shows strong or sudden feeling and has no grammatical function in the
construction of a sentence.

Oh! Alas! So! Wow! Cool!

For more detailed parts of speech review, see the Gallaudet University Handbook on Grammar & Usage by Marcia Bordman
and Anne Womeldorf.

Updated April 28, 2002

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