Parts of Speech

Outtakes 309

Parts of Speech

By Cait Collins



Every writer knows books, short stories, tech manuals, screenplays, and so forth, are made from words. Surprisingly, many do not really understand the different parts of speech. It’s a word. I was shocked when I attempted to explain to a young writer why a prepositional phrase needed to be moved. Eyes wide she asked, “What is a preposition?”Ooops. How do you explain a grammar error when the writer doesn’t even know the parts of speech? This is a refresher on basic part of speech used in everyday writing and in professional writing.

A noun is a person, place, thing, idea, or quality. Nouns may be common or proper. Common nouns are not capitalized. Examples are dog, sky, table, a boy. Proper nouns reference specific persons or places such as Robert Frost or Paris, France.

A pronoun replaces a noun.

I spoke to Mary.

Jane met the boys at the ice cream shop and bought them banana splits.

A verb expresses action, being, or a state of being.

Bob planted a garden.                         Love grows.

The teacher is retiring.

An adjective modifies a noun or a pronoun. It may be a single word, a phrase, or a clause.

The vase is Wedgewood.

The new book by Jodi Lawrence was released today.

The presenter whose topic was law enforcement is an FBI agent.

An adverb modifies a verb, an adjective, or another adverb. It may be a single word, a phrase, or a clause.

He wrote well.

The police stormed into the house.

Andrew left before Matt arrived.

A preposition shows the relation between its object and some other word in the sentence.

We walked to the theater.

Tom took possession of his inheritance.

A conjunction connects words or groups of words.

Mom brought hot dogs, buns, mustard, and chili to the cookout.

An interjection expresses strong feelings.

Freak!   Liar!

The interjection has no grammatical relation to the rest of the sentence.

Words and their use within a sentence are the building blocks of novel, presentation, or other writings. Understanding what words to use and their relationship to each other allows a writer to create masterpieces.

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