Building blocks of English

Building blocks of English

For the convenience of its learners, a sentence of English has been classified into parts of speech, which are attributed with their unique prominence...

For the convenience of its learners, a sentence of English has been classified into parts of speech, which are attributed with their unique prominence in speaking or writing. Every single word we make use of in English language belongs to eight parts of speech, namely noun, pronoun, verb, adjective, adverb, preposition, conjunction and interjection.

These parts of speech are the building blocks of sentences; it is not possible to write grammatically acceptable sentences without studying about them. The part of speech indicates how the word functions in meaning as well as grammatically within the sentence. A single word can function as more than one part of speech when used in different situations. Understanding parts of speech is necessary for determining the correct definition of a word while referring to the dictionary.

Knowing about all of the parts of speech can help enhance one’s writing skills, prevent one from making errors and fetch one crack all competitive exams. .

Noun means the name of something, like a person, place, animal or thing. Nouns are characteristically used as subjects, objects, objects of prepositions and modifiers of other nouns.
I completed the study.
I = subject
Williams wrote the dissertation.
the dissertation = object
The scientist presented the results in Chapter 4.
Chapter 4 = object of a preposition
His research findings can contribute to societal change.
research = modifier

The word which can substitute a noun or a noun phrase (such as he, she, it, they, that, those etc).
Mr. Rao greeted the panel members as they arrived.
they = panel members
He was interested in ideas which were never formerly recorded, not those that have already been available.
He = Rao; which = ideas; those = those ideas

The word which expresses the action or state of the person, animal, place or thing is called verb. In English language, verbs follow the noun.
It takes a good deal of perseverance to achieve a doctoral degree.
He prepared well for the Viva.
Making a presentation is hard. (The be verb is also sometimes referred to as a linking verb. It links the subject, in this case making a presentation, to the complement or the predicate of the sentence, in this case, hard.)

An adjective is a word which qualifies a noun or pronoun. Adjectives usually come before a noun or after a stative verb, like the verb to be.
The hard-working students generally complete their assignments early.
Hard- working describes the students and appears before the noun students.
It can be tricky to balance time to study and work responsibilities.
Tricky is placed after the to be verb and describes what it is like to balance time.
Keep in mind that adjectives in English have no plural form. The same form of the adjective is used for both singular and plural nouns.
A unique model
Some unique models
INCORRECT: some uniques models

The word which gives more information about the verb and how the action was done. Adverbs tell how, where, when, why, etc. about the action. Depending on the situation, the adverb can come before or after the verb or at the beginning or end of a sentence.

He finished the course earnestly.
earnestly describes how he completed the course and answers the how question.
James lately enrolled in the Graduate Certificate in Media communication program at Oxford.
lately modifies the verb enroll and answers the when question.
Then, I confirmed that most of my journals were peer-reviewed.
Then describes and modifies the entire sentence.

Preposition comes before a noun or a noun phrase and connects it to other parts of the sentence. These are generally single words (on, at, by,…) but can be up to four words (as far as, in addition to, as a result of, …).
I preferred to interview teachers in the zones closest to me.
The camera was placed next to the interviewee.
I stopped the recording in the middle of the interview due to disturbances.

Conjunction is a word that joins two words or two clauses.
Ram and Shyam are good friends.
The results were not significant, so the alternative hypothesis was accepted.
Even though the results appear hopeful, more research must be conducted in this area.

Interjection is a part of speech to express feelings and emotions. It doesn’t have any real grammatical value. It’s usage is common in spoken English.
Damn! I missed the train
(to express disappointment or frustration).
Hurray! I won the lottery.
(to express happiness.).
Shh! Please don’t talk during the film
(to ask people to be quiet.).

Many words can act as more than one part of speech. It is common for an English word to be a noun in one sentence and a verb in another sentence.

Sachin scored several runs.
My brother runs half a mile each morning.
Arun has been selected for the school play.
The twins play golf together on Sundays.

(Dr K Sarojadevi - The author is Professor in English, RISE Group, Ongole)

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