Parts of Speech

There are over 17 million words in English.  These words are divided into 8 classes or 8 categories according to their functions in sentences. Every word class or word category is called a part of speech. 

What is a part of speech? 

A part of speech is a category of words that play similar role in sentence constructions. 

Why should we learn parts of speech?

Words are the building blocks of sentences. So, understanding how words function in the sentence should be the first step towards learning grammar. The study of parts of speech teaches you this.

There are 8 types of parts of speech:

  1. Noun
  2. Pronoun
  3. Adjective
  4. Verb
  5. Adverb
  6. Preposition
  7. Conjunction
  8. Interjection

1. Nouns 

A noun is the name of a person, a place, an animal, a thing, or an idea. Nouns are the largest open word class.

(1) Ponting plays cricket.

(2) The police dispersed the crowd
(3) Honesty is the foundation of trust in any relationship.

In sentences, nouns are used as subjects, objects, or complements. Nouns are further divided in many types. The most common ones are: proper nouns, common nouns, collective nouns, abstract nouns,, concrete nouns, etc.

Read more about nouns.

2. Pronouns 

Pronouns are words which take the place of nouns. We use pronouns to avoid the boring repetition of nouns. Pronouns are a closed group of words. 

(1) She plays cricket.

(2) Tell me the truth.
(3) He fans himself.
(4) We are proud of you.
(5) This is no wrong. 

Pronouns do the jobs of nouns, and they are classified into nine types: personal pronouns, possessive pronouns, reflexive pronouns, emphatic pronouns, interrogative pronouns, relative pronouns, reciprocal pronouns, distributive pronouns, and indefinite pronouns.

Read more about pronouns.

3. Adjectives 

An adjective is a word which describes a noun. Adjectives are the third largest open word class in English. 

(1) Kitty is a good cricketer.
(2) She wears a red hat.
(3) Ice is cold; fire is hot.
(4) You are a nice man.
(5) hungry man is an angry man.

Adjectives have three positions in the sentence: attributive, predicative and post positive positions. Adjectives are primarily classified into two groups: descriptive adjectives and limiting adjectives.

Read more about adjectives.

4. Verbs 

A verb is a word that denotes an action, or a state of being. Verbs are the second largest open word class in English. 

(1) Kitty plays cricket. 
(2) They love ice-cream. 
(3) Believe you can and you are halfway there.
(4) Dream big and dare to fail.
(5) You can if you think you can.

Verbs are the most important groups of words in English because you cannot make any sentence without a verb. Verbs are classified in four different ways: principal and auxiliary verbs, finite and non-finite verbs, transitive and intransitive verbs, and action and state verbs. 

Read more about verbs.

5. Adverbs 

An adverb is a word which describes an action verb, an adjective or another adverb. Adverbs are the fourth open word class in English. 

(1) Kitty plays cricket well.
(2) She is very skillful.
(3) She bats wonderfully well.
(4) Do it Now.
(5) Life is too short to waste. 

Adverbs are divided into several types. They are adverbs of timeadverbs of placeadverbs of frequencyadverbs of manner, etc.
6. Prepositions 

preposition is a word that links nouns or pronouns to the other words within a sentence. Prepositions are used before nouns or pronouns to show place, position, time, or method.

(1) Kitty plays cricket with Linda. 
(2) You receive from the world what you give to the world. 
(3) In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity. 
(4) Impossible is for the unwilling. 
(5) Turn your wounds into wisdom.

The use of preposition is complicated to most of the non-native users of English, and they need to practice it with extra attention. 

7. Conjunctions 

conjunction is a word that joins words, phrases, or clauses.  

(1) Kitty and Linda play cricket.
(2) Though he is poor, he is happy.
(3) Wait until I come back. 
(4) Keep silent or go away.
(5) If you can dream it, you can do it. 

There are mainly three types of conjunctions in English: co-ordinate conjunctions, sub-ordinate conjunctions and co-relative conjunctions. 
8. Interjections

An interjection is a word which expresses some sudden feeling or emotion. An interjection could also be thought of as a short exclamation.

  1. Wow! Kitty has got a six. 
  2. Alas! He has failed again. 
  3. Hurrah! We have won the game. 
  4. Fie! You are a cheat.
  5. Ouch! It hurts.

Interjections are not grammatically related to other words in the sentence.

Read more about interjections.

Open & Closed Word Class

Closed word classes are parts of speech that are consistent and do not have newer words introduced to them over time. These include pronounsconjunctionsdeterminers, and prepositions.

Open word classes are parts of speech that have newer words introduced to them over time. These include nouns, verbs, adjectives, interjections, and adverbs.

Parts of Speech Worksheet

Identify the correct part of speech for each word in the sentences below. Write the corresponding part of speech (noun, verb, adjective, adverb, pronoun) in the blank space next to the word.
1. The sun shines brightly in the sky.
  • Sun: ______________
  • Sky: ______________
2. The cat purred softly while being petted.
  • Purred: ______________
  • Petted: ______________
3. She wore a beautiful dress to the party.

  • Beautiful: ______________
  • Party: ______________
4. They quickly ran to catch the bus.
  • Quickly: ______________
  • Bus: ______________
5. He and she played together at the park.
  • He: ______________
  • She: ______________
  • Park: ______________
6. The old book was filled with interesting stories.
  • Old: ______________
  • Interesting: ______________
7. The chef carefully prepared the delicious meal.
  • Prepared: ______________
  • Meal: ______________
8. The happy dog wagged its tail vigorously.
  • Happy: ______________
  • Tail: ______________
9. She kindly helped her friend with the homework.
  • Kindly: ______________
  • Homework: ______________
10. The spaceship zoomed through the vast universe.
  • Zoomed: ______________
  • Vast: ______________
Bonus Question:
Identify the part of speech for each word in the sentence and write them in the blanks provided.

"The curious cat climbed the tall tree carefully."
  1. The: ______________
  2. Curious: ______________
  3. Cat: ______________
  4. Climbed: ______________
  5. Tall: ______________
  6. Tree: ______________
  7. Carefully: ______________
  • Sun: Noun, Sky: Noun
  • Purred: Verb, Petted: Verb
  • Beautiful: Adjective, Party: Noun
  • Quickly: Adverb, Bus: Noun
  • He: Pronoun, She: Pronoun, Park: Noun
  • Old: Adjective, Interesting: Adjective
  • Prepared: Verb, Meal: Noun
  • Happy: Adjective, Tail: Noun
  • Kindly: Adverb, Homework: Noun
  • Zoomed: Verb, Vast: Adjective

Bonus Question:

  1. The: Article
  2. Curious: Adjective
  3. Cat: Noun
  4. Climbed: Verb
  5. Tall: Adjective
  6. Tree: Noun
  7. Carefully: Adverb 

Online Test

Below is a 15 minute online test on parts of speech. Login to take the test. Answers wont be submitted unless you login

Select the correct answer


Which of the following is a prepositional phrase?

Run after
First bench
On the mountain
Joyful story

Identify the preposition in the sentence: "The cat is under the table."


What does a preposition show?

Relationship between words

Choose the correct adverb form: "He speaks __________."


Which word is an adverb in the sentence: "She has danced gracefully"?


What does an adverb modify?

Adjective, verb, or adverb

Identify the comparative adjective: "This book is more interesting than the other one."


Which word is an adjective in the sentence: "The red car sped by"?


7. What does an adjective do in a sentence?

Describes a noun or pronoun
Shows action
Connects words
Expresses emotion

Choose the correct verb form: "She __________ to the store yesterday."


Which sentence contains a linking verb?

The cat chased the mouse.
She is a talented artist.
They laughed loudly.
He quickly ran home.

Which word is a verb in the sentence: "She sings beautifully"?


Identify the abstract noun in the following sentence: "Courage is needed to face challenges."


Which of the following is a proper noun?


What is a noun?

A describing word
An action word
A naming word
A connecting word