on September 7, 2018 , Comments Off on Parts of Speech in English – Video
In this lesson, you can learn about parts of speech in English.
How many parts of speech are there in English? Can you name them, and explain what they do?
Understanding parts of speech—nouns, verbs, adjectives, and so on—can help you to understand English sentence structure and how English grammar works.
In this class, you’ll learn the basic information about parts of speech, you’ll see some ways that parts of speech can be more complicated than you might expect, and you’ll have several chances to practice!
QUIZ: Parts of Speech in English
Now test your understanding of the different parts of speech by trying this quiz. There are 20 questions, which get harder as you go through it!
When you have finished, click ‘View Questions’ to see all the correct answers and read the explanations. There are links to further study resources in the explanations.
Time limit: 0
0 of 20 Questions completed
You have already completed the quiz before. Hence you can not start it again.
In here means ‘at home’, and it adds information to the verb stay. What kind of words add information to verbs?
Adverbs! So, in is an adverb.
Wait a minute, did we ever finish explaining what parts of speech are in this sentence?
You’re right! We didn’t. Let’s do it now. You need to say what parts of speech the words this evening are.
Can you do it?
Maybe you said that this is a determiner, and evening is a noun. That’s technically correct, but it’s not the best answer.
The best answer is that this evening is an adverb.
How do you explain that?
4. Compound Parts of Speech in English
Until now, you’ve seen single words, and how single words can be nouns, verbs, etc.
However, when you’re thinking about parts of speech, you can’t just think about single words. Phrases can also be nouns, verbs, adjectives, and so on.
Let’s do an example:
Add a small spoonful of brown sugar, then turn the heat down and stir the mixture gently.
Think about the first part of this sentence: add a small spoonful of brown sugar.
What parts of speech do we have here?
Of course, you can go through it word by word. You can say, add is a verb, a is a determiner, small is an adjective and so on.
But, is that the most useful way of looking at it?
It makes more sense to see this as a verb—add—and a noun—a small spoonful of brown sugar.
The noun is made up of several parts of speech: determiners, adjectives, prepositions and nouns, but together they have one meaning. These words refer to one thing.
You can analyse a sentence in several different layers. So, you can see a small spoonful of brown sugar as six individual words, or one noun phrase.
You could also see it as three parts: a determiner—a small spoonful—a preposition—of—and a noun—brown sugar.
Confused? We understand! You want to know the answer. You want to know which way is ‘correct’.
There isn’t one ‘correct’ way to see this. There are different perspectives.
A better question is: which perspective makes more sense?
In this sentence, a small spoonful of brown sugar refers to one thing in the world. So it makes sense to think of it as one part of speech in the sentence.
What about the second part of the sentence? How would you analyse the parts of speech?
As you saw before, there isn’t one right answer, but here’s a suggestion.
The sentence contains a conjunction—then—and then two verb phrases linked with the conjunction and.
This makes sense because the sentence is telling you to do two things: turn the heat down and stir the mixture gently.
So, it makes sense to see turn the heat down as one part of speech, because it’s telling you do to one thing.
Let’s put these ideas together.
First, when you think about parts of speech, you can’t just memorise information. You have to look at each sentence individually, and think about what each word is doing.
Secondly, always think about what the sentence means in the real world. Sentences aren’t abstract things; they refer to real people, real things and real actions.
There is always more than one way to analyse the parts of speech in a sentence: choose the way that makes sense based on what the sentence is telling you about real life!
Let’s do a more challenging practice exercise so you can see these ideas in action.
5. More Challenging Practice with English Parts of Speech
Look at three sentences:
Amazing! It’s way better than I ever thought it would be.
She was an amazing clinician, who came up with many innovative ways to treat patients.
I don’t believe it!
How would you analyse the parts of speech in these sentences? Think about the ideas we talked about in the last section. Does it make sense to break the sentences into individual words, or is it better to group words into phrases?
Pause the video and think about your ideas.
You can pause the video again to look at these in more detail.
Notice how the same word can be different parts of speech in different sentences. For example, amazing is an interjection in one sentence, and an adjective in another.
Notice also the different layers of analysis. For example, look at the phrase many innovative ways. You can see this as one noun phrase, or as a determiner plus a noun phrase, or as three individual parts: a determiner, an adjective and a noun.
Which is correct? They all are! Choose the perspective which makes more sense to you.