Understanding Basic English : Parts of speech

Parts of speech
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You and I think. Our thoughts can be understood as words. Let’s give you an example. When your mother scolds you, how do you feel? You don’t feel nice, right? If you have to put this thought into a word, it would be called hurt. How does a small baby start talking? They start with words with one single word at a time. If they are hungry, they let their mother know by saying a word, maybe “milk”. That’s how small kids start talking.
We have different thoughts in our minds, which can be put down into words. When these words are used together, each word having its meaning, they make a sentence.

Rahul is waiting for the train.

This is a sentence.

So, what is a sentence? A sentence is a group of words that helps us express what we have in our minds. A sentence is a group of words that makes sense. A Sentence should be arranged, and the words used in the sentence should be placed at the right spot for it to make sense.

For example, let’s take the sentence above as an example.

What if we wrote the sentence as – 

Waiting Rahul is the train for

Does this sentence make any sense to you? We are sure it doesn’t, and this is exactly why the words in the sentence need to be placed at the right spot for it to make complete sense to your listener.

Now, we know what a sentence is. These sentences, when spoken with perfection, will help you speak fluent English. We also know that sentences are made up of words, and these words make small parts of our speech. This exactly is what we aim to cover in this lesson – Parts of Speech.

So, what are parts of speech?

Parts of speech are the small pieces of words that make your speech. These small parts help you to understand how to form a sentence correctly. These pieces are divided into eight parts. Today, we will learn about all eight of them with many easy-to-understand examples and help you master the art of parts of speech. So, without any delay, let’s begin.

8-parts-of-speechParts of speech are classified into 8 parts – 

  • Noun
  • Pronoun
  • Verb
  • Adjective
  • Adverb
  • Preposition
  • Conjunction
  • Interjection

Let’s learn and understand them one by one.


What is a noun?

A noun is a word used as a name of a person, place, object, or animal. Let’s take an example.

Narendra Modi is the Prime Minister of India.

What do you think is the noun in this sentence?

The answer is simple, we look for either a name, a place, an animal, or a thing in the sentence. So, is there any name in this sentence?

Yes – Narendra Modi is the name. Congrats! You identified your first noun! 

Let’s check if the sentence has any more nouns. So, we identified a name. Now let’s look for a place, animal, or object in this sentence. Is there a place in this sentence? 

Yes, India. India is a place. Congrats, you spotted 2 nouns today! Good job. 

Are there any more nouns in this sentence? Is there an object in this sentence?

No. There is no object in the sentence. Is there any animal in this sentence? No, there is no animal in this sentence.

So, we have successfully found our nouns in this sentence.

  • Narendra Modi ( A Name)
  • India ( A Place)

Here is one trick to find out nouns in any sentence. Whenever you are asked to identify a noun in any sentence – always ask the following questions

  • Is there a name in this sentence?
  • Is there a place in this sentence?
  • Is there an animal in this sentence?
  • Is this any object or nonliving thing (for example umbrella, water bottle, TV, phone, etc) in this sentence?\

That’s it! You will be able to identify nouns in any sentence very easily. Now that we have completed Nouns, let’s learn about the second part of our speech – Pronoun. 


What is a pronoun?

A pronoun is a word used for a noun. These words are used in place of the noun to avoid repetitions of the noun in the sentence. Let’s understand this with the help of an example.

Rita is going to school. Rita meets Rita’s friends at school. Rita attends Rita’s classes and eats Rita’s lunch.

What do you notice in this sentence? 

The sentence is flooded with the noun “Rita”.

Does this sound nice to you? We don’t think so. Now, we will replace the noun “Rita” with pronouns. 

Rita is going to school. She meets her friends at school. She attends her classes and eats her lunch. 

Did you notice what we did here?

We replaced Rita with the pronoun She and Her. 

Now, you might have one question. Why did we use two different pronouns? What was the reason? How can we understand where to use which pronoun? Let us explain.

PronounsThe above table gives you a list of pronouns that one uses to replace nouns. By now, you must have understood that there is more than one pronoun. You need to understand how to use them in the right place by understanding a few things.

There are two types of pronouns.

  • Singular
  • Plural

When we say singular, it means that the pronoun refers to one person. On the other hand, when we say plural, we are referring to more than one person.

Let’s understand them in detail.

A singular pronoun can be understood from six-point of views;

  • First-person singular
  • Second-person singular  
  • Third-person singular
  • First-person plural
  • Second-person plural
  • Third-person plural

Let’s understand them in detail;

First Person Singular 

When we talk about the first person singular, it means that we are talking about ourselves. So, when we talk about ourselves, we use the following pronouns

  • I
  • Me
  • My
  • Mine
  • Myself 

By using these pronouns, it is clear that we are talking about ourselves.

So, for example, if Rita wants to introduce herself to the classroom, how will she do so?

Rita will say – 

Hi, My name is Rita. 

So, why did Rita use MY? This is because she is talking about herself.

Now, let’s take the same example forward. 

Second Person Singular 

Rita wants to ask a classmate a question. Let’s say, she wants to know his name. How would she do so?

Rita will say – 

Hi, what is your name? 

So now, Rita used “your” as a pronoun. This is a second-person singular. This is used when you are talking to a second person. So, if Rita is asking someone his name, this person becomes the second person.

The pronouns we use for a second person singular are as follows;

  • You
  • Your
  • Yours
  • Yourself

Third Person Singular 

Let’s understand a third-person singular with an example.

If Rita talks to her friend about some third person, this becomes third person singular. Let’s say there are three people. Rita, Geeta & Sita. Rita is having a conversation with Geeta and they are talking about Sita. Sita is not present in this conversation. Here, Sita becomes the third person and the pronoun they will use to speak about Sita will be “her”.

When we talk about a third person, it is very important to understand their gender. That means, there are different pronouns for a girl and a boy. So, as explained in the example above, if it was Shyam instead of Sita, the pronoun would be “him” and would change according to the gender of the noun. Simple

A girl/woman goes by the pronoun

  • She
  • Her
  • Hers
  • Herself

A boy/man goes by the pronoun

  • He
  • Him
  • His
  • Himself

If a noun does not have a gender, let’s say if it is a non-living object or a thing, how do we address it? We use the following pronouns for them;

  • It
  • Its
  • Itself

The pronoun “it” is used for any noun which does not have a gender. 

Similarly, we will understand the plural pronouns.

First Plural Pronoun

If Rita, Geeta & Sita were to introduce themselves together at an event, how would they do it? They will use the pronoun “we”

Why? This is because they are more than 1 in number and this is why the pronoun will change. The following pronouns are used in first person singular case – 

  • We
  • Us
  • Our
  • Ourselves

Second Person Plural 

Now, if Rita wants to talk about some other group, how will she do so? Let’s say, she wants to ask them if they can travel back home by themselves. What will she ask?

Rita will say – 

Can you go back home yourselves?

Here, she uses “yourselves” as a pronoun. This is because she is talking about a second-person group of people and hence the pronoun will change. The following pronouns are used in the second person plural case – 

  • You
  • Your
  • Yours
  • Yourself

Third Person Plural 

When we talk about a group of people from a third-person point of view, it comes under third person plural pronoun. So, if Rita is talking about a different class to her friends, she will refer to the different class students as “them”.

The following pronouns are used in a third-person plural case – 

  • They
  • Them
  • Their
  • Themselves

So this brings us to the end of pronouns. Let’s move on to the next aspect of speech – Adjectives.


What is an adjective?

An adjective is a word that describes a noun. In other words, an adjective describes a name, place, animal, or thing.

Let’s understand with an example.

She has a beautiful house. 

We say that an adjective describes the noun. So, let’s identify the noun in this sentence.

Clearly, the word “house” is the noun in this sentence. Now, here comes the question. How is the house being described?

Yes, the house is “beautiful”. 

This means that the adjective here is beautiful.

The word beautiful describes the house. It shows what kind of a house it is. This helps us understand the quality of the noun or in simpler words, this helps us understand the description of the noun better. 

Let’s look at another example.

A yellow butterfly flew over my head.

What is the noun in this sentence?

Yes, it’s the butterfly. Why? Because it is an animal. Now that we have identified the noun, let’s look for the adjective. 

What kind of a butterfly is it?

It’s a yellow butterfly. So the adjective yellow describes the noun – butterfly. 

There is an easy trick to identify adjectives. Always ask the WH questions. 

  • What
  • Where
  • When
  • Who
  • Which
  • Why and 
  • How 

These questions help you find the adjective very easily. Let’s consider the same example as before.

A yellow butterfly flew over my head. 

Now comes the trick. Let’s assume you do not know the adjective here. So, how do you find it? Simple, its the WH questions.

We know that the noun in the sentence is the butterfly. 

  • What kind of a butterfly is it?

The answer is clear now – Yellow.

This is how you find out an adjective in a sentence. Now that we have completed this part, let’s move on to the fourth part of our speech   – Verb.


What is a verb?

A verb is an action doing word. Any word that suggests that an action is happening in the sentence for example like singing, dancing, acting, running etc – these words are called verbs.

Let’s understand this with an example now.

Ritu went to school yesterday.

The cat ran across the street.

Ben ordered a pizza.

Which words do you use here?

  • Ritu went to school yesterday.
  • The cat ran across the street.
  • Ben ordered a pizza.

It is clear from the above sentence that these are the action words. So, how do we identify them easily?

Simple, first identify the main noun of the sentence also known as the subject. The subject is someone around whom the sentence revolves. Now, once you identify the subject, try to find out what action or work is this subject doing. It can be some physical activity or it can also be an emotion or a feeling. 

Let’s understand one by one.

Ritu went to school yesterday.

Who is the main subject here? – Ritu

And what did she do?  – Went to school 

So, which is the action doing verb? It’s gone.

Let’s consider another example.

Riya is feeling sad.

So, who is the main subject? – Riya

What is she doing?  – feeling sad

So, which is the actio doing word?  – feeling. 

That’s it. It’s very simple. This is how you can identify verbs in a sentence very easily. Let’s move on to the fifth part of our speech – Adverbs.


What is an adverb?

An adverb helps to describe, change or add more information to the verb in a sentence. So, basically, an adverb is added in a sentence so that it can describe what the verb is doing, or add more meaning to the verb of the sentence.

There are three types of adverbs

  • Adverb of manner
  • Adverb of place
  • Adverb of time

Adverb of manner`

An adverb of manner describes how a verb is acting. It shows the state of emotion of the verb.

There is an easy way to identify these adverbs. Usually, adverbs end with -ly

Have a look at these words

happily, sadly, angrily, hungrily, friendly, gently, politely

If you notice, all of these words end with -ly. This is how you identify adverbs. Let’s consider an example.

My dad secretly brought my sister a present for her birthday.

Everybody speaks quietly in the library.

In the above mentioned sentences, which is the adverb?



Yes, these are the adverbs because they end with the letters  – ly

These are called adverbs of manners. 

Adverb of place

An adverb of place describes the place where the action or something related to the verb happened. These adverbs can refer to directions, distances, or relative position of an object.

Have a look at the words below

Above, around,backward, forward, here, there, where

These are a few examples of adverbs. If you notice, these words indicate the exact place the action happened.

Let’s consider an example.

Tejas lives behind the store

The library has a music store nearby

The best way to answer the question is to ask “Where”

Where does Tejas live? – behind the store

Where is the music store? – nearby

So, the words behind and nearby are the adverbs in the given sentence. These words signify a place or a direction where the action is happening. 

Adverb of time

Adverb of time tells when and at what time, how long and how frequently did the action take place. Basically, it is an indicator of the time.

Have a look at the words below

Hourly, daily, nightly, weekly, yearly, monthly,tomorrow, today, next week, first, second, soom, just, recently

These are a few examples of the adverb of time.

Yash and Kavya are coming to Mumbai tomorrow.

Jimmy studies for 2 hours everyday.

The easiest way to identify the adverb of time here is to ask the question “When” or “How”

When are Yash and Kavya coming to Mumbai? – Tomorrow

How long does Jimmy study for? – 2 hours 

So, the words Tomorrow & Hours is the adverb of time in the above mentioned sentence. 

Now that we have learnt about Adverbs, let’s understand the 6th part of our speech – Preposition


What is a preposition?

A preposition is a word that tells you the position of an object in the sentence. 

The easiest way to identify the prepositions in a sentence is to ask the question,” where”.

Let’s consider an example.

Shloka is jumping into the pool.

Where is Shloka jumping – into the pool.

So, the word into is the preposition here. This preposition shows where the object is jumping. It shows the position of the object.

Let’s consider another example.

The cat is sitting under the chair.

Where is the cat? – Under the chair.

See, it’s that simple.

Here is a list of common prepositions used;

  • on
  • in
  • with
  • outside
  • near
  • by
  • between
  • under
  • during
  • after
  • before
  • across
  • around
  • beside
  • above

That’s all for prepositions. Now, let’s understand the 7th part of our speech – Conjunction.


What is a conjunction?

Conjunctions are words that join two sentences.

Let’s look at some commonly used conjunctions.

  • And, but, or, yet, for, nor, so

So, how do they work? Let’s show you.

You can remember these words through a cheat code – FANBOY


F – For

A – And

N – Nor

B – But

O – Or

Y – Yet

Easy? Now, let’s proceed.

Example time!

Here are two sentences – 

Tom likes to eat pizza.

Sarah likes to eat hamburgers.

Now, if we had to join this using a conjunction, how would we do so?

Tom likes to eat pizza but Sarah likes to eat hamburgers.

Here, we used but to join these two sentences. This is how you can join two sentences using the FANBOY words. 

Let’s consider another example.

Dogs make perfect pets.

Cats make perfect pets.

How would we join this?

Dogs and Cats make perfect pets. 

We use the conjunction and to join these sentences. 

That’s all for conjunctions. This brings us to our last part of our speech – Interjection.


What is interjection?

An interjection is a word that expresses a sudden expression or emotion. They can be in form of sound, emotion, greetings or agreement. Below are the list of words for you to understand interjections better.


Wherever you find these words, you know you have come across an interjection. Let’s understand this through an example.

Eww, the eggs smell bad.

Oh Dear, you are fully wet

Whoa, congrats on winning the match

In the above sentences, which are the interjections?


Oh Dear


Yes, these are the interjections. If you see closely, these words express a feeling or emotion about how the subject feels about what’s happening in the sentence. Hence, it is very easy to identify an interjection in a sentence.
That’s all for parts of speech. We hope we could make these concepts clear and easy for you to understand. Should you have any doubts, you can revisit this video anytime you like.

Citations :

Skillioma Home (March 1, 2024) Understanding Basic English : Parts of speech. Retrieved from https://repo.skillioma.com/understanding-basic-english-parts-of-speech/.
"Understanding Basic English : Parts of speech." Skillioma Home - March 1, 2024, https://repo.skillioma.com/understanding-basic-english-parts-of-speech/
"Understanding Basic English : Parts of speech." Skillioma Home - Accessed March 1, 2024. https://repo.skillioma.com/understanding-basic-english-parts-of-speech/
Skillioma Home September 12, 2023 Understanding Basic English : Parts of speech., viewed March 1, 2024,<https://repo.skillioma.com/understanding-basic-english-parts-of-speech/>
Skillioma Home - Understanding Basic English : Parts of speech. [Internet]. [Accessed March 1, 2024]. Available from: https://repo.skillioma.com/understanding-basic-english-parts-of-speech/
"Understanding Basic English : Parts of speech." Skillioma Home [Online]. Available: https://repo.skillioma.com/understanding-basic-english-parts-of-speech/. [Accessed: March 1, 2024]

Power Words :

  • Perfection
  • Description
  • Concepts
  • Delay
  • Emotion
  • Identified
  • Secretly
  • Plural
  • Indicate


Critical thinking challenge question :

1. Identify the parts of speech in this short section:

Yash – Hello, my name is Yash. What is your name?

Anjali – Hi, my name is Anjali. 

Yash –  Where are you from? I am from Delhi.

Anjali – Oh, Delhi is wonderful. I am from Kolkata. 

Yash – Oh great! One of my friends is from Kolkata. She is visiting her relatives here for the summer holidays and planning to carry on her further studies from here.

Anjali – That is great. I myself want to go to Delhi for further studies.

Yash – There are some great colleges in Delhi, I was talking to my brother about it  yesterday.

Anjali – Yes, exactly why I have plans for further studies there. I will be visiting Delhi by next month just to explore. Hopefully we’ll meet.

Yash – Sure! I will happily show you around, there are some great places to visit.

Anjali – Wow! That’ll be fun. I have to go now, but it was good talking to you. Bye! Take care.

Yash – Same here. Bye! Take care.

2. Write a paragraph about your understanding of parts of speech from this section and identify them in the same.

Watch this video for further learning :

Parts Of Speech

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