The Most Common Parts of Speech and How to Use Them

by HeatherGeo



What are the parts of speech?

Traditional English grammar has eight parts of speech adjectives, adverbs, conjunctions, interjections, nouns, prepositions, pronouns and verbs. I have seen this question on Jeopardy several times, so if a spin on Jeopardy is in your future take note.

Here are the parts of speech with examples:

  1. Adjectives: Word that modifies or describes a noun.

big dog (what kind of dog?)

loud neighbors (what kind of neighbors?)

  1. Adverbs: Word that modifies a verb and tells how, when, where, or to what degree the action of the verb is done.

Jen sings loudly (sings how?)

Stella dances gracefully (dances how?)

Tina ran yesterday (ran when?)

  1. Conjunctions: Word that joins other words or groups of words together. A great way to memorize conjunctions is to use the acronym FANBOYS (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so)

Words: Cats and dogs.

Word groups: Cats are smart, but dogs are more friendlier.

  1. Interjections: Words that are used to convey surprise, warning, or emotion. (Wow! Hey!)

Wow! That dog barks loudly.

Hey! Watch out for that run away llama.

5.  Nouns: Words that name a person, place, or thing.

Person: Accountant, writer, Johnny Appleseed, kid

Place: Mt. Dora, Cincinnati, Main Street, ocean, office building

Thing: apple, car, hammer, plant

Nouns can also include a general quality and not a physical object: freedom, love, kindness, patience, democracy.

6. Prepositions: A connecting word that shows how the noun that follows it connects it to another part of the sentence.

Common prepositions:


about beneath in front of since
above beside inside through (out)
against besides instead of to
among between like toward
as by near under
as well as despite next to underneath
at down off until
because of during onto up
before except out (of) upon
behind from outside with/ within
below in addition to past without


  1. Pronouns: Takes the place of a noun. Common pronouns include I, me, myself, we, you, he, his, she, it, them, who, this, everyone, all.
  2. Verbs: Tells what the subject does, did, or will do such as run, write, manipulate, investigate, twirls.

Exp: Dogs run. (subject: dogs verb: run)

Extra tip: Verbs can also be referred to as a predicate. In order to make up a complete sentence you must have a subject and a verb/predicate.

Example: Girls sing. (subject: girls verb: sing)

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