Welcome to Nebo Literature.

Parts of Speech


I. Noun

:  a word used as name of a person, place or thing. e.g. tree; horse



The boy threw the ball

There are three kinds of nouns:  Common, Proper and Abstract.

          Common:  Any person place or thing – boy ,city or hat

          Proper:   Specific name of person, place or thing – Sean,  Sydney, Sombrero

          Abstract: Not concrete or tangible – a concept – jealousy, beauty, truth


II. Noun Equivalents


A pronoun is a noun equivalent, i.e. it is used in place of a noun.


The other noun equivalents in English are:

1. The adjective used as a noun,

The good are always merry.

2. The gerund:

Surfing has become a very popular pastime.

We like surfing during the summer months.

3. The noun infinitive:

To keep silent is often too difficult.

I desire to dream away an hour or two.

4. The noun phrase:

What to wear is my problem.

Do you know how to study effectively?

5. The noun clause:

Why Snodgrass acted in that way puzzled his friends.

They all thought that Snodgrass behaved foolishly.

If, in the above examples, you of ask; Who? or What? before the verb, and Whom? or What? after it, you will find that noun equivalents, like pure nouns, can be used either as subjects or as objects.


III.   Verb:  part of speech used to indicate action or state of being.  As a predicate it makes a statement about the subject of the sentence.

The girl threw the ball

She is the best girl for the position.



IV.  Adjective:  a describing word to a noun; a word which qualifies a noun.

e.g. a tall boy; a white house

There are at least six different types of adjectives:

Descriptive:           A big house

Demonstrative:      That house.

Possessive:          Their house.

Numerical:             Eight houses.

Distributive:           Each house.

Interrogative;                  Which house?


Adjectives can have three degrees of comparison:

Positive       -  a good house.

Comparative          -  a better house.

Superlative  - the best house.

Extreme adjectives do not need qualification or magnification:

Unique, ultimate, quintessential, utter, absolute, final, thorough, complete exclusive, inimitable, sole… 

V. Adverb:

 a word used to express the attribute of an attribute; a word which qualifies an adjective, verb or other adverb. Adverbs tell us when, where, how or why things happen.



e.g. a very tall boy; he spoke quietly.


VI. Preposition:

    A word to introduce a phrase or to indicate relative position.



Down, in, under, over, through, around, above, below, on,


I lately lost a preposition: it hid I thought beneath my chair, so angrily I cried, ‘perdition’* up from out of in under there.”  *(everlasting punishment in hell)


For years it was believed you did not finish a sentence with a preposition."   Winston Churchill mocked this pedantic "rule", which was obsolete half a century ago, saying that for some pedants, seeing prepositions at the end of a sentence "is something up with which they will not put".  

"Most of the enlightened authorities now allow this construction."   "is something which they will not put up with".  


VII.    Article:   a word to introduce a noun:  “A”,   “An”,  “The”  

A house  -  “A”  is used before a noun beginning with a consonant.

.         An apple/an hour -  “An” is used before a noun beginning with a vowel/sound.


VIII.   Conjunction:  joining words, the glue that unites words or clauses. 

Co-ordinate conjunctions join equal statements;  and/or/but
Subordinate conjunctions combine unequal statements or clauses. (when, while, because, until………)

Jack played on the swing and Jill went down the slippery slide.

I arrived at the station when the train arrived.


XI.  Interjections:  Any word thrown into a sentence to show surprise, awe or fear.

          Wow! That’s a big fish you caught!

          Oh no! not another wave!


Parts of a Sentence:


Subject:  The noun or its equivalent central to the idea of the sentence. What the sentence is about.


Predicate:  The action or the state of being of the subject.


The Object:  The recipient of the action or the state of being of the subject.


Clause:  a single passage of a discourse or writing containing a subject and predicate.  Any compound sentence has two independent clauses, while a complex sentence has a main clause and a subordinate (dependent) clause.

e.g. The boy, who spoke quietly, was chosen as the best speaker. (Complex)

       The boy spoke quietly and I spoke loudly.                             (Compound)


Phrase  a small group of words which has some degree of unity within the structure of a sentence. e.g.

The leading lady took the centre of the stage.

 Smiling sweetly, she acknowledged the applause.


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