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Eight Parts of Speech

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Eight Parts of Speech

Students understand that learning the eight parts of speech helps people to know the function of words, and how they are joined together to make coherent sentences. They will be introduced to the noun, pronoun, verb, adjective, adverb, preposition, conjunction and interjection. They will also realize that depending on its use the same word can represent a different part of speech.

Find out why it helps to know the different kinds of words and the reason for knowing parts of speech.

  1. Students will understand that learning the eight parts of speech helps people to know the function of words and how they are joined together to make coherent sentences.
  2. Know the eight parts of speech:
    1. Noun: A noun is the name of a person, place, idea, or thing. A common noun is the name of a general class of people, places, ideas, or things. In the sentence: "The child refused to eat his vegetables" child and vegetables are common nouns. Proper nouns, however, name specific people, places, or things. In the sentence: "James likes to eat cookies" James is a proper noun. Understand that proper nouns do not have to be one word. For example, "Rough and Ready" is a proper noun; it is the name of town in California. Please note that proper nouns are usually capitalized. However, words within a proper noun may not be capitalized. In the name "Rough and Ready" the word and is not capitalized because it is not regarded as an important word.
    2. Pronoun: A pronoun is a word used in place of a noun; it may represent a person, place, idea, or thing. In the sentence: "Josh was kayaking in rough waters" Josh can be replaced by the pronoun He. Examples of pronouns include: he, she, they, it, and we.
    3. Verb: A verb is an action word; it describes what the person, place, idea, or thing is doing. In the sentence: "The helicopter flew through the air" flew is the verb; it describes the action of the helicopter.
    4. Adjective: Adjectives are describing words; they provide information about nouns or pronouns to make them more specific. In the sentence: "The ocean is beautiful" the adjective beautiful provides information about the ocean.
    5. Adverb: An adverb is a word that describes a verb, adjective, or other adverb. In the sentence: "The kitten was very small" very is an adverb; it modifies the adjective small. In the sentence: "Jeff Gordon drives remarkably speedily around the race track" remarkably is an adverb that modifies the adverb speedily, which modifies the verb drives.
    6. Preposition: A preposition shows a relationship between a noun or a pronoun and another word. In the sentence: "The baseball traveled through the air" through is a preposition because it describes the relationship between the nouns baseball and air (i.e., it says where the baseball travels).
    7. Conjunction: A conjunction joins two words or groups of words. In the sentence: "The ball was thrown long and far" long and far are connected by the conjunction and. In the sentence, "My sister ran in a race, but she did not win" but is a conjunction that joins the groups of words My sister ran in a race and she did not win.
    8. Interjection (Exclamation): Interjections are words that are added to a sentence to convey emotion. Interjections are not grammatically related to any part of a sentence; they can stand on their own. In the statement: "Wow! That building is huge" Wow is an interjection.
  3. Realize that, depending on its use, the same word can represent a different part of speech. For example, the three sentences: "I had a dream" "I dream at night" and "I have a dream job" all have the same word, dream, in them. However, in the first sentence dream is used as a noun; in the second sentence dream is used as a verb; and in the third sentence dream is used as an adjective.

  1. Common Nouns vs. Proper Nouns Game: If possible, place the students into evenly numbered groups; and have each group sit in a circle. Each student should have a pen or a pencil. Place a piece of paper in front of one student in each group. Then, call out a common noun, like city. The student with the paper writes a proper noun that matches the common noun, like Sacramento, and passes the paper on to the next student in the circle; the next student writes a different proper noun on the paper (it should still match the common noun) and passes it on. This process should continue for a minute. The group with the greatest number of proper nouns on the paper wins the round. The instructor should discuss each paper with the class; this will help the students to understand the relationship between proper nouns and common nouns.
  2. Actions Speak Louder Than Words: This game will help students to relate verbs and nouns. Produce a stack of 3x5 cards that have different actions written out on them. Have a student pick one of the cards and act out (in front of the class) the action that is on the card. The rest of the class guesses the verb that the student is acting out. Then, the class must come up with a sentence (they can come up with more than one) that states what noun performs the particular verb (there may be more than one noun that performs the particular action). The students can choose to conjugate the verb as they wish. For example, if the card says "to fish," the actor may want to pretend he is casting a line into the water. The class may come up with many different sentences including: "The fisherman (noun) fishes (verb) for food" or "The bear (noun) fished (verb) in the cold stream."


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