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What is a part of speech?

What is a Part of Speech?

A part of speech is one of the nine types of English words: VERB, NOUN, ADJECTIVE, ADVERB, PRONOUN, PREPOSITION, DETERMINER, CONJUNCTION, INTERJECTION

There are thousands of words but they don't all have the same job. For example:

  • some words express action
  • other words express things
  • other words join one word to another word

parts of speech are like the parts of a houseThese are the "building blocks" of the language. Think of them like the parts of a house. When we want to build a house, we use concrete to make the foundations or base. We use bricks to make the walls. We use window frames to make the windows, and door frames to make the doorways. And we use cement to join them all together. Each part of the house has its own job.

And when we want to build a sentence, we use the different types of word.

Each type of word has its own job.

There are 9 basic types of word, and they are called "parts of speech".

The most important parts of speech are the BIG FOUR, and the verb is the king of these. Here they are, each with an example and its basic "job":

  • verb (deliver - expresses action)
  • noun (computer - expresses a thing)
  • adjective (yellow - tells us more about a noun)
  • adverb (quickly - tells us more about a verb)

The other parts of speech are mostly small words:

  • pronoun (it - replaces a noun)
  • preposition (on - links a noun to another word)
  • determiner (the - limits a noun)
  • conjunction (and - joins words)
  • interjection (ouch! - expresses feeling)
Some people use the term word class instead of part of speech.
You can also learn more about parts of speech and try our Parts of Speech Quiz.