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Word Classes and Word Forms

On these pages we look at vocabulary categorised by word class (verbs, nouns, adjectives etc) and by word form (contractions, prefixes, suffixes etc). These pages deal mainly with vocabulary, for example word lists, meanings and sample sentences with the words in context. But see also the grammar of word classes.

Note that word classes are also called parts of speech.

Word Classes

Modern grammars normally recognise four major word classes (verb, noun, adjective, adverb) and five other word classes (determiners, preposition, pronoun, conjunction, interjection), making nine word classes (or parts of speech) in total. But note that some grammarians use different systems and may recognise eight or ten different word classes.

Verb Vocabulary
Verbs are action or state words like: run, work, study, be, seem

Noun Vocabulary
Nouns are words for people, places or things like: mother, town, Rome, car, dog

Adjective Vocabulary
Adjectives are words that decribe nouns, like: kind, clever, expensive

Adverb Vocabulary
Adverbs are words that modify verbs, adjectives or other adverbs, like: quickly, back, ever, badly, away generally, completely

Preposition Vocabulary
Prepositions are words usually in front of a noun or pronoun and expressing a relation to another word or element, like: after, down, near, of, plus, round, to

Interjection Vocabulary
Interjections have no grammatical value - words like: ah, hey, oh, ouch, um, well

Word Forms

Prefixes
List of prefixes with examples in use: non-, inter-, post-

Suffixes
Lists of suffixes and examples in use: -ation, -al, -ize

Contractions
Shortened forms of words and phrases, common in speech: I'm, aren't, here's, gonna

WH Question Words
The words we use to make question word questions: WHo, WHat, HoW

Without grammar very little can be conveyed; without vocabulary nothing can be conveyed.D.A. Wilkins, Linguistics in Language Teaching