Word classes

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.

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

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

Adjectives are words that describe nouns, like: kind, clever, expensive

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

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

Pronouns are words that take the place of nouns, like: me, you, his, it, this, that, mine, yours, who, what

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

Word Forms

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

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

Words starting with mono- and poly-
Lists of words starting with the combining forms mono- and poly-

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