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The Parts of Speech iceberg shed Noun vinca puppy with toy COMMON NOUNS PROPER NOUNS man town mountain human rights George Lansing, Illinois Mount Everest The US Constitution Pronoun Personal pronouns refer to specific persons or things. They always function as noun equivalents. *PE RS O NA L PR O N O U NS Singular: I, me, you, she, her, he, him, it Plural: we, us, you, they, them Relative pronouns introduce subordinate clauses functioning as adjectives (The man who robbed us was never caught). In addition to introducing the clause, the relative pronoun, in this case who, points back to a noun or pronoun that the clause modifies (man). (See 63b.) REL AT IV E PR O N O U NS who, whom, whose, which, that Some textbooks also treat whichever, whoever, whomever, what, and whatever as relative pronouns. These words introduce noun clauses; they do not point back to a noun or pronoun. (See 63b.) Indefinite pronouns refer to nonspecific persons or things. Most are always singular (everyone, each); some are always plural (both, many); a few may be singular or plural (see 21e). Most indefinite pronouns function as noun equivalents (Something is burning), but some can also function as adjectives (All campers must check in at the lodge). I NDE F I N IT E PR O N O U NS all another any anybody anyone anything both each either everybody everyone everything few many neither nobody several none some no one somebody nothing someone one something* *Copied from Diana Hacker’s The Bedford Handbook Verb Helping Verbs: * F OR MS O F H AVE , DO , A ND B E have, has, had do, does, did be, am, is, are, was, were, being, been M ODA LS can, could, may, might, must, shall, should, will, would The phrase ought to is often classified as a modal as well.* Main Verbs: Action Verbs throw catch kick think pause pursue speak . . . and so forth Linking Verbs be (am, is, are, was, were, been, being) become remain It takes a verb to express a thought. The subject, either a noun or a pronoun, does something or is something. Thus, “Raul kicks the ball.” But one can also say, “Raul is a man” or “Raul is happy.” The word “kicks” is an action verb while the word “is” is a linking verb (also called a state-of-being verb). Adjective An adjective is a word or a group of words that describes a noun or a pronoun, which means that it makes a person, place, thing, or idea clearer, such as when one says that “Duane is a good man.” The word “good” applies to the noun “man,” and “good man” stands for “Duane.” Adjectives can be single words or phrases or clauses. Following are a few examples, with the adjectives indicated in yellow highlight: In the long run, a good deed is always rewarded. Just because it tastes sweet, that doesn’t make it healthy. Singing in a clear voice, she made an excellent impression. A bird in the hand is worth a dozen in the bush. The person who gives others their just due is truly happy. I don’t want to be someone who lets envy get the better of him. Please notice that in each case the word or group of words in highlight somehow expands the meaning of the noun or pronoun that is being modified. And adjective points out some kind of particular quality or characteristic of the noun or pronoun under discussion. There’s a big difference between saying, “He’s a tall man,” and saying, “He’s a small man.” There’s a lot of difference conveyed in these two words. Adverb An adverb is a word or group of words that gives additional information about a verb--or another adverb or adjective. That means that it makes something about the action or the modification clearer. It can tell how the action is happening, where it is happening, when it is happening, why it is happening, under what conditions it is happening, or to what extent it is happening. When the adverb is modifying another adverb or adjective, it answers the question how? Below are examples of adverbs at work. I’ve indicated the adverbs in yellow highlight or in yellow and then green highlight when they are placed one right next to the other. An adverb, just as an adjective, can be a single word, a phrase, or a clause: The student walks slowly across the parking lot. He went to school yesterday. Nobody can always be right. He was pushed to speak his mind although he didn’t want to do so. Because John is hungry, he goes to the store. There is no problem any more since the fine has been paid. Please notice that the adverb does not express an action; it modifies an action, making clearer its manner of operation, time of happening, place of happening, reason for happening, or circumstances in some other way of its happening. Preposition A preposition is a kind of “pointer” word. It links the noun or pronoun that comes after it to the rest of the clause as either an adjective or an adverb. The preposition along with its noun or pronoun (as well as any modifiers of that noun or pronoun if there are any) is called a prepositional phrase. So therefore every prepositional phrase is working as a modifier, either as an adjective or as an adverb. I’m including a list of the common prepositional phrases as copied from The Bedford Handbook: about above across after against along among around as at before behind below beside besides between beyond but by concerning considering despite down during except for from in inside into like near next of off on onto opposite out outside over past plus regarding respecting round since than through throughout till to toward under underneath unlike until unto up upon with within without And here are a few examples of prepositional phrases working as adjectives (in yellow highlight) or as adverbs (in green highlight): The man in that room is pacing across the floor. The world in which we live is dangerous but exciting. Nobody wants to live among a tribe of thieves. The best of everything is sometimes not good for anything. Conjunction The conjunction is a word or group of words that “conjoin” two words or groups of words. So another way of putting it is that the conjunction is a “joining word” or words. Conjunctions can join exactly equal units, such as two nouns or two verbs, or they can join unequal units, such as a dependent clause to an independent clause. The first group of conjunctions that join equal (parallel units) is called “coordinating conjunctions” while the second group is called “subordinating conjunctions.” Here are the conjunctions taken from Diana Hacker’s The Bedford Handbook: A coordinating conjunction is used to connect grammatically equal elements. The coordinating conjunctions are and, but, or, nor, for, so, and yet. C O OR DI N AT I NG C O N J U N CT I O NS Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime. Admire a little ship, but put your cargo in a big one. In the first sentence, and connects two nouns; in the second, but connects two independent clauses. Correlative conjunctions come in pairs: either . . . or; neither . . . nor; not only . . . but also; whether . . . or; both . . . and. Like coordinating conjunctions, they connect grammatically equal elements. C OR RE LA TI VE C O N J U N CT I O NS Either Jack Sprat or his wife could eat no fat. A subordinating conjunction introduces a subordinate clause and indicates its relation to the rest of the sentence. Common subordinating conjunctions SU B ORD I NA T I NG C O N J U N CT I O NS after although as as if because before even though how if in order that rather than since so that than that though unless until when where whether while why Interjection Yike! Gee! Yay! And since it doesn’t function within the sentence to convey the meaning of the sentence, I’ll say no more about the interjection.