week 5.docx - Parts of Speech Overview Summary This handout...

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Parts of Speech Overview Summary: This handout defines the basic parts of speech and provides examples of their uses in sentences. Links to more handouts and exercises on particular parts of speech are also provided. If you are learning English as a Second Language (ESL), you may also want to browse through a complete listing of our ESL resources. Contributors: Dana Bisignani, Allen Brizee Last Edited: 2011-11-28 08:37:15 Nouns A noun is a word that denotes a person, place, or thing. In a sentence, nouns answer the questions who and what. Example: The dog ran after the ball . In the sentence above, there are two nouns, dog and ball . A noun may be concrete (something you can touch, see, etc.), like the nouns in the example above, or a noun may be abstract, as in the sentences below. Example 1: She possesses integrity . Example 2: He was searching for love . The abstract concepts of integrity and love in the sentences above are both nouns. Nouns may also be proper. Example 1: She visited Chicago every year. Example 2: Thanksgiving is in November . Chicago , Thanksgiving , and November are all proper nouns, and they should be capitalized. (For more information on proper nouns and when to capitalize words, see our handout on Capital Letters .) You may also visit our handout on Count and Noncount Nouns . Learn how to spot verbs that act as nouns. Visit our handout on Verbals: Gerunds, Participles, and Infinitives . Pronouns A pronoun is a word that takes the place of a noun in a sentence. Example: She decided to go to a movie. In the sentence above, she is the pronoun. Like nouns, pronouns may be used either as subjects or as objects in a sentence. Example: She planned to ask him for an interview. In the example above, both she and him are pronouns; she is the subject of the sentence while him is the object. Every subject pronoun has a corresponding object form, as shown in the table below. Subject and Object Pronouns Subject Pronouns Object Pronouns I Me We Us
You You She Her He Him It It They Them For more information on pronouns, go to our handout on Pronouns . To find out what part of speech are that , which , and whom ? Visit our handout on Relative Pronouns . Articles Articles include a , an , and the . They precede a noun or a noun phrase in a sentence. Example 1: They wanted a house with a big porch. Example 2: He bought the blue sweater on sale. In example 1, the article a precedes the noun house , and a also precedes the noun phrase big porch , which consists of an adjective (big) and the noun it describes (porch). In example 2, the article the precedes the noun phrase blue sweater , in which sweater is the noun and blue the adjective. For more information, go to our handouts on Articles: A vs. An and How to Use Articles (a/an/the) . Adjectives An adjective is a word that modifies, or describes, a noun or pronoun. Adjectives may precede nouns, or they may appear after a form of the reflexive verb to be (am, are, is, was, etc.).

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