English Language Blog

A good old English grammar review. Posted by on Sep 12, 2014 in English Grammar

Image "My Grammar and I" by Gwydion M. Williams on Flickr.com.

Image “My Grammar and I” by Gwydion M. Williams on Flickr.com.

It is time to do a review of the parts of speech in English! This post will be a review for many people, but for some it may be introductory. For everyone there is a practice exercise at the end of this post for you to see how well you know your parts of speech.


Parts of speech are words that are found in sentences. Each word, in every sentence, in all of English, belongs to one of the parts of speech listed below – there are no exceptions. We use the different parts of speech (i.e. verbs, nouns, pronouns) to make sentences, and if we put the parts of speech together in the right order our sentences are understandable to others. That is the goal, right? To write and say sentences that makes sense to others and mean what we want them to mean. This is why it is good to know the different parts of speech and how they are used.


Let’s take a look at all the parts of speech in English to help us better do what we want to do with our words – say something!


Nouns:  Nouns are naming words for people, places, and things. We can’t talk or write about anything until we have given it a name.


Pronouns: A pronoun is a word that stands in for a noun so that we don’t have to repeat the name of a noun over and over again. In English we have male (he), female (she), and gender neutral (it) pronouns.


Verbs: A verb expresses action. You could say the verb is the motor that runs the sentence (like a motor runs a car), without it there would be no movement.


Adjectives: An adjective is a word that describes a noun. It adds descriptive or more detailed information about the noun, but the adjective is not a noun itself.


Adverbs: An adverb is a word that describes a verb. It can also describe another adverb or an adjective. It adds descriptive meaning.


Prepositions: A preposition shows or draws connections between nouns/pronouns and other words in a sentence.  In English, prepositions go before (or in front of) nouns/pronouns in sentences.


Conjunctions: A conjunction joins words and groups of words together. Conjunctions are the glue that holds other words together in a sentence.


Interjections: An interjection is a word or phrase that express an emotion (like ‘Oh!’). It is its own unique kind of word and shouldn’t be confused with a noun. Onomatopoeia is a kind of interjection.


Those are the parts of speech in English, now here is your practice. Take a look at the group of words below and separate them out into these eight different parts of speech. Scroll down to see if you got them all right.



be, an, but, I, boo, the, ouch!, when, silently, some, bird, would, John, and, hi, you, quickly, music, she, to, some, after, English, two, on, interesting, job, when, wish, very








Nouns:  bird, John, music, English, job

Pronouns: I, you, she

Verbs: be, would, wish

Adjectives: an, the, some, two, interesting

Adverbs:  silently, quickly, very

Prepositions: to, after, on

Conjunctions: but, and, when

Interjections: boo, ouch!, hi,


Now here is your real challenge, see if you can write a (long) English sentence using as many of these words as possible! Please share it with us all in the comment section below

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About the Author: Gabriele

Hi there! I am one of Transparent Language's ESL bloggers. I am a 32-year-old native English speaker who was born and raised in the United States. I am living in Washington, DC now, but I have lived all over the US and also spent many years living and working abroad. I started teaching English as a second language in 2005 after completing a Master's in Applied Linguists and a Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults' (CELTA). Since that time I have taught ESL in the United States at the community college and university level. I have also gone on to pursue my doctorate in psychology and now I also teach courses in psychology. I like to stay connected to ESL learners around the world through Transparent Languages ESL Blog. Please ask questions and leave comments on the blog and I will be sure to answer them.