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Parts of Speech

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‘It gets hectic around here at lunchtime’ Is 'hectic' a verb, noun or adjective?

English speech can be separated into eight basic categories:


Each category tells how a word is used in a sentence, but not what the word means. Sometimes the same word can be used in different ways. For example:

'Yuya plays the piano'. In this sentence 'plays' is a verb.
'The play starts at 7pm'. In this sentence 'play' is a noun.

Let's take a look at some examples of each category:


'Dogs are cute.'

In this sentence 'Dogs' is the noun and the subject of the sentence. To put it simply, nouns are 'things': Table, Africa, Money, David Beckham – all of these are nouns.


'Simon jumped off the wall.'

Here 'jumped' is the verb. It refers to an action.


'Tokyo is a big city.'

In this sentence 'big' is an adjective. Adjectives are used to describe a noun or a pronoun.


'They always drive to work.'

Here 'they' is a pronoun. Pronouns are used to identify nouns.


'She quietly walked away.'

Here 'quietly' is an adverb. Adverbs give us more information about a verb or adjective.


'My birthday is in May.'

In this sentence 'in' is a preposition. Prepositions are used to connect words and they usually come before a noun or pronoun.


'Although he likes baseball, he is not very good at it.'

In this sentence 'although' is a conjunction. Conjunctions are used to connect clauses, phrases and words in a sentence.


'Hey! Watch where you are going!'

In this sentence 'Hey' is an interjection. Interjections are used to show a sudden expression of emotion.

Now read through the following sentences and choose the correct match for the key words:

  • 'Sheila was bitten by a SNAKE'.

  • 'WOW! This tastes great!'

  • 'She CRUSHED the can with her hands.'

  • 'Your brother plays the piano WONDERFULLY'.

  • 'It is HECTIC around here at lunchtime'.

  • 'I finished reading my book WHILE she was sleeping.'

  • 'The bank is BETWEEN the post office and the church.'

  • 'This coat is not MINE.'

  • 'SHE ran all the way home after school.'

  • 'The Letter 'a' comes BEFORE 'b' in the alphabet.'

  • 'Call me WHEN you are ready.'

  • 'It was WINDY all day'.

  • 'UNFORTUNATELY, I have to work tomorrow.'

  • 'Did the phone RING?

  • 'PHEW. That was close!'

  • 'You should go and see a DENTIST'.