Parts of Speech - An Introduction

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Introduction to Parts of Speech in English Grammar

Parts of Speech – An Introduction :

In order to construct a grammatically correct sentence, we use words in a certain order that creates dependency of one word on the other. This dependency results in performance of specific roles by different words. There are eight different categories or roles that can be assigned to a word when it is used in a sentence. However, same word can play one or more roles in a single sentence as well as in different sentences. These different roles are what we call as Parts of Speech.

Hence, the term “Parts of Speech” refers to the categories into which words can be classified according to the function performed by them when they are used in a sentence. So, ‘Part’ here means the role of a word in a sentence and not a section or fragment of the sentence. And ‘Speech’ here means a sentence and not an act of producing sound with the help of our organs.

Following table introduces us to the eight Parts of Speech with a few examples and their basic functions :

Parts of Speech




Naming words. Names of persons, places, things, ideas, feelings or qualities.

boy, student, Tom, Rita, India, book, table, greatness, health, wisdom


Proxy nouns. Used in place of nouns.

I, we, you, he, she, it, myself, they


Qualifying or modifying words. Qualify nouns & pronouns.

Good, beautiful, wise, urgent, simple, awesome, tall, short, greedy, rich


Denote action or state of being.

Go, do, come, sit, create, enable, make, sing, hear, rise, tell, dig, wash, run, bathe, speak, listen  


Qualifying words. Qualify verbs, adjectives or other adverbs.

Smoothly, carefully, clearly, quickly, seldom, always, cheerfully, neatly


Tell relationship or relative position of nouns or pronouns with other words (especially nouns and / or pronouns) in a sentence with respect to time, place or space.

At, on, upon, to, into, before, after, over, under, above, below, by, with, towards, till, until, for, from, since, beside, besides  


Joining words. Join words, phrases and clauses.

And, or, but, therefore, because, otherwise, else, yet, either …. or, neither ….. nor, though, although


Express sudden feelings or emotions of joy, sorrow, happiness and excitement.

Oh!, Uff!, Alas!, Wow!, Hurrah!

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