Reading & Writing Across Curriculum

Parts of Speech

Every word belongs to a category of similar words; these categories are called parts of speech. Some words can belong to more than one part of speech depending on how they are used; for example, help can be an action or a thing. Below are descriptions major parts of speech, plus some special sub-categories of each one. You can browse through the categories or click on the links below to go the one you are interested in.

The major parts of speech are:


definition examples used in sentences
noun: a person, place, or thing people: Michelle Gonzales, doctor, friend, Joe, Americans Joe goes to school in Livermore. Michelle Gonzales is his teacher. Ms. Gonzales taught him that Americans must value their freedom.
places: Livermore, bedroom, restaurant
things: table, dog, freedom


Special Types of Nouns

definition examples used in sentences
pronoun: a general noun standing in for a specific one he, she, it, I, you, we, hers, us Joanne has been studying French because she would like to travel to France with us.
proper noun: a formal name that must be capitalized Michelle Gonzales, California, Joanne, Las Positas College, French



definition examples used in sentences
verb: an action or state of being action verbs: run, swim, prefer, contemplate, hit, kiss, think, imitate, reflect My sister is very healthy. She runs three miles every morning. She prefers vegetarian food because she believes that it's healthier than meat. Her health seems better since she started these good habits.
being verbs: is, was, were, became, seems



definition examples used in sentences
adjective: describes a noun beautiful, intelligent, purple, obnoxious, funny, confusing, delicious, abstract, excellent Ruben is an intelligent man who has an excellent sense of humor. I would like to introduce him to my beautiful friend Celine because they both enjoy long novels and sweet desserts.



definition examples used in sentences
adverb: describes a verb, adjective, or adverb describes a verb: quickly, hungrily, quietly, yesterday, sadly, outside, forever, well Anita was very smart and extremely athletic. Her favorite sport was soccer, and she hoped to play forever. She could run quickly and pass well.
describes an adjective or adverb: very, quite, extremely, noticeably



Conjunctions are linking words. There are two types of conjunctions: coordinating conjunctions, which link two ideas equally, and subordinating conjunctions, which link two ideas making one more important than the other.

Coordinating Conjunctions

definition examples used in sentences
coordinating conjunction: links two words, phrases, or clauses (sentences) equally and, but, or, for, nor, yet, so Sophia loves dogs and cats.  I love pets, but I am allergic to most of them.


Subordinating Conjunctions

definition examples used in sentences
subordinating conjunction: links two ideas and makes one the main idea because, although, when, which Michelle can't eat nuts because she is allergic to them. Although she is allergic, she still loves nuts and wishes she could eat them.



definition examples used in sentences
preposition: pairs with a noun or noun phrase (a noun plus description) to add detail to the sentence to, from, on, between, of, during, despite, against, beside Despite Pete's nervousness, he swung at the ball with his bat. It went flying over the fence and into the crowd.



definition examples used in sentences
interjection: a word expressing emotion. It is not grammatically related to the rest of the sentence. wow, yikes, ouch, yum, good greif, well, hey, oh no Good greif, I am exhausted. You think your job is hard, huh? Well, my job is delivering weights to gyms. Wow, those are heavy!


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Page last modified: April 25, 2017