Welcome to class!
In today’s class, we will be talking about parts of speech. Enjoy the class!
Parts of Speech
As you already know, Noun is the name of any person, animal, place or thing. But that sounds like a primary school definition, isn’t it?
Personally, I always prefer to use another definition for advance students like you. So I say:
A noun is a naming word.
Though it is very simple, it captures the whole idea of what noun is all about.
There are seven major types of noun. For the sake of understanding, I prefer to group six of them into pairs as follows:
- Compound Noun and Proper Noun
- Abstract Noun and Concrete Noun
- Countable Noun and Uncountable Noun
- The 7th type of noun is called Collective Noun.
Now let us compare those pairs instead of defining them one by one.
While Compound Nouns refer to items that are generally categorized such as boy, girl, woman, animal, lion, dog, school, city, country, cup, chair and tree, Proper Nouns are the particular names of those (compound) items, such as Smith, Halima, Mrs Uzo, German Shepherd, Siberian Husky, Genesis High School, Mictec International School, Queens College, Sango Otta, Port Harcourt, Italy,
Note that the examples above are drawn from the name of persons, animals, places and things. Note also that all proper noun begins with uppercase including those that have two or more items in their naming such as Genesis High School.
Abstract Nouns refer to ideas or things we can neither see nor grasp such as air, joy, sense, or year, while we use concrete nouns in the opposite to refer to things we can touch or see, such as a cup, phone, book, house.
Countable Noun and Uncountable Noun are also called Count Noun and Mass Noun. Count Nouns refer to entities that can be counted (water, sand, electricity) while Mass Nouns refer to those that cannot be counted (vehicle, chair, country).
Collective Noun refers to what the name implies. Examples are audience, congregation, flock and herd.
A pronoun is a word used in the place of a noun. Pronoun helps us to avoid redundancy or unnecessary repetitions in sentences. For instance, if you went to the beach with your two friends and you want to tell me about it, you wouldn’t say:
Frank, Oye and I went to the beach yesterday. When Frank, Oye and I got to the beach, Frank, Oye and I jumped into the water and started splashing water on Frank, Oye and I…
Do you see how terrible that is?
We use a pronoun to avoid such problematic way of speaking. So, instead, you tell me:
Frank, Oye and I went to the beach yesterday…
After mentioning the names in the first instance, you insert the proper pronoun to refer to the three of you as follows:
When we got to the beach, we jumped into the water and started splashing water on one another.
A verb is an action word. It is the most important item in any sentence because it states action performed. But do you know that verbs don’t always refer to actions alone? Consider the following examples:
- The president flew to Lagos this morning.
- The president looks
While ‘the president’ performs an action in the first sentence (flew), it (the word ‘president’) performs no action in the second (looks). This type of verb is called ‘state-of-being’ verb.
State-of being verbs do not perform actions in sentences, they only show a state of being. Only a few verbs can do this, and they include BE (be, is, am, was, are, were, been and being), seem, appear, become and look.
More examples include:
- Birds are beautiful
- Water appears scarce
- His name became very popular.
We use adjectives to give further information about nouns.
If three men are standing together, and I tell you, ‘please call that man for me’, you would be confused because you don’t know which of the men you’re supposed to call.
But if I describe the man I want you to call with an adjective, it will be difficult for all the three men to fit into that category. That’s why we need adjectives. So to avoid confusing you, I would tell you, ‘please call that tall man for me’.
We also have attributive and predicative adjectives. Attributive adjectives come before the noun while predicative adjectives come after the noun. Consider the following examples:
A hungry dog The dog is hungry
Those white women Those women are white
That tall building That building is tall
Note that the adjectives in the first column are attributive and those in the second are predicative.
Adverbs give further information about verbs. More often, adverbs answer a major question in sentences: how. It gives a detailed description of the manner in which an action is performed
Consider the following examples:
- Marvelous danced beautifully at the party yesterday.
- We walked fast to the venue.
- The poor boy ate the food hungrily
Note that each of the adverbs above refers back to the verb preceding them, and not the noun.
You will learn more about adverbs in subsequent classes.
Prepositions show the relationship between words in sentences. In other words, they help create links between words of the same class or others. Examples are: in, unto, up, through, down, before, beside, etc.
- The house is on the mountain.
- They passed through the desert.
- The country is on lockdown.
We use conjunctions to connect words, phrases, clauses or sentences together. Examples include but, and, or, as, because and yet. Consider the following examples:
- Mariam and Simpson came here today (joins two words)
- The boy and his little sister have been rushed to the hospital (joins two phrases)
- Daodu searched everywhere but he did not find the money (joins two sentences)
Before rounding off this lesson, I will like you to note that Parts of Speech are also referred to as Word Class or Word Group, and I can use the name interchangeably in any of our subsequent classes.
In our next class, we will be talking about Pure Vowels, Articles and Writing Skills. We hope you enjoyed the class.
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