digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:


Applied sciences






















In grammar, a part of speech (also a word class, a lexical class, or a lexical category) is a linguistic category of words (or more precisely lexical items), which is generally defined by the syntactic or morphological behaviour of the lexical item in question. Common linguistic categories include noun and verb, among others. There are open word classes, which constantly acquire new members, and closed word classes, which acquire new members infrequently if at all.

Almost all languages have the lexical categories noun and verb, but beyond these there are significant variations in different languages.[1] For example, Japanese has as many as three classes of adjectives where English has one; Chinese, Korean and Japanese have nominal classifiers whereas European languages do not; many languages do not have a distinction between adjectives and adverbs, adjectives and verbs (see stative verbs) or adjectives and nouns[citation needed], etc. This variation in the number of categories and their identifying properties entails that analysis be done for each individual language. Nevertheless the labels for each category are assigned on the basis of universal criteria.[1]


Since the Greek grammar of 2nd century BC, parts of speech have been defined by morphological, syntactic and semantic criteria. However, there is currently no generally agreed-upon classification scheme that can apply to all languages, or even a set of criteria upon which such a scheme should be based.


A diagram of English categories in accordance with modern linguistic studies

English words have been traditionally classified into eight lexical categories, or parts of speech (and are still done so in most dictionaries):

any abstract or concrete entity; a person (police officer, Michael), place (coastline, London), thing (necktie, television), idea (happiness), or quality (bravery)
any substitute for a noun or noun phrase (them)
any qualifier of a noun or pronoun (big)
any action (walk), occurrence (happen), or state of being (be)
any qualifier of an adjective, verb, clause, sentence, or other adverb (very)
any establisher of relation and syntactic context (in)
any syntactic connector (and)
any emotional greeting (or "exclamation") (ow)

Linguists recognize that the above list of eight word classes is drastically simplified and artificial.[2] For example, "adverb" is to some extent a catch-all class that includes words with many different functions. Some have even argued that the most basic of category distinctions, that of nouns and verbs, is unfounded,[3] or not applicable to certain languages.[4][5] Although these eight are the traditional eight English parts of speech, modern linguists have been able to classify English words into even more specific categories and subcategories based on function.

The four main parts of speech in English, namely nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs, are labelled form classes as well. This is because prototypical members of each class share the ability to change their form by accepting derivational or inflectional morphemes. The term form is used because it refers literally to the similarities in shape of the word in its pronunciation and spelling for each part of speech.[6]

Neither written nor spoken English generally marks words as belonging to one part of speech or another, as they tend to be understood in the context of the sentence. Words like neigh, break, outlaw, laser, microwave, and telephone might all be either verb forms or nouns. Although -ly is a frequent adverb marker, not all adverbs end in -ly (-wise is another common adverb marker) and not all words ending in -ly are adverbs. For instance, tomorrow, fast, very can all be adverbs, while early, friendly, ugly are all adjectives (though early can also function as an adverb). Verbs can also be used as adjectives (e.g. "The astonished child watched the spectacle unfold" instead of the verb usage "The unfolding spectacle astonished the child"). In such cases, the verb is in its participle form.

In certain circumstances, even words with primarily grammatical functions can be used as verbs or nouns, as in, "We must look to the hows and not just the whys."

Functional classification[edit]

The study of linguistics has expanded the understanding of lexical categories in various languages and allowed for better classifying words by function. Common lexical categories in English by function may include:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Kroeger, Paul (2005). Analyzing Grammar: An Introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 35. ISBN 978-0-521-01653-7. 
  2. ^ Zwicky, Arnold (30 March 2006). "What part of speech is "the"". Language Log. Retrieved 26 December 2009. "...the school tradition about parts of speech is so desperately impoverished" 
  3. ^ Hopper, P; Thompson, S (1985). "The Iconicity of the Universal Categories 'Noun' and 'Verbs'". In John Haiman. Typological Studies in Language: Iconicity and Syntax 6. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company. pp. 151–183. 
  4. ^ Launey, Michel (1994). Une grammaire omniprédicative: essai sur la morphosyntaxe du nahuatl classique. Paris: CNRS Editions. 
  5. ^ Broschart, Jürgen (1997). "Why Tongan does it differently: Categorial Distinctions in a Language without Nouns and Verbs". Linguistic Typology 1 (2): 123–165. doi:10.1515/lity.1997.1.2.123. 
  6. ^ Klammer, Thomas; Schulz, Muriel R.; Della Volpe, Angela (2009). Analyzing English Grammar (6th ed.). Longman. 

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Part_of_speech — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
1000000 videos foundNext > 


Introduction to the eight parts of speech with a mnemonic device to help remember the first initials of all eight. For more lessons in grammar, go to www.321...

ไวยากรณ์ภาษาอังกฤษ เรื่อง Part of speech

สวัสดีค่ะทุกคน คลิปนี้สร้างขึ้นเพื่อถ่ายทอดความรู้เกี่ยวกับภาษาอังกฤษ เรื่อง Part of speech และเป็นส่วนหนึ่งของการเรียนการสอนรายวิชา การประเมินและพัฒนานวัตกร...


The eight parts of speech are reviewed. The action verb and state-of-being verb are discussed. For more lessons in grammar, go to www.321grammar.com.

Learn English अंग्रेजी सीखें: Parts of Speech/ Introduction

Our humble attempt to help Hindi speaking students learn basics of English Grammar! In this part, starting with a brief introduction of the steps involved in...

Parts of Speech - English Grammar Lesson

SuccessCDs Education ( https://www.youtube.com/successcds1 ) is an online channel focused on providing education through Videos as per CBSE, ICSE and NCERT s...

Grammar: Brief and Naughty - Part 1: The 8 Parts of Speech

Teach Kids Productions humbly presents Grammar: Brief and Naughty. Noah Webster joins us to explore all eight parts of speech (nouns, pronouns, adjectives, v...

8 parts of speech (grammar) lecture by Jyotsna Saini

This is a part of lecture presented by Ms. Jyotsna saini, Asst.Proffesor of Biyani Girls College. The video is about the 8 parts of speech 1. Noun 2. Pronoun...

4.Spoken English - Parts of speech Part.A

Spoken English tutorials in Telugu.This video is about parts of speech in English language.Hope it is useful for you folks.

Grammar 1-1: Parts of Speech

CCEL SMRT instructor Mark Roberts explains five parts of speech in English.


Eight parts of speech revisited. Adjective is introduced. For more lessons in grammar, go to www.321grammar.com.

1000000 videos foundNext > 

49 news items

Oak Park Leaves
Tue, 02 Sep 2014 10:15:00 -0700

The toughest part of Speech's transition to the outside has been the raised expectations on defense. As a middle, she rarely played a full rotation, but coaches cannot sub for outside hitters as easily. “My digging is picking up,” Speech said. “My ...
Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)
Mon, 01 Sep 2014 18:07:30 -0700

Each fish also has a different word written on it. After you catch a fish, you must then run with it to the other side of the gym, where you will find several plates for your team. You must put your fish on the appropriate plate, based upon which part ...
Kansas City Star
Mon, 01 Sep 2014 10:03:45 -0700

And the F-word is Mann's favorite word: “It can be any part of speech!” Alpert is not potty-mouthed in real life — she says she has a potty pen. “My book is the scary, messy, disgusting, tortuous side of parenting.” She said she dialed up the foul ...
Illawarra Mercury
Thu, 28 Aug 2014 05:15:00 -0700

This week the importance of such work is being highlighted as part of Speech Pathology Week. Ms Jennings, Ms Revell and Ms Collier know the importance of timely and specialist intervention from a speech pathologist. They are aware how much being ...
Milton Ulladulla Times
Wed, 27 Aug 2014 13:37:30 -0700

Blaed's improvements are among many being celebrated this week as part of Speech Pathology Week, focusing on the theme a nation for communication. Ms Walsh said speech pathology could improve the lives of many people, not just those with challenges ...
Mon, 11 Aug 2014 14:01:30 -0700

The word conjunction, as you may remember from English class or Schoolhouse Rock, is a part of speech that connects words, sentences or clauses, a joining or pairing of two or more things. In astronomy, when celestial objects appear to come together, ...
Pacific Standard
Wed, 27 Aug 2014 06:07:30 -0700

Five television screens, clustered together in a small control room, stream the actions of a young man sitting in the room next door. Although his elaborate gestures are quite attention grabbing, two researchers stand watching one screen in particular ...
Yahoo News
Fri, 15 Aug 2014 15:41:15 -0700

The word conjunction, as you may remember from English class or Schoolhouse Rock, is a part of speech that connects words, sentences or clauses, a joining or pairing of two or more things. In astronomy, when celestial objects appear to come together, ...

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Talk About Part of speech

You can talk about Part of speech with people all over the world in our discussions.

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!