Tests For The Parts Of Speech
Previously in the English Language Basics series, I explained about:
- The Eight Classes Grouping All Words In The English Language
- How To Classify Words Into Parts Of Speech
- Anatomy Of A Simple Sentence In English Language
A Quick Recap
1) Parts of speech are classes or groups into which words are divided or classified according to their use in speech of writing. There are eight classes or parts of speech: noun, pronoun, verb, adjective, adverb, proposition, conjunction, interjection.
2) We have also seen that a word can be used as various parts of speech, that is, it is polymorphic.
- This is a light room
- Sarah will light the gas
- The light is dim right now
As you can observe, the word ‘light‘ is being used under the same form, but conveying different meaning in each sentence. With simple sentences, such as above, it might be easy to guess their form, but what about when sentences get complex? This is why I have brought forward the ‘Test For Parts Of Speech‘.
How To Find Out The Parts Of Speech Of Words?
The following questions should be asked:
1) Find out which words in the sentence is saying something about an object?
=> Those words are verbs
2) Which words are names?
=> These are nouns
3) Which words stand in the place of nouns?
=> These are pronouns
4) Which words describe or qualify a noun or pronoun?
=> These are adjectives
5) Which words modify other groups of words (aka parts of speech)?
=> These are adverbs
6) Which parts of speech show the relation of an object to something else?
=> These are prepositions
7) Which are merely exclamatory?
=> These are interjections
The Test At Work – The Example
Consider the sentence:
‘The CEO of the firm immediately asked problogger whether he would accept this small gift’.
1) Words like ‘asked‘, ‘would accept‘, make statements; they show an action – hence these are verbs.
2) ‘CEO‘, ‘firm‘, ‘problogger‘, ‘gift‘ are names. They are thus nouns.
3) ‘he‘ stands for ‘problogger‘, so it is a pronoun.
4) ‘the‘, ‘motivated‘, ‘this‘, ‘small‘ describe ‘CEO‘, ‘problogger‘, ‘gift‘ respectively – they are adjectives.
5) ‘immediately‘ tells us something about the ‘asking‘, it tells us when that action took place – It’s an adverb.
6) ‘whether‘ joins the two sentences: ‘The CEO.. problogger‘ and ‘he… gift.‘
Therefore, it is a conjunction.
7) The word ‘of‘ connects the nouns ‘firm‘ and ‘CEO‘, it is obviously a preposition.
Daily Short Exercise For You – The Reader!
=> Break the sentence of the example above into: subjects, predicates, verbs and objects..etc.
Hint: Read Anatomy Of A Simple Sentence