Language comes before Grammar! Grammar is an attempt to describe a language. Hence, the language stands supreme and we as subordinates depend on the grammar of the language to access its virtues and mysticism. To Master the English Language, we need to understand how it works and what makes it work.
The Parts of Speech, understanding of the classification of words, is of utmost importance before one moves towards the sentence structure and advanced syntax of English.
Every name is called a Noun,
As field and fountain, street and town;
In place of the noun the Pronoun stands
As he and she can clap their hands;
The Adjective describes a thing,
As magic wand and shiny ring;
The Verb means action, something done-
To read, to write, to jump to run;
How things are done, the Adverbs tell,
As quickly, slowly, badly, well;
The Preposition shows relation,
As in the street, or at the station;
Conjunctions join, in many ways,
Sentences, words, or phrase and phrase;
!!!The Interjection cries out, ‘Hark!
I need an exclamation mark’
There is one more to be kept among winners
We know them as Article Determiners.
Through poetry, we learn how each
of these make up THE PARTS of SPEECH.
As each language has its own alphabet, it also has its own grammar. For English, all the words we see are divided into nine classes or categories. These classes are called Parts of Speech. The dictionaries we use always mention the category of the word and tell us if a word is used in multiple categories of the Parts of Speech.
Knowing the grammar of a language will not enable fluency in your speaking or writing, but it helps. Knowing the functions of the elements of language (i.e. words) helps us in their appropriate and accurate use. This preamble is necessary so as to make us read the definitions and explanations as a new thing; devoid of the stereotyping that happened to us at schools.
Note: We have been learning and memorising Parts of Speech in a sequence led by NOUNS. I wish to insist that we need to put a small correction here. It should be the VERB that initiates an urge to EXPRESS something in Words (Spoken or Written). Hence, the primary thing is the VERB, not the NOUN. Let the new order of PoS be: VERB - Adverb; Noun-Pronoun-Adjective; Prepositions-Conjunctions-Interjections-Article Determiners.
Parts of Speech:
- Article Determiners
The above given 09 samurais of English language are described in functional details below:
(First 05 have meaningful functions whereas the remaining 04 work as grammatical units and don’t stand as meaningful autonomous words.)
Something happens to us or by us to some other entity. We wish to speak or write to EXPRESS something that has happened. The fundamental understanding is that we need language to convey ACTIONS; done by or to Nouns. We have read that Pronouns refer to nouns and adjectives qualify or modify a noun. The most basic form of the verb is called ‘Infinitive’.
What is the Function of a VERB in Parts of SPEECH?
“A verb tells us what the subject does, or what happens to it, or what state it is in, or what it possesses.”
We act and something gets changed. We act and we cannot make a difference to the other thing. The former is a Transitive Action where our efforts actually get transferred to the object and therefore makes affects it. The latter is called Intransitive because we see that the VERB has an indirect effect on the Object/Noun.
The two types: (1) Transitive Verbs and (2) Intransitive Verbs
- Eklavya is writing a letter. (The Object – Letter – can come into existence only through the act of writing, hence the action is able to have direct transition and makes the verb –Writing – a Transitive Verb)
- Eklavya is writing on the paper. (It the other way here. The Paper is already a paper and the action of WRITING will not make it something else. Even if the writer does not write, the Paper shall remain as it is. We do not see any change in the OBJECT and the Verb takes an Indirect Object here.)
We see the Use of Preposition here. Eklavya is writing on the paper. This Prepositioning of the word “to” is facilitating the Transfer of Efforts to the Object. We need to understand that the transition is accomplished by ADDING TO to the VERB. It connects an Intransitive Verb to the NOUN/OBJECT in this case.
The realisation is that a PREPOSITION is positioned after the Intransitive Verb and before the Indirect Object to form a proper sentence.
This relationship between Intransitive Verbs and Prepositions is so important that we cannot afford to TEACH them separately. Unfortunately, the same has been done. Learners, who are reading this today, should share the Preposition-Intransitive Verb Relationship with all their fellow learners.
Verbs are classified into six different types: Infinitive, Transitive, Intransitive, Modal, Auxiliary, and Phrasal Verbs.
We can read more about Verbs from Wren and Martin Grammar Book. (Download this Grammar Book)
What an Adjectives does to a NOUN, an Adverb performs the same duty for a VERB. When we wish to state HOW the ACTION is DONE; when we wish to state our point of view/opinion about the ACTION, not the NOUN, we use ADVERBS. An ADverb, adds to the VERB.
The Adverbs modify or describe or qualify a VERB/Action. These are known to be of three types: (1) Adverb of Time; (2) Adverb of Place and (3) Adverb of Manner.
Time: I often go to the library.
Place: The arrow flew upwards and straight.
Manner: He writes quickly.
Any word representing something that can be seen, created, talked about, thought of, gifted or taken, can be visible or felt, can be countable or numberless… NOUN is something we remember as a presence; a character or object. These are often seen as countable/uncountable or Proper/Concrete/Abstract etc. We also explain them in terms of gender or number. We also get a division into Common/Proper/Collective Nouns.
Noun: The name of a Person, Place, Thing, Situation, Condition or Process is called a NOUN. All Nouns are NAMING WORDS! You can ask a Noun “What is Your Name?” and it will have an answer.
The Action is either done by the noun or it happens to the noun. The Noun will either be the Doer or the Receiver of the Action. We label things, places or people by using nouns.
Shiva, Delhi, Chair, Walking, Fever, Painting etc.
Types of Nouns can be read in details from web resources. We recommend a search over the web.
A Pronoun is made of two words: PRO as a Prefix and NOUN as the Root Word.
BrE /prəʊ/ ; NAmE /proʊ/
(in adjectives) in favour of; supporting pro-democracy
Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary 9th edition © Oxford University Press, 2015
The OALD entry is sufficient to confirm to us the meaning of Pronoun: the word which is in favour of Noun. It is like a friend who KNOWN as Before He comes to Support us or REPRESENT us somewhere we need to avoid going because of over-appearance. The same way we rely upon the FRIEND (‘bro as the modern term), a Noun relies on the Pronoun to refer back to itself. A Pronoun usually substitutes a Specific Noun that has already been mentioned in the written or spoken piece. It eliminates the need for a repetition of the NOUN Name.
A Pronoun is used in place of a Noun.
When we get to see a Noun, we are bound to have some opinion or observation about the same. It might be ‘mentionable’ or not but it is certain that some ‘point of view’ does happen. The emotion aroused by the noun makes us say WORDS that add some QUALITY (Negative or Positive) to the Noun. Like, you see a Rose and you observe that it is red in colour. The next expression can be ‘Red Rose’ from you in your speech or writing. This addition of the ‘Qualification’ or ‘Information’ or ‘Description’ or ‘modifying observation’ works as an Adjective.
Note that the standard pronunciation of Adjective has the ‘d’ sound silent.
Adjectives are so important that our speech can gain value just because of the use of this part of speech. We appreciate or critically evaluate Nouns through Adjectives. The faculty of observation and analysis is used in forming an opinion or comparison. An Adjective is a ‘Qualification’ of the Noun. A Noun exists without it as well. But an Adjective (used just before the noun it modifies) adds to its existence and presence. A Shirt seems like any shirt but when we add WHITE (an Adjective) it becomes quite notable to us.
There are four types of Adjectives:
Read More about Prepositions – Conjunctions – Interjections – Article Determiners
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