May 27, 2008

PARTS OF SPEECH: AN INTRODUCTION


Look at the FOLLOWING sentence. “I am going,” he said.

“So, do I,” replied the other friend.

“Why?” he questioned.

The first sentence ‘I am going’ is a simple sentence. Let’s ask some questions. Who is going? The answer we get from the sentence is ‘I’

What is he doing? Answer=Going. Going is the present participle of the main verb Go. ‘Am’ is the auxiliary verb. Auxiliary verbs like Do, Does, Has, Have, Had, Did, Will, Shall, Can, Could etc. only add to the main verb rather help the main verb to establish a relationship between the main verb and the Subject or the doer. Hence, they are also called as ‘Helping verbs.’ Remember some auxiliary verbs like Have, Do, Can, etc also function as main verbs in different constructions. For example, I have a motorcycle. Here the auxiliary verb is silent. I do have a motorcycle. Here have is not the auxiliary verb rather the main verb.

Therefore, to make a sentence at least we require a subject or in Speaking English a Subject or Object or Both or a Question word. However, human beings adore beauty and they want to beautify all their creations and want others’ creations as object of beauty. This beautification requires many things like Color or Texture. And in sentences we use different kinds of words to beautify our sentences. Let’s examine some.

Let’s observe some sentences.

  1. The weather/climate/shirt/colour is fine.
  2. The weather/climate/shirt/colour seems/appears/looks fine.
  3. We hate/love/ the climate/shirt/colour.
  4. The weather is fine/parky/cloudy/sunny.
  5. The weather sometimes/often/regularly changes.
  6. Ram is under/near/beside/behind the tree.

Now observe the sentences and the italicized parts.

In the first sentence, let’s ask a question. What is fine? In answers, we get the Weather, Climate, Shirt and Colour. These are but names of something. Hence, they are called NOUNS. Simply speaking the naming part of a sentence is called Noun. The name can be of a Person, of a Town, of a Quality etc.

In the second sentence, the italicized parts are called VERBS because all these suggest some activities.

In the fourth, sentence the italicized parts are called ADJECTIVES. Adjectives are but ornaments of nouns as they describe the nouns about their colours, looks, size etc.

In the fifth, sentence the italicized parts called ADVERBS. As their name suggests they add to the verb. In other word speaking, they are the ornaments of verbs. They describe and add to the verbs like their manner.

In the last sentence, the small words describe the position of nouns with regard to the verbs. They are called PREPOSITIONS. Their exact position varies but usually they go after the verbs and precede the nouns. However, very often we come across sentences with a preposition ending.

So nouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, prepositions are parts of speech. We use these in our writing and speaking. The generous and careful use of these words makes a sentence a meaningful sentence. We cannot use them at will as there are so many fixed grammatical rules regarding the use of such parts. Let’s examine the following sentence. ‘I to the store went a bag with my hand in.’ This structure has everything we require to frame a sentence but it lacks the main thing that is the meaning. And unless a sentence has meaning it is but a mismanagement personified. Now let’s arrange the same words and we get the following sentence. “I went to the store with a bag in my hand.”

The sentence has everything the first sentence had but in addition, it has a meaning that the first sentence lacked. And how to use various parts of speech there are grammatical rules and we need to learn those rules by and by.

"Follow me for Interjection and Conjunction.”

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