parts of speech

parts of speech
parts of speech
The traditional parts of speech (also called wordclasses) that have been in use for English since the 16c are noun, verb, adjective, adverb, pronoun, preposition, conjunction, and interjection. Some of these are subdivided; for example pronouns can be demonstrative (this, those, etc.), personal (he, she, we, etc.), possessive (his, theirs), or relative (who, which). These categories were taken over from those used to describe Latin grammar and often barely suit the word functions and sentence structure of English. The concept of ‘adverb’, for example, embraces words that are far apart in both function and meaning (ever, fast, only, safely, thankfully, well, etc). Other words are often described in special ways, such as a and an (indefinite article, determiner), the (definite article, determiner), much (quantifier). For general purposes, however, the traditional names remain in use despite their inadequacies, and they are used in this book rather than the more specialized terms that have been adopted in modern linguistics. The main parts of speech listed above have separate entries, to which the reader is referred for further information.

Modern English usage. 2014.

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