Unit 1: Understanding What I Read – Parts of Speech
Unit 1 introduces you to the parts of speech used in Standard American English. In this unit, you will learn how to recognize the different parts of speech, and see when and where they are used. Finally, you will practice identifying the parts of speech and placing them in sentences.
Completing this unit should take you approximately 4 hours.
1.1: What is a “Part of Speech”?We start Unit 1 with grammar by learning about the eight English Parts of Speech. Grammar is difficult, but the more comfortable you are with it the easier it will be to read and write in English. We learn the parts of speech for two main reasons:
- By knowing the elements of English you’ll have an easier time using them correctly in your writing; and
- English is full of words that look or sound similar, so if you know how they’re being used you can also learn their meaning.
1.2: Nouns and Pronouns
Nouns or pronouns are found in most English sentences. A noun is simply a person, a place, or a thing. Think about concrete items: dog, tree, house, girl. A pronoun is a word that takes the place of a noun, and we use these to avoid saying the same word over and over again. Here are some examples of pronouns that can replace nouns:
- Noun → Pronoun
- Girl → She
- Tree → It
- Children → They
- Father → He
Sometimes we need to use words to describe nouns. Like a brown dog, a large car, or a happy child. The words we use to describe nouns are adjectives.
1.4: Verbs and Adverbs
Verbs and adverbs add action to sentences. A verb is a word that shows action: run, walk, sleep. An adverb is a word that describes the verb: quickly, slowly, well, bad. When we put them together we can tell a reader more about an action: slowly drive, sing beautifully, behave badly.
1.5: Prepositions and Conjunctions
Now that you've had some practice using nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, and adverbs, let's try putting them together to make sentences. Prepositions and conjunctions can help you do that. A preposition is a word that connects other words in a sentence. For example, if you write "The dog walked" you can use the preposition "in" to say where the dog walked: "The dog walked in the park". A conjunction can add another phrase to the sentence. For example, the conjunction "and" can tell you what the dog did at the park: "The dog walked in the park and chased a ball".
You now have the tools to write simple sentences in English. But have you ever come across a one-word sentence? Oops! No! Yuck! What about a word that interrupts a sentence? I wondered what to do, hmm, with all the extra food. These are interjections. We use these words to add emotion to a sentence.
Putting It All Together
You have learned about many different parts of speech and some basic guidelines to correct usage. This is a lot to take in for sure! This section will help you review what you have learned in Unit 1.
Unit 1 Assessment