The Various “Word-Classes” and “Parts-Of-Speech”
So after we have learned the letters of the Grammar – covered in The Alphabet – then the next logical “place to go”, is to the subject of Words. And there certainly are a lot of them.
And, as in any spoken and written language, there are many different Types (or Kinds) of words. This is what we are referring to by the terms, “Word-Classes” and “Parts-Of-Speech”.
What Is The Difference Between The Terms
“Word-Classes” & “Parts-Of-Speech”?
Most “academics” and “scholars” would say that there is no difference between the two; that they are simply different terms for the same thing. But then they obviously are not using their brains very well.
A “Word-Class” is exactly that… a “Class” of “Word”. It is a specific type or kind of word, which are all described below. Even though this term is used to also describe the “Phrases” that are made by the “Word-Classes” – this is obviously a mistake, because a Phrase is not a “Word”… A phrase is a collection of words.
A “Part-Of-Speech” is exactly that… a “Part” of the “Speech” of a language. This includes “Word-Classes”, but it also includes the “Phrases” made by the combination of these words. And finally, it is an in-adequate term because “Speech” does not include the written form… (but then neither does the word “language”.) We will discuss “Parts-Of-Speech” on a separate page.
Moving On Then…
The number of different “Word-Classes” is debatable, and I do not wish to get into that debate. So I will just say that their are 8 + 2 different word classes. They are:
(in order of perceived “importance”)
- Nouns – (Simply put): These are words that describe “things” – either “real” or in “imagined”.
- Determiners – (Simply put): These are words which are added to nouns, to make a noun phrase. Their function is to answer the question (about the noun) “Which one?”
- Pronouns – (Simply put): These are words which refer to another noun, when a determiner doesn’t necessarily work. Their function is to answer the question (about the noun) “Whose?” or “Who?”.
- Verbs – (Simply put): These are words which describe action or a state of being. The state of being is of the noun. The action could be of the noun, or to the noun.
- Adjectives – (Simply put): These are words which describe the quality of a noun, or other adjectives (when one simply isn’t enough to properly describe the “thing”). Nouns can also function as adjectives.
- Adverbs – (Simply put): These are words which further describe the verb. In other words, they describe how an action was done, or the purpose and/or condition of the state of being… They “Add” to the “Verbs”.
- Prepositions – (Simply put): These are words which either describe the physical location of some “thing” or the “location” in time of an action, event or idea. They are the “Pre-” “Position” of the “thing” which is needed to comprehend the nature of that thing.
- Conjunctions – (Simply put) these are words that join-together other words and phrases. They create “junctions” for different ideas expressed in sentences.
- Interjections – (Simply put) these are words which add to, or “interject” (a more formal way of saying interrupt) some thought or idea into a situation. They are ways of stating commands or emotionally expressing thoughts. They are not necessarily phrases or sentences, and usually do not require or invite added discourse. But, they are very-much a “Part-Of-Speech” and a “Word-Class” regardless of whether or not they are considered such by “academics” and “scholars”
- Numbers – (Simply put): These are words (even in their symbol, rather than word, form) which count things. Their function is to answer the question, “How Much?” or “How Many?” – and therefore, are very-much a “Part of Speech” & “Word-Class”… regardless of whether or not they are considered such by “academics” and “scholars”
These are obviously, (as it is clearly stated above) only simplifications of each word, so further study of each type may be needed. But after that, this page can serve as a reminder, when the definition is not easily re-called… So Get Studying!!!