Part of Speech(八大詞類)

part of speech







flower, student, water, wind, concept




move, fly, write, give




beautiful, smart, cold, strong, clever




beautifully, quickly, almost




you, she, they, my, his, mine, yourself, who




on, in, with, to, at, of, for




and, or, but, although, than, whether, how




ouch, alas (of little use to technical readers)


1.      A word may belong to several parts of speech. For example, the word “each” may be an adjective, a pronoun, or an adverb. This is one of the many reasons you need a good English-English dictionary, preferably one with lots of examples.

2.      Many grammatical constructs may be used in place of a noun, an adjective, etc.



1.         Nouns are used to name concrete or abstract things.

2.         A noun may be countable or uncountable. Countable nouns have plural forms and some plural forms are irregular. The singular form is listed as the entry word in a dictionary. A good dictionary should tell you what the plural form is if the noun is irregular.

3.         Nouns are “modified” by adjectives or other grammatical constructs that function as adjectives.

4.         When two nouns are used together, the first acts as an adjective. For example, in “computer game”, “computer” modifies “game”.

Exercise. Find all nouns in the article on the quiz. Mark whether it is singular or plural.



1.      Verbs are used to describe actions. The person or thing that performs the action is the subject(主詞).

2.      Verbs may be transitive(及物) or intransitive(不及物). A transitive verb requires an object(受詞) on which the action is applied. Some verbs require two objects, one direct and one indirect object. For example, I give him a book.

3.      Verbs may be complete(完全) or incomplete(不完全). An incomplete verb requires a complement(補語).

4.      Each verb has the following inflected forms: past tense(過去式), past participle(過去分詞), present participle(現在分詞), and third-person singular. For regular verbs, they are of the form -ed, -ed, -ing, -s. For irregular verbs, you have to memorize each separately.

5.      I’ll use the term “原形動詞” to refer to the uninflected form of a verb, as is listed in a dictionary entry.

6.      The table below summarizes all tenses in English and is very important:







I write, she writes

I am writing

I have written

I have been writing


I wrote

I was writing

I had written

I had been writing


I will write

I will be writing

I will have written

I will have been writing

7.      In short, 進行式=be+Ving,進行式= have+Ven. (Ven or p.p. is short for past participle)

8.      Auxiliary verbs(助動詞) may also be used in front of normal verbs. Common auxiliary verbs are: can, must, have to, ought to, etc.

9.      Another common construct is the passive voice(被動語態). In short, 被動語態=be+Ven

10.   Yet another commonly used verb form is the infinitive(不定詞), to+V.


Exercise. Find all verbs (including all forms of variations discussed above) in the article on the quiz and recognize the form, tense, voice, etc., if you can.


The ability to correctly recognize all possible combinations of variation listed in 6-10 above is very important to improving your English reading. Make sure you can do the exercise correctly. Verb is undoubtedly the most complicated of all parts of speech. We will get back to it time and again in this course.



1.      Adjectives are used to modify nouns and nouns only.

2.      Inflected forms of adjectives are -er and -est.

3.      Present and past participles can be used as adjectives. In this case, present participles (Ving) often imply active(主動) and ongoing(進行中) and past participles (Ven) often imply passive(被動) and completed(已完成).

Exercise. Find all adjectives in the article on the quiz.



1.      Adverbs are used to modify either verbs, adjectives, adverbs, or the entire sentence.

2.      Adverbs can be derived from adjectives by appending -ly or -wise at the end.

Exercise. Find all adverbs in the article on the quiz.



1.      Pronouns are used in place of nouns.

2.      Inflections of pronouns include 主格,受格,所有格,etc.

3.      Relative pronouns (and relative adverbs) are important in analyzing English sentences

Exercise. Find all pronouns in the article on the quiz.



1.      Prepositions are used in two ways: used before a noun to form a prepositional phrase, or used after a verb to form an idiom. Examples are “in the morning” and “put up with”, respectively.

2.      Prepositions are small in number. You should look them up in a good dictionary and memorize their many meanings as much as possible in order to master the first usage of preposition.

3.      For idioms, there is no short cut. You have to learn it one at a time.

Exercise. Find all prepositions in the article on the quiz. Decide for each occurrence whether it should go with the noun after it or the verb before it.



1.      Conjunctions are used to link grammatical structures together to form parallel or subordinate parts.

2.      There are only a limited number of patterns of its usage. Each will be dealt with separately.

Exercise. Find all conjunctions in the article on the quiz.