Home Page Button Syllabus / Policies Button Composition Button Grammar Button Rhetoric Button Rhetoric Button Literature button poetry button classical button medieval button Renaissance Button Vocabulary Button


Traditional Grammatical Parts of Speech

ADJECTIVE: A part of speech that modifies, enumerates, or describes a noun, or which otherwise denotes its qualities (Algeo 311). For example, consider this sentence:

The ugly man ate the seven luscious apples.

The word ugly is an adjective modifying the noun man. The words luscious and seven are adjectives modifying the noun apple. Contrast with adverb, below. Note that verbals describing words (running, broken) are considered adjectives.

ADVERB: A part of speech that modifies sentences, verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs. Often adverbs in English are words ending in the suffix -ly. Adjectives explain how or in what way. Often adjectives intensify the word that follows them. For example, consider this sentence:

The very ugly man rapidly ate the luscious apple.

The word very is an adverb modifies the adjective ugly. It explains how ugly. The word rapidly is an adverb that modifies the verb ate. It explains in what way the man ate the apple. Contrast with adjective, above.

ARTICLE: The words the, a, and an are articles. They appear before nouns to indicate the quality of definiteness or indefiniteness. The is the definite article and a and an are indefinite articles.

CONJUNCTION: A word that connects or joins parts of a sentence together. Conjunctions fall into three categories. The first group includes the pure or coordinating conjunctions (and, or, but, nor, for, and sometimes yet), which can join all sorts of words, phrases, or clauses together with appropriate punctuation.

EXAMPLE: I ran around the track and drank water, Gatorade, and lemonade.

EXAMPLE: I ran around the track several times, and I drank some water and Gatorade.

Second, subordinate conjunctions (such as if, because, when, until etc.) can connect dependent clauses to independent clauses. If the clause appears appears after the independent clause, it uses no commas.

EXAMPLE: I drank some water because I ran around the track until I became tired.

However, if the subordinate conjunction and the subordinate clause appear before the independent clause, a comma separates it from the rest of the sentence.

EXAMPLE: Because I ran around the track, I became tired.

Third, conjunctive adverbs (such as however, therefore, moreover, accordingly, etc.) can be used after a semicolon (with a comma following) to connect two closely related independent clauses together.

EXAMPLE: I ran around the track several times; accordingly, I need to drink some water.











To Home Page
Copyright Dr. L. Kip Wheeler 1998-2018. Permission is granted for non-profit, educational, and student reproduction. Last updated April 24, 2018. Contact: kwheeler@cn.edu Please e-mail corrections, suggestions, or comments to help me improve this site. Click here for credits, thanks, and additional copyright information.