Words of a language are divided into several classes on the basis of their grammatical behaviour. These different word classes or lexical categories are called the parts of speech. English has eight parts of speech: nouns, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, verbs, prepositions, conjunctions and interjections. Sometimes determiners and degree modifiers are also considered as distinct parts of speech.
Same word, different parts of speech
In English, it is possible for a single word to belong to two or more parts of speech. For example, the word laugh is a noun in the sentence He gave a silly laugh but a verb in the sentence Don’t laugh at me.
In the same way, the word fast is an adjective in the sentence He likes to drive fast cars but an adverb in the sentence He drove fast.
Identifying parts of speech
Words belonging to the same part of speech exhibit very similar grammatical properties. Sometimes students find it difficult to classify words according to their parts of speech. But this is not very difficult. Here are a few tips to make your job easier.