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English Parts of Speech

There are eight different English parts of speech, but before we continue any further...

What is a Part of Speech?


A part of speech is a group of words that are used in a certain way. For example, "run," "jump," and "be" are all used to
describe actions/states. Therefore they belong to the VERBS group.

In other words, all words in the English language are divided into eight different categories. Each category has a different
role/function in the sentence.

The English parts of speech are:


Nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions and interjections.

Same Word – Several Parts of Speech


In the English language many words are used in more than one way. This means that a word can function as several
different parts of speech.

For example, in the sentence "I would like a drink" the word "drink" is a noun. However, in the sentence "They drink too
much" the word "drink" is a verb. So it all depends on the word's role in the sentence.

Nouns
A noun is a word that names a person, a place or a thing.

Examples:
Sarah, lady, cat, New York, Canada, room, school, football, reading.

Example sentences:
People like to go to the beach.
Emma passed the test.
My parents are traveling to Japan next month.

The word "noun" comes from the Latin word nomen, which means "name," and nouns are indeed how we name people,
places and things.

Common Nouns
A common noun is a noun that names a general thing, not a specific thing.

Examples:
Boy, girl, city, country, company, planet, location, war.

Proper Nouns
A proper noun is a noun that indicates the specific name of a thing. It begins with a capital letter.

Examples:
Robin, Alice, London, Sweden, Google, Earth, Eiffel Tower, Civil War.
(Compare these examples to ones in the "Common nouns" section to see the difference.)

Countable Nouns
A countable noun is a noun that indicates something you could actually count.
For example, you could count pigs: one pig, two pigs, three pigs...
However, you couldn't count water: one water, two water – no, it doesn't work...

A countable noun has both a singular and a plural form, and it can be used with the indefinite articles (a/an).

Examples:
Window, teacher, tree, lion, eye, cloud, pencil, heart, movie.

Uncountable Nouns
An uncountable noun is a noun that indicates something you cannot count.

For example, you could count pigs: one pig, two pigs, three pigs...
However, you couldn't count water: one water, two water – no, it doesn't work...

An uncountable noun has only one form (no plural), and it cannot be used with the indefinite articles (a/an).

Examples:
Furniture, advice, mail, news, equipment, luggage, work, coffee, information.

Pronouns
A pronoun is a word that is used instead of a noun. For example, you could say, "Lisa is a nice girl."
Then you could replace the noun "Lisa" with the word "She" and get the following sentence: "She is a nice girl."
"She" is a pronoun.

Examples:
I, he, it, we, them, us, mine, itself.

Example sentences:
He doesn't want go with them.
Would they help us?
His house is bigger than ours.
Who is she?

The word "pronoun" comes from "pro" (in the meaning of "substitute") + "noun."

Personal Pronouns
Personal pronouns represent people or things. The personal pronouns are: I, you, he, she, it, we, they, me, him, her, us,
them.

Demonstrative Pronouns
"Demonstrative" means "showing, making something clear."

Demonstrative pronouns point to things. The demonstrative pronouns are: this, that, these, those.

Use "this" and "these" to talk about things that are near in space or in time.
Use "that" and "those" to talk about things that are farther away in space or time.

Example sentences:
This cannot go on.
That was beautiful!
He wanted those, but decided to compromise on these.
Interrogative Pronouns
"Interrogative" means "used in questions."

Interrogative pronouns are used to ask questions. The interrogative pronouns are: who, whom, which, what, whoever,
whatever, etc.

Use "who" and "whom" to talk about people.


Use "which" and "what" to talk about animals and things.

Example sentences:
Who is your father?
Whom did you speak to?
Which bag did you buy?
What are my choices?

Possessive Pronouns
"Possessive" means "showing ownership."

Possessive pronouns indicate that something belongs to somebody/something. The possessive pronouns are: my, your, his,
her, its, our, their, mine, yours, his, hers, ours, theirs.

Example sentences:
I've lost my wallet.
He married his girlfriend.
This place is theirs.
Is that cat yours?
My car is slow. Hers is much faster.

Relative Pronouns
"Relative" means "connected with something."

Relative pronouns are pronouns that link different parts of a sentence.


The relative pronouns are: who, whom, which, that, whoever, etc.

Examples sentences:
The girl who called yesterday came to see you.
The teacher whom you wrote has answered your questions.
She lives in Kiev, which is the capital city of Ukraine.
I really liked the book that you gave me.

Reflexive Pronouns
"Reflexive" means "going back to itself."

Reflexive pronouns show that the action affects the person who performs the action. Reflexive pronouns end in "-self"
(singular) or "-selves" (plural). The reflexive pronouns are: myself, yourself, himself, herself, itself, ourselves, themselves.

Example sentences:
He cut himself while shaving.
I sent myself to bed.
He could hurt himself!
We must help ourselves.
She trusts herself.

Intensive Pronouns
"Intensive" means "giving force or emphasis."
An intensive pronoun is a pronoun used for emphasis. In other words, intensive pronouns emphasize the subject of the
sentence. They are written exactly the same way as the reflexive pronouns, but their function is different.

I myself baked the cake.


The queen herself recommended this restaurant.
Have you yourself been there?
The project itself wasn't difficult.
We will do it ourselves.

Reciprocal Pronouns
Reciprocal means that two people or groups do the same thing to each other. They treat each other in the same way.

For example, Joe loves Kate, and Kate loves Joe. So we can say, "Kate and Joe love each other."

Another example: Mike helps Lucy, and Lucy helps Mike. So we can say, "Mike and Lucy help each other."

There are two reciprocal pronouns in English:


Each other and one another.

The cat and the dog like each other.


The two politicians hate each other.
We must stop fighting one another.
They gave each other Christmas presents.
They can't hear one another.

Indefinite Pronouns
"Indefinite" means "not exact, not limited."

Indefinite pronouns are pronouns that do not refer to any specific person or thing.

Examples:
Anything, everybody, another, each, few, many, none, some.

Example sentences:
Many have died during the war.
Can anyone call her?
Everybody wants to see you.
Something can be done to help.

Adjectives
An adjective is a word that describes a person or thing.

Examples:
Big, pretty, expensive, green, round, French, loud, quick, fat.

Example sentences:
He has big blue eyes.
The new car broke down.
The old lady was talking in a quiet voice.

The word "adjective" comes from the Latin word jacere, which means "to throw."
Determiners

A determiner is a word that comes before a noun to show which person or thing you are talking about.

Examples:
A, an, the, my, your, some, any, several, enough, any.

Some people consider determiners to be a type of adjective. What's special about determiners is that you usually can use
only one determiner at a time.

Incorrect: He has the my ticket.


Correct: He has my ticket / He has the ticket.

Nouns that act like adjectives


Sometimes nouns function as adjectives. In other words, they come before another noun and describe it.

Examples:
Sports car
Orange juice
Television station
Coffee shop
Book cover

The order of adjectives

A noun can have several adjectives describing it.

This is the order you should generally follow:

Determiner -> opinion -> size -> age -> shape -> color
-> origin -> material -> a word describing purpose/function

Examples:
A nice little coffee shop
(Determiner -> opinion -> size -> purpose/function word)

My huge new swimming pool


(Determiner -> size -> age -> purpose/function word)

Several Chinese plastic cups


(Determiner -> origin -> material)

The round yellow ball


(Determiner -> shape -> color)

Comparative adjectives

"Comparative" means "comparing something to something else."

Comparative adjective show us which thing is better, worse, stronger, weaker, and so forth.

Examples:
Better, worse, bigger, smaller, nicer, fatter, thinner, more dangerous.

Superlative adjectives
"Superlative" means "of the highest degree."

Superlative adjectives show us which thing is the best, the strongest, and so forth.

Examples:
Best, worst, strongest, smallest, cheapest, most expensive.

Verbs
A verb is a word or group of words that express an action or a state.

Examples:
Go, jump, sleep, eat, think, be, change, become, drive, complete.

Example sentences:
We had a nice lunch.
I think that he is right.
He drove for hours.

The word "verb" comes for the Latin word verbum, which means "word."

Auxiliary Verbs (also called "helping verbs")

Auxiliary verbs are verbs that are used together with the main verb of the sentence to express the action or state.

Main verb + auxiliary verb = complete idea

The main auxiliary verbs are:


be, am, is, are, was, were, do, did, have, has, had.

Example sentences (the auxiliary verb is in bold, and the main verb is underlined):
They are jogging.
She was sitting.
We were waiting for hours.
Is she sleeping?
He didn't know the answer.
We have gone a long way.
Has she received any of my letters?
Do you smoke?
Will she help?

Compound Verbs
A compound verb = auxiliary verb + main verb.

Examples:
was playing, has eaten, doesn't want.

They were discussing their future.


He didn't tell us the truth.
I have finished my homework.
She will meet us there.

Stative Verbs
Stative verbs are verbs that express a state rather than an action.

Examples:
be, seem, love, own, want, sound, have, know, understand.

Examples sentences:
She is a great wife.
He seems rather strange.
He wanted to see you.
That sounds awesome!
We have enough things to do.

Stative verbs are usually not used in the progressive tenses.

Examples:
Incorrect: He is wanting to see you.
Correct: He wants to see you.

Incorrect: I am knowing what to do.


Correct: I know what to do.

Incorrect: They are seeming nice.


Correct: They seem nice.

However, if the same verb is used to describe an actual action (not a state), then it can be used in the progressive tenses.

Example:
When the verb "have" means "own" – it is a state. So we do not use it in the progressive tenses.

Incorrect: I am having a laptop.


Correct: I have a laptop.

When the verb "have" means "eat" – it is an actual action. So we can use it in the progressive tenses.

Correct: I am having lunch with Kate.


Correct: I have lunch with Kate.

Dynamic Verbs
Dynamic verbs are the opposite of stative verbs. They express a real action.

Examples:
Jump, swim, catch, write, call, sleep, hit, open, speak.

Example sentences:
They swam to the other side.
She hit me on the head!
Open the window, please.

The dynamic verbs can be used in the progressive tenses.

Correct: He is drinking water.


Correct: He drinks water.

Regular Verbs
Regular verbs are verbs that follow this rule:
Past form of the verb = present form of the verb + ed / d.

Examples:
Past form of "check" = check + ed = checked.
Past form of "open" = open + ed = opened.
Past form of "bake" = bake + d = baked.

There are certain rules to adding "d" or "ed" to a verb.

Irregular Verbs
Irregular verbs are verbs that do not follow the above rule, and there are quite a lot of them!

Examples:
Past form of "drink" = drank.
Past form of "sleep" = slept.
Past form of "bring" = brought.

Phrasal Verbs

A phrasal verb is a verb that is combined with an adverb or a preposition. The combination creates a new meaning.

Examples:
Run = to move very quickly with your legs. ("She can run fast!")
Into = in the direction of something. ("He looked into my eyes.")
Run into = to meet someone by accident. ("I ran into Joe yesterday.")

Make = to create or do something. ("He made a lot of noise.")


Up = to a higher point. ("Look up!")
Make up = invent (a story, an excuse). ("It never happened. He made the whole thing up!")

Put = to place something somewhere. ("Could you put this upstairs?")


Up = to a higher point. ("Look up!")
With = concerning ("She is happy with her workplace.")
Put up with = to tolerate. ("I cannot put up with his behavior any more!")

Adverbs
An adverb is a word that describes or gives more information about a verb, an adjective, another adverb, or even the entire
sentence.

Adverbs usually answer the following questions:


Where? Home. ("I went home.")
When? Yesterday. ("We met yesterday.")
How? Slowly. ("The turtle moves slowly.")
How often? Sometimes. ("Sometimes it stops responding.")
How long? Temporarily. ("She is staying with us temporarily.")
How likely? Surely. ("Our team will surely win!")
To what degree? Very. ("She was very pleased.")

An adverb can describe a verb:


She runs quickly.

An adverb can describe an adjective:


She is so beautiful.
An adverb can describe another adverb:
She smokes very rarely.

An adverb can describe an entire sentence:


Naturally, you don't have to come.

The word "adverb" comes for the Latin ad- (in addition) and verbum (word).

In many cases (but not always!) adverbs have the following form:
Adjective + "-ly"

Examples:
Quick + ly = quickly
Strange + ly = strangely
Dead + ly = deadly
Sudden + ly = suddenly
Clever + ly = cleverly
Brave + ly = bravely
Real + ly = really

When an adjective ends with "y" replace the "y" with an "i":
Heavy + ly = heavi + ly = heavily
Happy + ly = happi + ly = happily

When the adjective ends with an "e" drop the "e":


True + ly = tru + ly = truly

However, there are many adverbs that do not end in "-ly":


Fast, very, hard, home, just, too, well, never, sometimes, and so forth.

We can divide English adverbs into several categories:


Adverbs of degree, adverbs of manner, adverbs of place,
adverbs of time, adverbs of frequency, adverbs of duration,
adverbs of probability, comparative adverbs and superlative adverbs.

Prepositions
A preposition is a word that is used before a noun or a pronoun to connect it to another word in the sentence. It is usually
used to show location, direction, time, and so forth.

Examples:
On, in, at, by, under, above, beside, to, out, from, for.

Example sentences:
I sat on the floor.
Let's go into the house.
We will meet at four o'clock.
Have a look under the couch.
He went to school.
This letter is for you.

The word "preposition" comes from the Latin word praeponere (put before). So prepositions usually come before the
noun/pronoun.
Conjunctions
A conjunction is a word that joins parts of a sentence together.

Examples:
And, but, or, because, so.

Example sentences:
I want to come, but I can't.
She is smart and beautiful.
Would you like a cat or a dog?
He didn't pass the test because he didn't understand the subject.
We were hungry, so we ordered pizza.

The word "conjunction" comes from the Latin word conjungere (join together).

Interjections
An interjection is a short sound, word or phrase used to express the speaker's emotion.

Examples:
Oh! Look out! Ow! Hey! Wow! Ah! Um...

Final Words on the English Parts of Speech


If you ever find yourself wondering which part of speech a certain word is, the best solution is to check it out in a
dictionary. The dictionary will give you the answer you need, together with examples on how to use the word. And that is
priceless!

Part of Speech Explanation Examples


Boy, Sam,
Nouns A word that names a person, a place or a thing
cat, Paris
He, my,
Pronouns A word that is used instead of a noun
yourself
pretty, easy,
Adjectives A word that describes a person or thing
fat
go, jump, be,
Verbs A word or group of words that express an action or a state
think
quickly,
A word that describes or gives more information about a verb, an
Adverbs tomorrow,
adjective, another adverb, or even the entire sentence
outside
A word that is used before a noun or a pronoun to connect it to
on, in, to,
Prepositions another word in the sentence. It is usually used to show location,
from, of
direction, time, and so forth.
Conjunctions A word that joins parts of a sentence together and, or, but
Wow, hmm,
Interjections A short sound, word or phrase used to express the speaker's emotion.
well, oh dear

So that was the explanation on the English parts of speech. Now let's practice!

English Parts of Speech Exercises


Exercise 01

Exercise 02
Illustrated Worksheet on English Parts of Speech
Understanding the Parts of a Sentence
What is a Sentence?
A sentence is a group of words that expresses a complete idea.

"She feels sad." <-- A complete idea

These are sentences (they express a complete idea):


• I like to swim.
• Jane bakes tasty cookies.
• Mark will quit his job.

These are not complete sentences (they don't express a complete idea):
• She gave me the.
What did she give me?
• Will build the house.
Who will build the house?
• Tony watching a movie.
Is Tony watching the movie now? Was he watching the movie in the past? Or will he be watching the movie in
the future?

A sentence can express:


• A statement.
• Example: You are tall.

• A question.
• Example: Are you tall?

• An order.
• Example: Be tall!

• A wish.
• Example: I wish I were taller.

Why Should You Know


the Parts of a Sentence?
Once you know the parts of a sentence, and how to combine them, you can form logical sentences that will be well
understood by others.

People usually prefer working with other people they can easily understand, so this is a very important quality to have for
the workplace. Not to mention any other situations that involve other people!

Moreover, once you master the parts of a sentence, you can easily understand other people's sentences. That can make you
really smart!

So go ahead and learn the English parts of a sentence.

Understand them, and practice using them in properly constructed sentences.

This can serve you tremendously!

What Are the Parts of a Sentence?


A sentence must minimally have a subject and a verb. Sometimes the subject can be omitted if it is understood.
In the following examples the subject is green and the verb is brown:
Tom walks.

We met Susan.
They are washing the dishes.
Lisa will arrive soon.
She is nice.
There is food on the table.

Leave!
(The subject in this sentence was omitted, since it is understood to be "you": You leave!)

There are other parts of a sentence you can use, in addition to a subject and a verb.

Here is a list of the parts of a sentence (and other relevant subjects):

• Subject
• Predicate
• Direct object
• Indirect object
• Object of the preposition
• Transitive verbs and intransitive verbs
• Linking verbs
• Complements

Subject
The subject is the person or thing about which something is being stated.

"Joe is a good boy."

Who is a good boy?

Joe is.

So "Joe" is the subject.

Predicate
The predicate is the part of a sentence that tells something about the subject.

The predicate always includes a verb.

("Predicate" is also a verb that means, "to state something.")

"Joe is a good boy."

The subject is Joe.

Now, what about Joe?

He is a good boy.
So "is a good boy" is a predicate.

Direct Object
A direct object is a person or thing that is affected by the action of the verb. You could say that the direct object "receives
the action of the verb."

"He broke the window."

What was affected by the action? The window was.

So "the window" is the direct object.

Indirect Object
An indirect object is a person or thing that the action is done to or for.

The indirect object usually comes just before the direct object.

You could also say that the indirect object is the receiver of the direct object.

"He gave his mother flowers."

To whom did he give the flowers? To his mother.

So "his mother" is the indirect object.

Is it a direct object or an indirect object?


How can you tell a direct object from an indirect object?

Here are some tips to help you:

1) A direct object receives the action of the verb. In other words, it is directly affected by it.

2) An indirect object is the receiver of the direct object, and it usually comes just before it.
Let's have another look at some of the previous examples (the direct object is green, the indirect object is brown):
"He gave his mother flowers."

The verb is "gave."

Who is directly affected by this action?


The flowers. They are given!

So "flowers" is the direct object.

Who receives the flowers? His mother.

So "his mother" is the indirect object.

You can see that the indirect object ("his mother")


is located just before the direct object ("flowers").

The Object of the Preposition


Click here if you want a review on what is a preposition.

The object of the preposition is a noun or a pronoun that completes its meaning.

"The cat is looking at the fish."

Example 1:
• She is thinking about.
This sentence is incomplete. We don't what is she thinking about.
Here is the complete version:
• She is thinking about your idea.
This sentence is complete. "Idea" is the object of the preposition "about."

Transitive Verbs
and Intransitive Verbs
Not every verb takes a direct object.

The direct object completes the meaning of the verb, but not every verb needs completion.
For example:
• I built last year.
This sentence feels incomplete. Something is missing. What did I build?

To complete the idea I should add a direct object: "I built a house last year."

Now the idea is complete.


An opposite example:
• I ran yesterday.
This sentence is completely fine just like that, right? The idea is complete, and the verb doesn't require a direct object.

Definitions
Verbs that take direct objects are called transitive verbs.
The meaning of a transitive verb is incomplete without a direct object.

"She is drinking a glass of water."

Verbs that don't take direct objects are called intransitive verbs.
The meaning of an intransitive verb is complete on its own.

"She is standing."

Linking Verbs
A linking verb is a verb that connects the subject with an adjective or a noun that identifies or describes it.

"She seems very satisfied."

Complements
A complement is a word or a group of words (usually an adjective or a noun), that is used after linking verbs (such as be
and become). The complement identifies or describes the subject of the verb.

"She seems very satisfied."

English Parts of a Sentence Exercises,
Identify the Part of a Sentence


Understanding English parts of a senence is an important part of truly mastering English, so make sure you know what
they are and can use them without hesitations.

Now let's practice!

English Parts of a Sentence Exercises 1

English Parts of a Sentence Exercises 2

English Parts of a Sentence Exercises 3

English Parts of a Sentence Exercises 4

Parts of a Sentence Review and Worksheet


Illustrated Worksheet on Parts of a Sentence

Basic Sentence Structures in the English Language


A sentence is a group of words that are put together to make one complete thought.

Intro
To understand sentence structures in the English language, you must first have a general understanding of the types of
words that are used to make sentences.

Noun – a person, place or thing


Singular examples (one): brother, home, sock, mouse
Plural examples (more than one): brothers, homes, socks, mice

Verb – an action
Examples: jump, sit, talk, have

Adjective – describes a noun


Examples: colorful shirt, funny story, tall boy
Adverb – describes other words (not nouns)
Examples: jumped yesterday, talks fast, sings loud, very pretty, luckily for us

Subject – the noun or nouns that perform the action


Example: The dog jumped.

The subject of this sentence is the noun, dog, because it is performing the action of jumping.

Example: Dogs and cats sleep.

The subjects of this sentence are the nouns, dogs and cats. This is called a compound subject because there is more than
one subject performing the same action.

Object – the noun or nouns that receive the action


Example: The child drank milk.

The object of this sentence is the noun, milk, because the child is drinking the milk. The milk is receiving the action.

Example: She is eating bread and cheese.

The objects of this sentence are the nouns, bread and cheese. The subject is eating them both.

Five basic sentence structures


There are five basic sentence structures in the English language.
1. Subject-Verb
2. Subject-Verb-Object
3. Subject-Verb-Adjective
4. Subject-Verb-Adverb
5. Subject-Verb-Noun

Expanding Sentences
The examples above are basic sentences. Basic sentences can be expanded, or lengthened, by adding adjectives, adverbs
and objects.

1. Subject-Verb

• Jack eats.
This is the basic subject-verb pattern.
• Jack quickly eats.
An adverb is added (quickly) to tell how Jack eats.
• Jack quickly eats carrots.
An object is added (carrots) to tell what Jack eats.
• Jack quickly eats carrots at home.
Another adverb is added (at home) to tell where Jack eats.
• Jack quickly eats fresh carrots at home.
An adjective is added (fresh) to tell what kind of carrots Jack eats.

2. Subject-Verb-Object

• Bill kicks the ball.


This is a basic subject-verb-object pattern.
• Bill kicks the red ball.
An adjective is added (red) to tell the color of the ball.
• Bill kicks the red ball hard.
An adverb is added (hard) to tell how Bill kicks the ball.
• Bill kicks the red ball hard every day.
Another adverb is added (every day) to tell when Bill kicks the ball.

3. Subject-Verb-Adjective

• She looks pretty.


This is the basic subject-verb-adjective pattern.
• She looks pretty tonight.
An adverb is added (tonight) to tell when she looks pretty.
• Lisa looks pretty tonight.
The subject is identified with a name (Lisa).

4. Subject-Verb-Adverb

• Apples are everywhere.


This is the basic subject-verb-adverb pattern.
• Green apples are everywhere.
An adjective is added (green) to describe the apples.
• Ripe, green apples are everywhere.
A series of adjectives are added (ripe and green) to describe the apples.

5. Subject-Verb-Noun

• The boy is a student.


This is the basic subject-verb-noun sentence pattern.
• Jon is a student.
The subject is identified with a name (Jon).
• Jon is a smart student.
An adjective is added (smart) to tell what kind of student Jon is.
• Jon is a smart student at school.
An adverb is added (at school) to tell where Jon is a smart student.
Word Order in English
Word order refers to the way words are arranged in a sentence. The order of words in English is important if you want to
communicate your thoughts and ideas. English has a strict word order in basic sentences:

Subject + Predicate
English word order is strict and not very flexible. This means that the order of words in an English sentence rarely
changes: the subject almost always comes before the predicate. There are however a few parts of speech that can move in
sentences. We will cover these later in this lesson.

Native English speakers are used to hearing some English parts of speech in a specific order. If these parts of speech are in
a different order, it can be confusing.

Even very small differences in English word order can sound strange to native English speakers. For example, the sound
of a clock in English is tick-tock. Tock-tick sounds strange to native speakers. Tick-tock sounds correct.

The next image is in black and white. White and black sounds strange to native speakers. Black and white sounds
correct.

Are you ready to learn Word Order in English? Let's begin!

This lesson is broken down into four parts. Click the links here to go directly to each section.

Basic word order in English


The basic word order of an English sentence is Subject + Predicate.

The predicate is the part of the sentence that tells something about the subject. The predicate always includes the verb.

So, Subject + Predicate word order can be broken down into smaller pieces like this:

subject + verb or subject + verb + object

Let's review the definitions of these parts of speech.


• subject = noun or pronoun

• The person, place, or thing that the sentence is about.


• verb = action or state of being

• one verb or a verb phrase


• object = the noun or nouns that receives the action of the verb or is affected by the action of the verb

Unlike some languages, English usually requires you to put the subject near the beginning of the sentence before
the verb. Native speakers rarely stray from this word order in correct English.

Examples:
Look for the correct word order in these examples. The examples are color-coded.
subject + verb + object

Correct:
Correct:
The teacher taught.
He gave flowers to her.
Incorrect:
Incorrect:
Taught the teacher.
Flowers to her he gave.

Correct: Correct:

The students listen. She smiled at the boy.

Incorrect: Incorrect:

Listen the students. At the boy she smiled.

The sentences above are simple English sentences. Remember, in English sentences, word order is very specific. The
subject always comes before the verb.

To make sentences more descriptive and complex, we add adjectives, adverbs, and indirect objects.

In the next three sections, you will learn word order with adjectives, adverbs, and indirect objects.

Word order: adjectives


Adjectives are words that describe nouns. There are many adjectives in English. Here are a few:

happy sad funny blue large

quiet pretty three green simple

We can make sentences more descriptive by adding adjectives to describe the subjects and objects in a sentence.

Adjectives often come before the noun that they describe.

Examples:

The smart teacher taught the quiet students.

The happy students listened to the serious teacher.

All of these sentences still follow the Subject + Verb + Object word order:

Complete Subject: The smart teacher


Verb: taught Subject: The students

Object: the quiet students Verb: seem

Adjective: happy.

Complete Subject: The happy students

Verb phrase: listened to Subject: The teacher

Object: the serious teacher Verb: is

Adjective: smart.

Often, there is more than one adjective in a sentence. Adjectives have their own word order in a sentence as shown in
this chart:

Example:

The smart American teacher taught the quiet, young Chinese students.

The Chinese students are quiet and young.

Word order: adverbs

We can also make sentences more descriptive and complex by adding adverbs. An adverb is a word that describes or gives
more information about a verb, an adjective, another adverb, or even an entire sentence. There are many adverbs in
English. Here are a few:

yesterday quickly really heavily fast sometimes

hard suddenly today too never very

Examples:

(The adverbs are in purple.)

• The teacher quickly taught the students.



• Yesterday, the teacher taught the students.

• Yesterday, the teacher quickly taught the students.

• The teacher quickly taught the students yesterday.

These sentences still follow the Subject + Verb + Object word order. Sometimes the adverb is placed at the beginning of
the sentence before the subject, but the subject still comes before its verb.

Adverbs can be placed in three places in a sentence.



Placement of adverbs in a sentence
In English, we never put an adverb between a verb and the object.

Correct: She always cooks pizza.

Incorrect: She cooks always pizza.

Adverbs and adverb phrases can be placed in three places in a sentence:

1. At the front of the sentence, before the subject

• Yesterday, the teacher taught the students.



• Suddenly, I ran to the door.

• At the corner, she turned right.

2. At the end of a sentence, after the object

• The students will take the test tomorrow.



• John invited his friends too.

• She will arrive home in an hour.

3. In the middle of a sentence (before or after the verb) or in the middle of a group of verbs

• before the verb:



• She often studies before class.

• Jack rarely checks his mailbox.


• after the verb:

• The student works quietly at her desk.

• Billy looks fondly at his mother.


• in the middle of a group of verbs:

• The teacher will quickly teach the students.

• Lisa has nearly finished the race.

Adverbs are usually placed near the verb that they modify. Most adverbs can be placed in any of the positions in a
sentence without changing the meaning of the sentence. (But different placements emphasize different things. Placing
the adverb at the end gives more emphasis to the adverb.)

Example:
• Suddenly, I ran to the door.
• I suddenly ran to the door.
• I ran to the door suddenly.

The placement of suddenly does not change the meaning of the sentence.

However, the placement of some adverbs can greatly change the meaning of a sentence.

Example:
• Only I love you. (I love you. Nobody else loves you.)
• I only love you. (I love you. I do not love anything else.)
• I love only you. (You are the only person I love. I do not love anybody else.)
• I love you only. (You are the only person I love. I do not love anybody else.)
The fourth sentence has the same meaning as the third sentence, but the third sentence has a stronger emphasis.

More than one adverb in a sentence


When there is more than one adverb in a sentence, they usually go in this order: manner, place, frequency, time. There
are several rules for order of adverbs in a sentence that we will discuss in another lesson.

Word order: indirect object


Before reading this section, you might want to review objects of a sentence here: English Direct Object, Indirect Object,
and Object of the Preposition.

An indirect object is a person or thing that the action is done to or for.

A direct object is a person or thing that is affected by the action of the verb. The direct object receives the action of the
verb.

Word order of the indirect object is important in English. The indirect object usually comes right before the direct
object, but not always.

The indirect object can be placed before or after the direct object in a sentence depending on whether you use the
preposition "to."

The indirect object comes after the direct object when it is formed with the preposition to. When it is placed here, it
is called the object of the preposition.

He gave flowers.

He gave flowers to his mother.

He is telling the story.

He is telling the story to her.

He mailed the package.

He mailed the package to his family.

The indirect object comes before the direct object if to is not used.
He gave flowers.

He gave his mother flowers.

He is telling the story.

She is telling her the story.

He mailed the package.


English Grammar Articles
(a, an, the)
What are English grammar articles? An article is a word that is used before a noun to show whether the noun refers to
something specific or not. A, an and the are articles.

Examples:

"I need a chair."

In the sentence above we find the article "a". It shows us that the speaker does not need a specific chair. He can have any
chair.

"I want an apple."

In the sentence above we find the article "an." It shows us that the speaker does not want a specific apple. He can have
any apple.

"I want the red apple."

In the sentence above we find the article "the." It shows us that the speaker wants a specific apple.

In English, there are two kinds of grammar articles.

The Definite Article


(For example: the box)
"Definite" means "clear, obvious."

The definite article tells us that the noun is specific. The speaker talks about a particular (or known) thing.

The definite article in English is "the."

Examples:

"The car I bought broke down."


"He has a son and a daughter. The daughter is a doctor."
"The actors were really good."
"I remember the day we first met."

"The" can be used before both singular and plural nouns.

Examples:

"The flower he gave her was very beautiful."


"The flowers on the table are nice."

The Indefinite Article


(For example: a box)

"In-" means "not," and "definite" means "clear, obvious."

"Indefinite" means "not clear, not exact."

The indefinite article tells us that the noun is not specific. The speaker talks about any one of that type of thing.

The indefinite articles in English are "a" and "an."

Examples:

"I need a pen."


(The speaker doesn't tell us which pen he needs. He simply needs a pen, any pen.)

"Lisa wants to see a movie."


(The speaker doesn't tell us which movie Lisa wants to see. She wants to see some movie.)

"Joe has a car."


(The speaker doesn't tell us which car Joe has. He has some car.)

"She is a dancer."
(She dances for a living.)

What is the difference between "a" and "an"?


"A" and "an" have the same meaning.

We use "a" before a consonant sound.

Examples:
a dog
a building
a country
a professor
a university

We use "an" before a vowel sound.

Examples:
an apple
an umbrella
an eye
an hour

Important!
We use "a" and "an" only before a singular noun. We can't use "a" and "an" before a plural noun.

Examples:

Correct: a car.
Incorrect: a cars.

Correct: an orange.
Incorrect: a oranges.
What is the difference between "a" and "the"?
"The" is used to talk about specific or known things. These are usually things that have been mentioned before or that the
listener is familiar with.

"A" (or "an") is used to talk about things which are not specific. These are usually things that haven't been mentioned
before or that the listener is unfamiliar with.

Let's say I tell you: "I went to see a doctor last week."
Explanation: I went to see some doctor. I didn't mention him before, and you are not familiar with him. Another option is
that it is not important who he is. So I use the word "a".

Then I say: "The doctor said I should get more rest."


Now you already know which doctor I am referring to. I am referring to the doctor I went to see. So I use the word "the."

Next I say to you: "Do you remember the movie we watched together?"
I use the word "the" because I mention a specific movie – you know which movie I am talking about.

Then I tell you: "Well, I've seen a better movie since!"


You are not familiar with the new movie, so I use the word "a".

I also tell you: "A man on the street stepped on my foot."


You don't know who exactly stepped on my foot, I've never mentioned him before. So I use the word "a".

Finally, I tell you: "I am a singer."


This sentence simply means that I sing for a living. If I said: "I am the singer", you would understand that I am the singer
that was mentioned before.

For example:
- "Wow! I heard a great singer is coming to town."
- "Oh, it's me. I am the great singer."

Now that we understand the general idea of English grammar articles, here are some more specific details:

Specific Uses of English Grammar Articles


In this case Example Sentence
You mention something
I have a problem.
for the first time.
You want to say that something belongs to a certain
This is a table.
group.
Use "a" /
You want to say that someone belongs to a certain group. She is a designer.
"an"
You want to say that
I've built a strong ship.
something is that kind of thing.
You want to say that
He is a nice guy.
someone is that kind of person.
The feeling I got was very
You talk about a specific thing.
strange.
Use "the" It is clear which thing
I passed the test!
you are talking about.
There is only one such thing. Look at the sun.
You talk about Pigs can't fly.
something in general. Diving can be difficult.
No article
You talk about cities,
We visited Italy.
countries, streets, etc.
English Grammar Articles Exercises

Exercise 01

Exercise 02