Explore all our learning and teaching solutions

Explore all our learning and teaching solutions

Got a Kanye-sized ego? → Test it on our Ego-Meter
Building Blocks of Language: The Eight Parts of Speech

Building Blocks of Language: The Eight Parts of Speech

  • Report
Author: Nancy Heilman

This learning packet will...

  • explain what the term "parts of speech" means
  • give a brief description of what each is and how each functions (there are eight)
  • explain why it is helpful to be able to identify parts of speech
See More

What Does "PARTS OF SPEECH" Mean?

PARTS OF SPEECH simply refers to all words in the English language and how they can be grouped into eight different categories, depending upon their function. So, each word that a person comes across can be placed into one of the eight groups. Without parts of speech, there would be no sentences and no language. That is why parts of speech are called the BUILDING BLOCKS OF LANGUAGE!

Source: Nancy Heilman

Parts of Speech Rap/Rhyme!

This is a fun and catchy parts of speech one-minute rhyme with correlating movements! Made by Gail Weinhold's English 9 class at Hopkins West Jr. High in Minnesota.

Source: YouTube

Description and Function of Each Part of Speech

Brief explanations, as well as examples, are given for each of the eight PARTS OF SPEECH.

Source: Nancy Heilman

Why is it Helpful to be Able to Identify PARTS OF SPEECH?

1. It is always helpful to be able to place items in categories in order to MAKE SENSE OF WHAT YOU ARE STUDYING.

We place foods in categories (fruits, vegetables, grains, etc.). We place sports in categories (individual or team sports, contact or non-contact sports, etc.). We place subject matter in categories (math, science, language arts, etc.). In fact, almost anything you come upon belongs in a category. That's how we humans make sense of our world! Language is no different. Words need to be placed into categories so they are less random and more purposeful. Like items go together.

2. Being able to place words into their parts of speech helps you to BECOME A BETTER READER.

Readers who want to fully understand what they are reading need to have some grasp of the different words they come upon. For example, let's imagine that a person learned a second language - French. If he was at the point of being able to read simple sentences or short paragraphs in his second language, yet did not know the meaning or purpose/function of any of the words he was reading, it could be a disaster. He would not know how to raise or lower his voice (inflection), when to pause, or how to get through the material. It would be a blind reading act of some random words. While the meaning of the words would be key, the parts of speech that the words were would be important, too. Again, that is why PARTS OF SPEECH are often referred to as the BUILDING BLOCKS OF LANGUAGE.

3. Being able to place words into their parts of speech helps you to BECOME A BETTER WRITER.

A person who is a good reader (for their age or grade level) will generally be primed to be a better writer, partly because reading gives learners exposure to a wide variety of both vocabulary and sentence structure. Case in point: If as a writer I am trying to tell my readers HOW I walked into a room, and I know that "cautiously" is an adverb, I might then be able to choose another adverb, such as "carefully" or "watchfully," in my written description. Having a general knowledge of PARTS OF SPEECH definitely ties into being able to locate synonyms (or antonyms) for words as a writer.

In a recent online blog/discussion about whether or not it is important to know parts of speech, one participant remarked, "Knowing how English grammar worked help me improve my writing, not to mention my ability to pick out errors in what others have written."

4. Being able to place words into their parts of speech helps when LEARNING A FOREIGN LANGUAGE.

In this same blog/discussion group, a responder stated the following:

"Just the analysis skills involved make it (learning parts of speech) worthwhile, not to mention provide great help in learning a second language -- I have yet to come across material for second language learning that does not, at the higher levels, emphasize grammar."

It is a fact that when learning a second language, the level of knowledge of one's first language has a direct effect on how well the second language is absorbed. Much of this has to do with knowledge of the structure and grammar of one's first language.

Source: Nancy Heilman

Finding the Parts of Speech Activity

Full Screen

Answers to Find the Parts of Speech Activity

Full Screen
Questions and Answers

  • Answers 0
    Shahnaz Parveen 12 days ago

    why is it essential to identify the parts of speeches

  • Breezy
    Answer 1
    Breezy — over 2 years ago

    How do you move the words or write the words in the circle couldn`t get it to work?

  • Answer 1
    Sea Flower over 2 years ago

    I was not able to get the sound to work on the video. It looked like a great lesson. Is there a way to add the sound?

      Chris answered over 2 years ago

      It looks like the video does have sound - so it might be a problem with the video player on your computer. You might want to make sure you have the most current flash player on your computer, you can get the latest version here: http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/

  • Answers 0
    Rhonda Massie about 3 years ago

    Would lol and other such online acronyms be considered interjections?

  • Answer 1
    Ryan Howard over 3 years ago

    I am confused about the "Parts of Speech Activity." Are the students simply supposed to name the parts of speech? Then you have the answers, which I don't see. They're just blue lines in the circles. You should also have the students identify the parts of speech in a sentence (e.g. Determine what part of speech the particular boldfaced word is).

    It would also help if you could give the students some mnemonic devices to use in order to remember the parts of speech.
    E.g. Nancy (noun) and (adjective) Vernon (verb) and (adverb) Pete (pronoun) can't (conjunction) interrupt (interjection) People (preposition)

      Nancy Heilman answered over 3 years ago

      Students are to name the parts of speech in the activity. On my screen, the answers are in blue boxes in an additional pdf file after the actual exercise pdf file. It is pretty basic, but I didn't want to make the packet any longer than it was already. Plus, we're not really even supposed to have exercises & activities for learners at this point -- only instructional materials... so I didn't spend a lot of time
      designing that activity.

      I like your idea for a mnemonic device. Did you come up with the one you listed on your own, or did you hear it somewhere? I looked a bit online to see if there was something already created (mnemonic device for 8 parts of speech), but it gets tricky with the licensing & trying to find creative commons stuff.

Academic Reviews
SOPHIA has reviewed the tutorial and found it academically sound.
Introduction to Psychology

Analyze this:
Our Intro to Psych Course is only $329.

Sophia college courses cost up to 80% less than traditional courses*. Start a free trial now.