There are nine parts of speech in English: nouns, pronouns, adjectives, articles, verbs, adverbs, conjunctions, prepositions, and interjections.
This means that every word in an English sentence belongs to one of the nine parts (or groups). Remember that words can often belong to more than one group; for example: verb – to demand, to guide, to order; noun – a demand, a guide, an order. Click on the parts of speech headings for more information.
|NOUNS||students, difficulty, Indonesia, happiness, music, Pedro|
|PRONOUNS||I, me, they, them, mine, hers, everybody, these, who|
|ADJECTIVES||difficult, easy, Indonesian, careful, extreme, my, your|
|ARTICLES||the, a, an|
|VERBS||runs, is, has, wanted, (modals: can, would, might etc.)|
|ADVERBS||easily, quickly, soon, already|
|CONJUNCTIONS||and, but, because, while, although, after|
|PREPOSITIONS||for, in, at, with, beside, on, below, near|
I have listed examples for the parts of speech above. However, what you cannot see is that adjectives, and adverbs can be more than one word. They can be clauses (a group of words with a subject – usually – and a finite verb). A clause gives important or extra information. Have a look at this sentence:
1. The beautiful tree that was damaged in the storm is gradually recovering.
You know that beautiful is an adjective, but what about damaged? It is a damaged tree, isn’t it? What do you think of the following sentence?
2. The beautiful, damaged tree is gradually recovering.
Sentence #2 uses obvious adjectives: beautiful and damaged, but sentence #1 provides more information about the tree by using an adjective clause: that was damaged in the storm. Think of the adjective clause (also called a relative clause) as just a long adjective which has a subject (the pronoun that) and a verb (was). Adjectives usually go before the noun they are modifying (describing) while adjective clauses always go after the noun they are modifying. For more information on adjective/relative clauses, click here.
Adverb clauses are just long adverbs with a subject – usually – and a finite verb. Have a look at this sentence:
1. Our poinciana tree was badly damaged in 2015 when we had a fierce storm, but it’s gradually recovering.
Can you see the adverbs in the above sentence? Remember that adverbs give information about verbs (add + verb). They tell us how, why, where, and when.
Q. How was the tree damaged? A. Badly – adverb
Q. How is the tree recovering? A. Gradually – adverb
Q. When was the tree damaged? A. In 2010 – adverb
A. When we had a fierce storm – adverb clause
2. The tree was damaged because we were not prepared for the storm.
Q. Why was the tree damaged? A. Because we were not prepared for the storm – adverb clause
Adjective clauses and adverb clauses are always dependent clauses and when you use them, you are using complex sentences. For more information on complex sentences, click here.