Definitions of Basic Sentence Parts
absolute phrases || adjectives || adverbs || articles || conjunctions || direct and indirect objects || interjections || modifiers || nouns || predicates || prepositions || pronouns || subjects || verbals || verbs
The hyperlinks above will take you to separate pages.
THE PARTS OF SPEECH The eight parts of speech — verbs, nouns, pronouns, adverbs, adjectives, prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections — are defined on the pages hyper linked below. (Some authorities would not list interjections, but would list determiners or articles, instead.) In addition, you can use the Powerpoint presentation on the Parts of Speech.
Visit the page on Powerpoint for further information. The terms below — and over 300 others — are also listed in the Guide's INDEX.
Here's a little rhyme — by David B. Tower & Benjamin F. Tweed —that teachers used in days gone by to help students learn the parts of speech. (We include it here in response to popular demand. Why the song leaves out pronouns is a mystery. A writer from Richland, Washington, suggests "A PRONOUN replaces any noun: / he, she, it, and you are found. ) It has been set to music, but we'll leave that up to you to discover or create for yourself:
Three little words you often see
Are ARTICLES: a, an, and the.
A NOUN's the name of anything,
As: school or garden, toy, or swing.
ADJECTIVES tell the kind of noun,
As: great, small, pretty, white, or brown.
VERBS tell of something being done:
To read, write, count, sing, jump, or run.
How things are done the ADVERBS tell,
As: slowly, quickly, badly, well.
CONJUNCTIONS join the words together,
As: men and women, wind or weather.
The PREPOSITION stands before
A noun as: in or through a door.
The INTERJECTION shows surprise
As: Oh, how pretty! Ah! how wise!
The whole are called the PARTS of SPEECH,
Which reading, writing, speaking teach.
Function and Usage Notes
Absolute Phrases Adjectives Adverbs Determiners/Articles
Clauses Complements Coordinated Adjectives Conjunctions
Direct and Indirect Objects Interjections Nouns Phrases
Predicates Prepositions Pronouns Subjects
Verbs and Verbals
(Infinitives, Participles, Gerunds)
Identifying Sentence Parts
Sentence Parts: Part One
Sentence Parts: Part Two
Identifying Simple and Compound Subjects
In a question for which more than one response is correct, you must select the option that indicates which responses are correct. With some incorrect responses, you will be asked to click on an icon for an explanation, in sound.
The following exercise will work best when the browser's option to underline links is turned off. In the following sentences, certain words or sentence parts are italicized or written in ALL CAPS. When you move your mouse-cursor over each part, that part will be identified or defined in the text-area immediately below that sentence. Try to identify the sentence part before asking the computer to identify it for you.
In a question for which more than one response is correct, you must select the option that indicates which responses are correct. With some incorrect responses, you will be asked to click on an icon for an explanation, in sound. These should work if your browser and computer are configured to download and play .au files, although you will want a fast connection to the internet. If you are in a laboratory environment, please wear headphones so you won't annoy your neighbor.
This quiz is designed to test your ability to recognize simple subjects and compound subjects. Write the simple subject for each sentence in the second text area (below the sentence). Remember that a simple subject is not always one word. If there is a compound subject, include the conjunction that connects the parts of the subject. If a subject begins the sentence, begin the first word with a capital letter. The "tab" key will take you from box to box or you can use the mouse-cursor; clicking on the "tab" key will also ask the computer to score each response as you go along. There are ten sentences. When you have finished the quiz, Subjector will give you an opportunity to redo those sentences that seemed to give you trouble.