Julie Payette, Canadian astronaut Parts of Speech Marc Garneau, Canadian astronaut


In the English language, words are divided into parts of speech complying with their use in a sentence. Parts of speech include the noun, pronoun, verb, adjective, adverb, preposition, and conjunction.

A NOUN is the name of a place, person, idea, or thing. There are two primary classes of nouns, common and proper. Common nouns also separate into two classes, collective and abstract. A common noun names any one of a class of persons, places, or things. e.g. stick, boy, house. A proper noun is the name of a particular person, place, or thing. e.g. John, Canada, August. A collective noun is the name of persons or things. e.g. committee, company, team. An abstract noun is the name of a quality, condition, action, or relation. e.g. wisdom, danger, poverty

A PRONOUN is a word used to replace a noun. The noun which the pronoun has replaced is called its antecedent. Pronouns can be classed into five different groups: demonstrative, personal, interrogative, indefinite, and relative. A demonstrative pronoun points out. e.g. This is my toy. A personal pronoun, by form, denotes the speaker, the person spoken to, or the person or thing spoken of. Personal pronouns are classed into three categories:
1. A pronoun that denotes the speaker is of the first person.
2. A pronoun that denotes the person spoken to is of the second person.
3. A pronoun that denotes the person or thing spoken of is of the third person.
e.g. I am speaking to you about him. (you is a second person pronoun, I is a first person pronoun, him is a third person pronoun)
An interrogative pronoun is used to ask a question. e.g. Who is that man? An indefinite pronoun doesn´t refer to a particular person or thing. e.g. each, many, some, both, nobody, somebody , etc. A relative pronoun connects the clause of which it is a part with the antecedent to which it refers. e.g. The boy who came fishing is my friend. A clause introduced by a relative pronoun is called a relative clause. e.g. The boy who came fishing is my friend.

Agreement of a pronoun with its antecedent:
Here are a few tips on making your pronoun agree with its antecedent:

  • When the antecedent is singular/plural then the pronoun must be singular/plural.
  • If the antecedent is an indefinite pronoun, it is grammatically correct to use a masculine pronoun to refer to it. However, it is now common usage to have both masculine and feminine pronouns to refer to an indefinite pronoun.

A VERB is a word that expresses an act, happening or state of a person, place, thing, or quality. The verb is also the primary part of the predicate. e.g. John walked to his house. Mary is drinking. The sticks are yours.

ADJECTIVES are words which modify nouns and pronouns. Adjectives can describe something. e.g. beautiful, soft, big. Adjectives can also show how many there are of something. e.g. two, three, ten. There are also a few adjectives that point out. e.g. this, that, these, those.

ADVERBS are words which modify verbs, adjectives, or another adverb. e.g. You read too quickly. Write carefully. This book is green. Adverbs usually tell cause, degree, place, or time.

A PREPOSITION is a word which shows the relationship between an object and another word in the sentence. e.g. We are going to Cleveland this summer. The main office is in Vancouver.
The primary prepositions in common use are: about, above, at, before, between, by, during, for, from, if, since, near, past, since, to, towards, until, under, up, upon.

A CONJUNCTION connects words or groups of words. e.g. Jorge and Sera were suntanning on the beach, before it began to snow. There are two main types of conjunctions: coordinate and subordinate. A coordinate conjunction connects words, phrases, a clauses of equal rank. e.g. Mark and Jane are going over to Jorge´s house. A subordinate conjunction connects two clauses of unequal rank. e.g. We went to the beach before it snowed.
The primary conjunctions in common use are: although, because, however, or, that, when, whereas, and, but, if, since, though, whether, yet, as, for, nor, than, unless, while.
Coordinate and subordinate conjunctions may also be used in pairs; these are called correlatives. The primary correlative conjunctions in common use are: both. . .and, not only. . .but also, neither. . .or.


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