There are eight major parts of speech.
- Nouns name persons, places, things, ideas, or qualities, e.g., Franklin, boy, Yangtze River, shoreline, Bible, desk, fear, happiness.
- Pronouns usually substitute for nouns and function as nouns, e.g., I, you, he, she, it, we, they, myself, this, that, who, which, everyone.
- Verbs express actions, occurrences, or states of being, e.g., be, become, bunt, inflate, run.
- Adjectives describe or modify nouns or pronouns, e.g., gentle, helpful, small.
- Adverbs describe or modify verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs, e.g., almost, gently, helpfully, someday.
- Prepositions relate nouns or pronouns to other words in a sentence, e.g., about, at, down, for, of, with.
- Conjunctions link words, clauses, and phrases. There are coordinating conjunctions that link words, clauses, or phrases of equal importance, and there are subordinating conjunctions that introduce subordinate clauses and link them to main clauses.
- Interjections express feeling or command attention, either alone or in a sentence, e.g., darn, hey, oh, wow.
Some words (adjectives, adverbs, interjections, nouns, verbs) are productive classes allowing new members; others, with functional rather than lexical meaning (articles, conjunctions, prepositions) are nonproductive and have a limited number of members.
Some grammarians consider articles, quantifiers, and numerals to also be parts of speech.