Areas of Study
Nouns Verbs Adverbs Adjectives
Pronouns Conjunctions Prepositions Interjections


Persons Places Things Qualities Concepts Actions
child typist Mr. Harris Martha lobby courtroom Chicago college desk phone computer book dependability honesty loyalty sincerity beauty truth knowledge happiness walking/to walk typing/to type writing/to write thinking/to think

The first letters of some nouns are capitalized to show a specific name or title (Alan). These are called proper nouns. Other nouns that are not specific do not use a capital letter (man). These are called common nouns. Nouns that have a singular and plural form are called count nouns. Nouns that only have a singular form are called non-count nouns. Note: non-count nouns never add -s.

often count nouns { person place thing
often non-count nouns { quality concept action
Common Noun Proper Noun
Count Non-Count Count
Singular girl country car ——– ——– ——– Plural girls countries cars ——– ——– ——– ——– homework honesty beauty typing ——– ——– Singular Maria America Ford ——– ——– ——– Plural Marias Americas Fords ——– ——– ——–

Nouns function in many ways:

Noun Functions
subject: The car runs well.
direct object: I bought a book.
complements: Mary was president.
object of the prep: He walked to the store.
indirect object: Sam mailed Joan a letter.
possession: The woman’s daughter left early.


A verb is a word that tells what the subject of the sentence does, says, thinks, or feels. Sometimes the verb shows movement (jump) or sometimes it shows how a thing is or that it exists (is). The verb also shows time which is called tense. The form of the verb or its tense can tell when events take place. For example, the verb kiss ( *note: kiss is also a count noun):

Present Simple kiss/kisses Past Simple kissed Future Simple will kiss
Present Perfect has/have kissed Past Perfect had kissed Future Perfect will have kissed
Present Continuous (Progressive) is/am/are kissing Past Continuous (Progressive) was kissing Future Continuous (Progressive) will be kissing
Present Perfect Continuous (Progressive) has/have been kissing Past Perfect Continuous (Progressive) had been kissing Future Perfect Continuous (Progressive) will have been kissing


Adverbs modify or describe verbs (run fast), adjectives (often sad), or other adverbs ( too often). Adverbs often, but not always, end in -ly. A test for deciding if a word is an adverb is to think about the word’s function. Adverbs tend to tell where, when, or how. For example: very pretty, most unhappy, never angry, come soon Adverbs often answer three questions:

every morning
Verb Manner Place Frequency Time Purpose
Beth swims enthusiastically in the pool
before dawn to keep in shape. Dad walks impatiently into town every afternoon before supper to get a newspaper. Tashonda naps in her room every morning before lunch. In actual practice, of course, it would be highly unusual to have a string of adverbial modifiers beyond two or three (at the most). Because the placement of adverbs is so flexible, one or two of the modifiers would probably move to the beginning of the sentence: “Every afternoon before supper, Dad impatiently walks into town to get a newspaper.” When that happens, the introductory adverbial modifiers are usually set off with a comma.

The Royal Order of Adverbs was created by Dr. Charles Darling, Professor of English, Capital Community College.


Adjectives are words that describe a noun. Ugly, funny, big, round , and loose are all examples of adjectives. Some less obvious examples are: that dog, her bone, enough food, every room. Adjectives can also describe how much or how many: fewer friends, less food, more people.

blue red green orange fuchsia yellow honest loyal sincere efficient confident rude big small tiny large minuscule huge sad angry happy nervous one two three first second third this (close) that (far) these (close) those (far)
action verbs of feeling (can be used as adj.)articlespossessive (+ noun)
interested/interesting satisfied/satisfying bored/boring excited/exciting * a an the
my (tradition) your (tradition) his (tradition) her (tradition) its (tradition) our (traditions) your (traditions) their (traditions)

Verb+ED becomes an adjective when it is used to describe a person or animal that experiences an emotion We will call this adjective the Experiencer adjective. One good way to remember to use ED to describe the Experiencer is to remember that both words start with E. The Experiencer is described with ED. Verb+ING becomes an adjective when it is used to describe the things that cause an emotion. We will call this the Instigator (Causing) adjective. One good way to remember to use ING to describe the Instigator (or Causing) adjective is to remember that both words start with I. The Instigator is described with ING.

Determiner Observation Physical Description Origin Material Qualifier Noun
Size Shape Age Color
a beautiful old Italian touring car
an expensive antique silver mirror
four gorgeous long- stemmed red silk roses
her short black hair
our big old English sheepdog
those square wooden hat boxes
that dilapidated little hunting cabin
several enormous young American basketball players
some delicious Thai food

The Royal Order of Adjectives was created by Dr. Charles Darling, Professor of English, Capital Community College.


Pronouns are words that take the place of a noun. Example: Carol is nice. She is also pretty.

Subject Object (of verb or preposition) Possessive Reflexive
Singular I you he she it me you him her it mine yours his hers —— myself yourself himself herself itself
Plural we you they us you them ours yours theirs ourselves yourselves themselves


A conjunction is a word that connects phrases, words, or clauses. Conjunctions are often used as transitions. There are two kinds of conjunctions:

COORDINATING: connects words, phrases, or clauses
and, but, or, for Gallaudet teachers communicate in American Sign Language and English. either… or; neither… nor; both… and; not only… but also Most students use either ASL or English. hence, therefore, moreover, however, besides, consequently I like to read; however, I hate to write.
SUBORDINATING: introduces subordinate clauses and connects them with the main clause
who, which, that People who live in glass houses don’t like children to play catch in front of their houses. although, because, since, though, if, as if Although I work hard, I’m still broke.


Prepositions are words that express the relation of a noun or pronoun to another word in the sentence. Prepositions show the relationships among things, people, and places.

Prepositions of Direction (to & from) Place (where) Time (when)
to the store from the library toward the floor in the hall on the ceiling over the doorway in a minute on July 4 at lunch time


An interjection is an exclamatory word (or words) that shows strong or sudden feeling and has no grammatical function in the construction of a sentence. Oh! Alas! So! Wow! Cool! For more detailed parts of speech review, see the Gallaudet University Handbook on Grammar & Usage by Marcia Bordman and Anne Womeldorf.

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