Parts of Speech
|Upon the completion of this unit, the learners will be able to:
Have you ever noticed the different roles that we play in our lifetime? You might be a son or a daughter in your family, a student and a friend in your college, an artist or a sportsperson. Just like you assume diverse roles, words do have different functions. Let us look at the following sentences:
Kavya plays cricket.
Did you notice any difference? In the first sentence, the word ‘play’ is suggestive of an action. But the same word ‘play’ denotes a literary form, drama in the second sentence. Thus, based on their forms and functions, in traditional grammar, words are classified into eight parts of speech. It includes nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions and interjections. However modern grammarians have classified words into Form Class and Function Class. Form Class includes nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs which have independent meaning and functions. Function class words are those words which are purely grammatical, such as articles, pronouns, prepositions, conjunctions. These words link together the Form class words which are important for the structure of the sentence.
Noun, Verb, Adjective, Adverb, Pronoun, Preposition, Conjunction, Interjection
Look at the following words:
Resmi, college, friendship, beauty
These words refer to the name of persons, places or things. They are called nouns. A noun is a naming word.
220.127.116.11 Concrete and Abstract Nouns
Nouns are classified as Concrete nouns and Abstract nouns. Analyse the following sets of nouns:
Set 1: Boy, man, India, Kerala, etc.
Set 2: Temperature, sleep, poverty, brightness, reality, awareness, sanity, etc.
The nouns in set 1 are tangible, while the nouns in set 2 do not have a material shape. Those nouns which are tangible or have a real physical existence are called Concrete nouns. Abstract nouns are those nouns which do not have a material shape but refer to feelings, ideas or qualities.
Concrete nouns are classified into four types:
|Proper Noun||Name of a particular person or place.
Eg: Gandhi, India, etc.
|Common Noun||Names used in common to describe a person or thing belonging to the same class or kind.
Eg: man, teacher, nation, city, etc.
|Collective Noun||Name of a group of persons or things.
Eg: crowd, team, government, etc.
|Material Noun||Name of a material, substance or a thing.
Eg: coir, soil, wood, gold, etc.
Countable nouns are those nouns which can be counted and have a plural form. They are preceded by a, an or the.
Eg. There is an apple on the table.
The lion is the king of the forest.
Uncountable nouns are impossible to count, as they represent abstract ideas like wisdom,fun, etc. They do not have any plural form and are not preceded by a, an or the. Some common examples of the same are:
Advice, applause, baggage, weather, work, money, mud, conduct, equipment, footwear, information, luggage, news, poetry, progress, music, milk, traffic, health, laughter, employment, offspring, sugar, water, machinery, courage, dancing, dirt, litter,heroism, fun, stationery, wisdom, research, patience, leisure, parking, etc.
Certain nouns are countable or uncountable depending on the meaning; Stone, fruit,shampoo, toothpaste, rain, snow, sound, space, abuse, business, language, life, beer, cake, difficulty, fear, character, fish, success, war, etc. Take a look at the following sentences:
- Coffee is good for health. (uncountable)
Please serve three coffees to that table. (countable)
- Chocolate is a sweet food made from cocoa beans. (uncountable) She has already eaten two chocolates. (countable)
- She has curly hair. (uncountable)
There are a few grey hairs on your head. (countable)
- Keep quiet. Don’t make noise. (uncountable)
I heard a strange noise. (countable)
|Here are my luggages.||Here is my luggage.|
|The teacher gave her many good advices.||The teacher gave her much good advice.|
|Remya arranged the furnitures in her room.||Remya arranged the furniture in her room.|
|These baggages are very heavy.||This baggage is very heavy.|
18.104.22.168 Compound nouns and Possessive nouns
|Set 1||Set 2|
|Rainfall, policeman, dining table, lunchbox, etc||Shalini’s car, children’s magazine, Arjun’s bicycle, ladies’ bag, etc.|
In set 1, the nouns are formed by the combination of two or more words. Such nouns are called Compound nouns. In set 2, ‘s is added to singular and plural nouns to show possession. Possessive Nouns indicate ownership or possession. It is to be noted that, for plural nouns ending in s, add only an apostrophe (‘) towards the end of the word to show possession.
The three distinct genders in the English Language are:
a) Masculine Gender – denotes male sex
Eg: Man, Uncle, Brother, etc.
b) Feminine Gender- denotes female sex
Eg: Women, Aunt, Sister, etc.
c) Neuter Gender- denotes inanimate things
Eg: pencil, box, book, etc.
22.214.171.124 Singular and Plural Nouns
Plurals are formed by:
- Addition of –s or –es
Eg: Monkey- monkeys
- Nouns ending in a consonant and followed by letter y: change y to – ies.
Eg: Story- stories
- Nouns ending in a vowel and followed by letter y: add –s.
Eg: Valley- valleys
- Nouns ending in –f or –fe: f/fe is changed into –ves
Eg: Wife- wives
- Plurals formed by changing the vowels.
Eg: Goose- geese
- Plurals of Compound nouns.
Eg: brother- in-law – brothers- in-law
Girl friend- Girlfriends
- Nouns with the same singular and plural forms.
Eg: Sheep- sheep
Read the following sentences:
She is dancing.
He is reading a short story
The words dancing and reading indicate an action. A Verb is a term used to indicate an action or state of being or occurrence. Thus, the two terms dance and read are examples of verbs.
126.96.36.199 Lexical verbs and Auxiliary verbs
Certain verbs such as learn, eat, sleep, write, etc. have an independent meaning. While certain other verbs, such as am, is, are, was, were, has, have, had, do, does, did, etc. do not have an independent meaning. The verbs which have an independent meaning are called Lexical verbs. Lexical verbs are also known as Main verbs.
Auxiliary verbs or Helping verbs are grammatical words. Unlike lexical words, they do not have an independent meaning. They are am, is, are, was, were, has, have, had, do, does, did, can, could, will, would, shall, should, being, been, may, might, must, used to, ought to, need, dare etc.
Auxiliaries are of two types: Primary auxiliaries and Modal auxiliaries
|Primary auxiliaries||Modal auxiliaries|
|am, is, are, was, were, has, have, had, do, does, did, being, been.||will, would, shall, can, could, should, may, might, must, used to, ought to, need, dare.|
Uses of Primary auxiliaries
Uses of be:
Forms of be: am, is are, was, were, be, being, been.
- In continuous forms.
Eg: He is laughing.
They are making dolls.
- In passive forms.
Eg: He was helped by his friend.
A bridge was constructed.
- Be + infinitive is used to suggest a plan or order.
Eg: She is to guide these students.
The President is to address the nation tonight.
- Be about + infinitive is used to denote the immediate future.
Eg: The meeting is about to start.
He is about to leave.
Be as main/lexical verb is used:
- To indicate a physical or mental condition.
Eg: She is delighted.
He is angry.
- To indicate age, weight, size, prices, etc.
Eg: She is short.
How much is this toy?
- To suggest existence.
Eg: He is a lawyer.
The morning is calm and serene.
- To express requests or commands.
Eg: Be bold.
- The form there is/are/was/were is used, when the subject of be is an
indefinite person or thing.
Eg: There is someone waiting outside your door.
There are some flowers in the garden.
Uses of have:
Forms of have: has, have, had.
- Have + the past participle is used to form different tenses.
Eg: She has sent a letter. (Present perfect)
He had written a poem. (Past perfect)
- Have + object + past participle. (to engage someone to do something)
Eg: I had my rooms cleaned.
I had the television repaired.
- Have to is used to express obligations.
Eg: I have to study well.
I have to do my homework.
- Had better + bare infinitive (had represents an unreal past)
Eg: I had better stay at home.
You had better leave that house.
Have as main verb:
- Have means to possess or to own something.
Eg: She has a red car.
He has a piano.
- Have is used with do to indicate habitual actions.
Eg: Do you have heat waves in May?
Do they have a tea break at 5 pm?
- Have is used to imply ‘take a meal’, ‘give a party’, etc.
Eg: They have a party tomorrow.
I have my dinner at 8 pm.
Uses of do:
Forms of do: do, does, did.
- Do/did + infinitive form (for special emphasis)
Eg: She thinks I didn’t know about it, but I did know.
I do promise that I will support you.
- To avoid repetition of the main verb.
Eg: She likes reading comic books and so does her sister.
They didn’t attend the function, did they?
Note: Do is used in short questions to avoid repetition of the lexical verb.
Eg: Do you sing? No, I don’t.
Did you read the newspaper today? Yes, I did.
- In comparisons.
Eg: She runs faster than I do.
She dances better than her friend does.
- Do + imperative is used to make a request more effective.
Eg: Do join us for the marriage function.
Please do help your brother.
Do as main verb:
- Do means to perform or to act.
Eg: I didn’t do it.
Does she do it?
- Formal greetings.
Eg: How are you doing?
How do you do?
- Other uses.
Eg: What does she do now? (occupation/employment)
We have nothing to do with your promotion. (no role)
Uses of Modal auxiliaries:
Shall is used:
- With the First-person to express simple futurity.
Eg: I shall visit my hometown tomorrow.
I shall leave for Kochi tomorrow morning itself.
- With the Second and Third persons to express a command.
Eg: You shall not repeat this mistake.
He shall leave this place at once.
- Promise and threat.
Eg: You shall get a prize if you win this competition.
He shall be punished for his carelessness.
- To express determination.
Eg: He shall overcome this crisis.
He shall execute all the orders of his officer.
Should is used:
- To express duty or obligations.
Eg: You should obey your teacher.
You should not tell lies.
- To express possibilities or suppositions in Conditional clauses.
Eg: If she should come, tell her to meet me.
Should she call, convey my regards.
- To express unreal conditions.
Eg: If I were you, I should accept their decisions.
If I were you, I shouldn’t reject the job offer.
- Used after lest.
Eg: We listened to him lest he should be angry.
The thief ran away lest he should be caught by the police.
- To express possibility or likelihood.
Eg: He should be able to complete this task.
You should be able to compete with them.
Note 1: Should, as compared to shall, indicates less probability.
Eg: He shall be happy to hear this news.
He should be happy to hear this news.
Note 2: The expression ‘should like’ indicates politeness in statements.
For eg: I should like to tell you that we are yet to finish the current project.
Can is used:
- To express ability.
Eg: He can talk Hindi fluently.
She can lift this heavy box.
- To give permission. (used in the sense of may)
Eg: You can sit here.
You can watch the play outside now.
Could is used:
- To express possibility or uncertainty.
Eg: You could achieve success if you worked hard.
We could complete it if we all tried together.
- To ask polite questions.
Eg: Could I get a piece of paper?
Could I have a cup of tea?
- To indicate a skill or ability of the past period.
Eg: In my childhood, I could easily climb a tree.
Earlier, my grandfather could walk without a walking stick.
Would is used:
To express willingness or determination.
Eg: He said he would visit a doctor at the earliest.
My senior officer would have his own ways.
- To express a habitual or customary action in the past.
Eg: After lunch, he would sleep for an hour.
He would sit in his room and watch his favourite films for hours.
- To express a wish.
Eg: I would like to become a doctor.
She would like to meet you.
- To ask polite questions.
Eg: Would you please give me a pen?
Would you like to watch a movie?
- To express impossible or improbable conditions.
Eg: If I were a minister, I would build a new hospital.
If I were a nightingale, I would sing melodiously.
Note: Would rather is used to express a choice or preference.
Eg: He would rather read a book than play games.
She would rather apologise than pay the fine.
May is used:
- To express permission.
Eg: May I use your notebook? Yes, you may.
May I help you?
- To express possibility.
Eg: He may come this year.
He may be happy to hear about your victory.
- To express a wish.
Eg: May all your dreams come true.
May God give him the courage to face all troubles.
To express a purpose.
Eg: Use spectacles so that you may read without any strain.
Study well so that you may get good marks.
Might is used:
- To express a doubtful possibility.
Eg: He might win this election.
He might help you.
- To express a gentle rebuke or to indicate extreme politeness in a
Eg: You might thank me later for pointing out this common error.
If I might make a suggestion, couldn’t we discuss the matter after
Ought to is used:
- To express a moral obligation or duty.
Eg: He ought to help the poor and the old.
He ought to help his brother.
- To express necessity.
Eg: He ought to buy some utensils.
He ought to buy chairs for his new office.
- If ought to refers to a past time, it should be followed by the Perfect
Eg: He ought to have encouraged his sister.
He ought not to have scolded his friend.
Note: ‘Ought to’ is more powerful than ‘should’, but not as powerful as
Dare means to defy:
- As a principal verb.
Eg: He dared to call the leader a coward.
He dares you to solve this puzzle.
- As an auxiliary verb, dare is used with not or in interrogative
Eg: He dares not argue with his father.
How dare she blame us?
Must is used:
- To express a strong obligation or duty.
Eg: He must take care of his family.
You must help the aged.
- To express necessity.
Eg: He must find a job at the earliest.
You must walk fast to catch the bus.
- To express probability or likelihood.
Eg: He must be a fool to do that.
That must be his car.
- To express strong determination.
Eg: He must qualify for this test.
I must go to Manali, no matter how cold the place is.
Need as a principal verb means require.
Eg: He needs some food.
You need some rest.
Need as an auxiliary verb:
- Used with not.
Eg: He need not work in that factory.
He need not buy such a costly car.
- Used with hardly.
Eg: He needs hardly earn the money.
I need hardly listen the advice.
- Used with only.
Eg: He needs only say about what he did yesterday.
You need only give creative ideas.
- While referring to a past time, need should be followed by the Perfect
Eg: He need not have acted in that film.
You need not have paid all the money then.
188.8.131.52 Regular and Irregular Verbs
Look at the following words:
paint- painted- painted
talk- talked –talked
enjoy- enjoyed- enjoyed
The above lexical verbs have the same Past and Past Participle forms. Lexical verbs with the same Past and Past Participle forms are called Regular verbs (usually formed by the addition of –d or –ed).
Irregular verbs have different Past and Past Participle forms.
Eg: sing- sang – sung
rise- rose- risen
draw- drew- drawn
184.108.40.206 Transitive and Intransitive Verb
Verbs are classified into Transitive and Intransitive based on the requirement of an Object. Subject and Object are two common terms in English grammar. In a sentence, the Subject is the person/thing who does the action and the Object is the person/thing who is affected by the action of the Subject.
Note: A simple way to identify the Direct Object in a sentence is by asking the question ‘what’ or ‘whom’ to the verb. For eg: Sanju is playing cricket.
(Here Sanju is the one who does the action and thus he is regarded as the Subject. Cricket is the Direct Object as it answers the question, what is Sanju playing?)
Raju bought mangoes.
He has directed a film.
Object: a film
Examine these sentences:
Sanju is playing cricket.
Sanju is playing.
In the first sentence, the verb play has linked the subject with the object. A Transitive verb is a verb which requires an object. An Intransitive verb does not require an object.
Eg: We are learning English grammar.
Manu is speaking about his friend.
He is sleeping. (Intransitive verb)
They are talking. (Intransitive verb)
220.127.116.11 Stative and Dynamic Verbs
Look at the following verbs:
Set 1: Love, feel, know, smell, trust, etc.
Set 2: Run, jump, write, say, cook, etc.
What do you think is the difference between the two sets of verbs? Set 1 refers to verbs which express a state or condition. They are called Stative verbs. It is also known as State verbs. They are not used in the Continuous Tense forms.
Set 2 represents Dynamic verbs. They are also called action verbs. They indicate the beginning, development or end of an action.
Love, feel, desire, own, like, want,
understand, suppose, recognize,
know, forgive, posses, sound,
belong, taste, mean, seem, think,
smell, trust, consider, denote,
declare, see, believe, regard,
include, exclude, have(to own), etc.
Run, write, fall, build, draw, perform, measure,
look, eat, go, grow, watch, work, learn, read,
sleep, talk, type, jump, call, sit, swim, open,
break, melt, listen, say, hit, cook, etc.
18.104.22.168 Linking Verbs
Look at the following verbs:
be, look, feel, seem, appear, turn, grow,remain, become, etc.
These verbs are commonly used to link the Subject with its Complement. They are called Linking verbs. For eg:
Shiju is an architect.
She turned happy.
They became friends.
He looks brave.
Note: A Complement is either a noun or an adjective or a pronoun which describes the Subject.
22.214.171.124 Finite and Non-finite Verbs
Read the following sentences:
She swims fast.
They swim fast.
Note the change in the form of the verb swim. Finite verbs are those verbs which change their forms with a change in number and person of the Subject. They have different forms in different tenses. Non-finite verbs are verbs which do not change their forms with a change in number and person of the Subject.
Non-finite verbs are of three types:
- The Infinitive
- The Participle
- The Gerund
1. The Infinitive
The Infinitive is of two types; to infinitive and bare infinitive.
Eg: He wants to enjoy his holidays. (to-infinitive)
He can enjoy his holidays. (bare infinitive)
(a) To-infinitive is used:
Eg: To win the title is his only aim.
To give up smoking is what the doctor advised him.
- As Object:
Eg: She wants to withdraw money from her account.
They have decided to do exercises regularly.
- As Adjective:
Eg: That was a brilliant game to watch.
It is time to switch off the lights.
- As Adverb:
Eg: She is eager to talk to you.
It is good to hear that from you.
- As the Complements of Verbs:
Eg: He is to reach that place before Monday morning.
She wanted me to leave her house.
(b) Bare infinitive is used:
After modal auxiliaries and do forms:
Eg: I don’t like them.
She can help you.
Note: If dare and need are used as main verbs, they are to be followed by to-infinitive.
Eg: Did he dare to do it?
We need to talk about the incident.
- After main verbs, such as make, bid, let, hear, have, etc.
Eg: Let him talk first.
She made me do it.
- After rather and had better:
Eg: I would rather sleep than be awake.
You had better stop smoking.
- After prepositions like except, but, save, than:
Eg: She does nothing but plays online games.
What can I do except accounting?
2. The Participle
The Present Participle or -ing form indicates an ongoing action and Past Participle indicates a completed action. Past Participle usually ends in -d or -ed or -en.
Use of Present Participle:
- As Adjective:
Eg: A rolling stone gathers no moss.
A sleeping cat can’t catch a rat.
- As Subject Complements:
Eg: Working a night shift is exhausting.
The theme of that film is interesting.
- As Object Complements:
Eg: Manasi was seen crying.
I found him talking with our manager.
- To form the Continuous or Progressive tense:
Eg: They are digging a well.
She is standing in the shade of a tree
Use of Past Participle:
- To form the Perfect Tense:
Eg: They have reached their destination.
She has been invited to our home.
- As Adjective:
Eg: Fallen leaves from trees are cleared from the ground.
Eat some boiled eggs to stay healthy.
- As Subject Complement:
Eg: He felt dejected.
That little girl looks delighted.
- As Object Complement:
Eg: They saw him excited.
The police found the statue destroyed.
3. The Gerund
The Gerund, also known as Verbal Noun, is formed by adding -ing to the base form of the verb.
Eg: Dancing, telling, flying, moving, etc.
Uses of Gerund:
- As Subject of a Verb:
Eg: Drinking alcohol is injurious to health.
Flying kites is an interesting activity.
- As Subject Complement:
Eg: She enjoys dancing.
His favourite activity is riding bicycles.
- As Object of a Verb:
Eg: Do you enjoy working in this field?
They denied burning the building.
- As the Objects of Prepositions, such as at, by, for, about, in, on, etc.
Eg: He is capable of achieving his goals.
This wood is suitable for building a house.
- In apposition to a noun:
Eg: Her job, editing documents, is difficult.
Read the following sentences:
He is a smart boy.
Munnar is a beautiful hill station.
Analyse the two words smart and beautiful. Here, these two words are used to qualify a noun. A word which qualifies a noun is called an adjective. Thus, smart and beautiful are examples of adjectives.
126.96.36.199 Kinds of Adjectives
- Adjective of Quality – describes the quality of the nouns.
Eg: clever boy, beautiful woman, small box, etc.
- Adjective of Quantity – shows the quantity or the amount.
Eg: much, many, few, whole, some, etc.
- Demonstrative adjectives – used to refer to nouns or point out things.
Eg: this, that, those, some, such, etc.
- Possessive adjectives – used to show ownership or possession.
Eg: my, our, your, his, her, its.
- Participial Adjectives – formed by the addition of –ing/- ed/ -en to the verbs.
Eg: shining diamond, defeated players, fallen leaves
- Distributive adjective- refers to each person/ thing in a group.
Eg: each, every, neither, either
- Compound adjectives- formed by joining two or more adjectives.
Eg: short-tempered person, a part-time job, long-lasting friendship
188.8.131.52 Correct usage of some special adjectives
Is there any difference between little and a little? Is later same as latter? Let us see:
(a) Later, latter, latest, last
Later: suggests an indefinite time in future.
He is planning to visit us later.
Latter: suggests position or order.
Meena and Seena are cousins. The latter is studying abroad.
Latest: means a recent happening.
He is talking about his latest book.
Last: suggests a position or a point.
He is sitting on the last bench.
(b) Little, a little, the little
Little: means nil.
He has little money in his hand. (used in a negative sense)
A little: means some.
He has a little money in his hand. (used in a positive sense)
The little:a small amount, but all that was there.
The little money he had was lost on the train.
(c) Few, a few, the few
Few: means none/nil.
Few chocolates are left in the box.(negative)
A few: means some.
There are a few chocolates in the box. (positive)
The few: all that was there.
He took the few chocolates left in the box.
(d) Elder, eldest, older, oldest
Elder: only used to refer to members of the same family.
Karthik is the elder of my two sons.
Eldest: only used to refer to members of the same family.
Karthik is my eldest son.
Older: used for comparison of persons or things.
Karthik is older than his friend.
Oldest: used for both persons and things.
This is the oldest monument in India.
(e) Farther, further
Farther: denotes distance.
Bangalore is farther from my home.
Further: means additional.
The court has ordered a further investigation into the corruption case.
(f) Many, a great many, many a, much
Many: represents a large number, used with countable nouns.
There are many books in the library.
A great many: a large number
A great many boys watched the match.
Many a: means several.
Many a soldier was killed in the war.
Much: used to represent quantity.
Hurry up! We don’t have much time.
184.108.40.206 Position of Adjectives: Attributive and Predicative
Analyse the position of the following adjectives:
The generous king.
The king is generous
An adjective which precedes the noun modifying it is called an Attributive adjective.
For eg: A violent mob, sincere officer, snow-clad mountains, hot soup, cold climate, etc.
An adjective which occurs after the verb or which occurs in the Predicate is called a Predicative adjective.
Eg: The soup is hot.
The child seems happy.
Note 1: Adjectives used only in attributive position: old friend, elder son, eldest daughter, main problem, major surgery, etc.
Adjectives used only in predicative position;
He is asleep.
She is afraid.
Note 2: When a noun is modified by a number of adjectives, follow the order: number or quantity; quality; size or weight; colour.
Eg: Manju has long, thick, black hair.
We saw two beautiful red butterflies.
220.127.116.11 Degrees of comparison
Look at the following sentences;
Sam is tall.
Sam is taller than Sanju.
Sam is the tallest boy in our class.
The adjective tall in these sentences have three forms: tall, taller, tallest. It is known as its Degrees of Comparison. The adjective tall, the simplest form, is said to be in the Positive Degree. Taller is in the Comparative Degree. Comparative Degree is used for the comparison of two units. Tallest is in the Superlative Degree, the highest degree of quality. It is used when three or more units are compared. Thus, the three Degrees of Comparison of an adjective are Positive Degree, Comparative Degree and Superlative Degree.
18.104.22.168 Construction of sentences with comparisons
Positive form: as…as and not as/ not so…as
Comparative form: than
Superlative form: the…in/of
Eg: The Ganga is the longest river in India. (Superlative Degree)
No other river in India is as long as Ganga. (Positive Degree)
Ganga is longer than all other rivers in India. (Comparative Degree)
Gangais longer than any other river in India. (Comparative Degree)
Venus is the hottest planet in the solar system. (Superlative Degree)
Very few planets in the solar system are as hot as Venus. (Positive Degree)
Most other planets in the world are not so hot as Venus. (Positive Degree)
Venus is hotter than most other planets in the solar system. (Comparative Degree)
Read the following phrases:
This lady, These pens, Many books, My son, Several children, Five kilometers
The above-italicized words have either specified an amount or quantity or illustrated what the noun is referring to. Such words are called determiners. Determiners are a set of words which function as adjectives. They are usually placed before nouns.
Different types of determiners are:
- Articles- a, an, the.
Eg: A lemon, an elephant, the sun
- Demonstratives- this, that, these, those.
Eg: This document, that table, these girls
- Possessives- my, our, his, her, your, its, their.
Eg: Our college, his uncle, your car
- Quantifiers- few, little, much, more, less, most, several, many, etc.
Eg: a few students, many customers, some drawings
- Numbers (both cardinal and ordinal)- one, two, etc, first, second, etc.
Eg: First prize, two lions.
Articles are classified as:
- The Definite Article – the
- The Indefinite Article – a, an
Uses of the Indefinite article:
- The Indefinite article a is used before the words which begin with a consonant sound and an is used before the words which begin with a vowel sound.
a chair, a girl, a lion, a pencil
an apple, an elephant, an hour, an honest child
However, there are certain words such as European, union, university, etc., which have consonant sounds, though they begin with a vowel letter. So, the Indefinite article a is used before them.
A European, a union minister, a university, a one-rupee coin Similarly, a yard, a year, etc.
- Used before Singular Nouns which are countable.
a notebook, a box, an actor
- Used with Nouns which refer to a class.
An ox is used for ploughing in the field. (All oxen are used for ploughing.)A frog can live in land and water. (All frogs can live in land and water)
- Used before certain expressions of quantity, number, price, speed, etc.
A lot of questions were asked in the interview.
Will you buy me a dozen of bananas?
The train is running at a speed of 80km/hr. (80km an hour)
He visits his homeland once a year.
- Used in exclamatory sentences before a singular countable Noun.
What a marvellous victory!
Such an entertaining show!
- Used in the sense of one and every.
There is a piece of cake on the table.
I need an hour to finish this work.
She spends Rs.1000 a month.
You have to pay Rs.500 an hour for riding this car
Note: A/an is not used before Plural Nouns and Uncountable Nouns. Instead, a little/little is used before Uncountable Nouns and a few/few is used before Plural Nouns.
Add a little sugar to this tea.
Only a few students have enrolled in this course.
Uses of the Definite article:
- Used before certain Nouns which are very unique, such as:
The moon, the earth, the sky, the universe, the world, etc.
- Used before a Noun which was already mentioned before.
She wrote a new story and the story is a thought-provoking one.
- Used before Adjectives in the superlative degree.
She is the shortest girl in our class.
Mr. Narayan is the richest man in our village.
- Used before certain words like next, last, ultimate, first, second, etc. Nehru was the first Prime Minister of India.We visited Hampi on the last day of our tour.
- Used before Nouns which represent a class.
The snake is a venomous reptileThe hen lays eggs.
Note: The Definite article the is not used before the word man when it represents the human race.
The man is the only animal who can talk. (Incorrect)
Man is the only animal who can talk. (Correct)
- Used before Adjectives to indicate a class of people.
The rich- rich people
The honest- honest people
The illiterate- illiterate people
- Used before the names of mountain ranges, island groups, rivers, canals, oceans, seas, gulfs, straits, etc.
The Alps, the Ganga, the Red Sea, the Bering Strait, the Gulf of Mannar, the Arabian Sea, etc.
- Used before the names of newspapers, holy books, epics, etc.
The Ramayana, The Bible, The Hindu, The Hindustan Times, etc.
- Used before the names of deserts, forests, trains, hotels, etc.
The Great Indian desert, the Gir forest, the Island Express, the Hyacinth hotel, etc.
Omission of the Definite article:
- Before the name of a single mountain, peak, island.
Sri Lanka, Everest, Nanda Devi, Nanga Parbat, etc.
- Before the names of places.
India, Mangalore, Rajasthan, etc.
- Before Abstract Nouns.
Honesty is the best policy.
- Before the Nouns, such as church, hospital, school, college, etc., when they are visited for the purpose for which they are constructed. However, when one visits any of these places for any other purpose, the should be used.
She went to school. (to study)
He is admitted to a hospital. (as a patient)
She went to the school to visit the principal.
He went to the hospital to meet Mr. Raje
- When the word work is used to indicate a place of work.
She is on her way to work.
- When the word home is used alone. But when the word home is described by a phrase or word, the should be used.
We went home together.The home for the disabled.
- When a person speaks about his/her own town.
We are going to town to buy some vegetables.
- Before certain idiomatic expressions like at sea, at noon, at night, on foot, by hand, etc.
- The Definite article the is not used before institutions that are named after places or persons.
Cambridge University, Oxford University, Kerala University, etc.
But if the term University is followed by a name of any place, the is used.
The University of Kerala, The University of Cambridge, etc.
Read the following sentences:
Sandhya laughs loudly
She is a very clever officer.
Let us analyse the two words loudly and very. In the first sentence, the verb laugh is modified by the word loudly. Similarly, the adjective clever is modified by the word very. Words such as loudly and very are called Adverbs. Adverbs are words which modify a verb, or an adjective. It is also used to modify another adverb. For eg:
She walked even more rapidly.
(The adverb more is modified by the word even)
Adverbs are usually formed by adding –ly to the adjectives.
Eg: Respect- respectfully
|Adverb of time||Soon, lately, early, recently, never, ever, yet, still, ago, already, etc.|
|Adverb of place||Here, there, away, everywhere, nowhere, inside, outside, up, down, etc.|
|Adverb of manner/quality||Bravely, sadly, carefully, well, thus, so, etc.|
|Adverb of frequency||Usually, always, occasionally, never, seldom, often, etc.|
|Adverb of degree||Fairly, entirely, very, enough, totally, almost, etc.|
|Interrogative Adverb||When, why, how, how often, etc.|
|Relative Adverb||Where, when, how|
22.214.171.124 Position of Adverbs
Adverbs of Manner
- If the verb is intransitive, the adverbs of manner are usually placed after it.
Eg: She walked carefully.
She sang loudly.
- If the verb is transitive, the adverbs of manner are placed after the object.
Eg: She opened the door gently.
She ate the sweets hurriedly.
- If the adverbs, such as stupidly, generously, foolishly, kindly, etc. (adverbs related to character) are placed before the verb, it applies to the action. However, there occurs a change in meaning if it is placed after the verb or object.
Eg: She talked to the poor lady kindly.
She kindly talked to the poor lady.
- The adverbs of manner, badly and well are placed before the verb or the object in the active voice and before the past-participle in the passive.
Eg: She treated her friend badly.
Her friend was badly treated.
Adverb of Place
- Adverbs of Place, such as here, there, nowhere, somewhere, away, everywhere etc.
are placed after the object if the verb is transitive.
Eg: She searched her spectacles everywhere.
She kept her books there.
- If there is no object, the adverbs of place are usually placed after the verb.
Eg: She sits there.
She walked away.
- Somewhere and anywhere (used in the same way as that of some and any).
Eg: She has gone somewhere.
She hasn’t gone anywhere.
- Here and there can be followed by verbs such as go and come.
Eg: Here comes my friend.
There goes my bus.
Adverb of Time
- Adverbs of time, such as now, recently, soon, afterwards, eventually, lately, etc., are placed either at the beginning or end of the clause.
Eg: Recently she bought a new bicycle.
Her article was published recently
- Adverbs of time, such as before, early, late, immediately, etc. are usually placed at the end of the clause.
Eg: She came immediately.
She has not been to Mumbai before.
- Since and ever since are usually placed at the end position.
Eg: She left her home in 1995. We haven’t heard from her since.
We met in 1990. We have been friends ever since.
- Yet is usually placed after the verb or verb+ object. But if the object has many words, yet is placed before the verb.
Eg: She hasn’t met her teacher yet.
She hasn’t yet completed the work which I have given to her two weeks ago.
Note: Yet refers to ‘until the present time’ and still implies continuous action.
Eg: She hasn’t called me yet.
She still doesn’t call me.
Adverb of Frequency
- Adverbs of frequency such as ever, never, hardly, rarely, seldom, always, frequent-ly, occasionally, usually, often, once, etc., are placed after the be form of the verb.
Eg: She is usually optimistic and bright.
She is never late.
Note: The above-mentioned adverbs are usually placed after the auxiliary+ subject in interrogative sentences.
Eg: Has she often been overtired?
Exception: These adverbs are usually placed before used to and have to.
Eg: She often used to watch movies with them.
They often have to cook food for themselves.
- If there is no auxiliary verb, frequency adverbs are usually placed before the Main Verb.
Eg:She occasionally visits her grandmother’s house.
She often helps her friend
- If the adverbs, such as hardly, ever, rarely, etc., occur at the beginning of the sentence, then the main verb must be inverted.
Eg: Scarcely ever did she try to please him.
Seldom have I heard such a foolish opinion.
Note: Adverbs such as hardly, no sooner, never, etc., are placed at the beginning of the sentences to give emphasis.
Eg: Hardly had she reached the airport, when the flight took off.
No sooner did she reach the airport, than the flight took off.
Never before has he behaved so arrogantly.
Adverbs of Degree
- Adverbs of Degree, such as quite, almost, absolutely, barely, enough, rather, com-pletely, etc. modify an adjective or another adverb and are placed before it.
Eg: She is quite humble.
She had almost reached Calicut.
- Adverbs of Degree, such as almost, barely, enough, etc. modifies verbs.
Eg: She almost fell down from the ladder.
She could barely see the lane.
- Just and only are placed before the word it applies to.
Eg: She wrote only one poem.
She has just finished her task.
- Fairly is used in a positive sense while rather is used in both positive as well as
Eg: She played fairly well in the tournament.
She is rather too naïve.
126.96.36.199 Order of Adverbs
When a sentence has two or more adverbs in it, follow the order:
Eg: She talked cheerfully in the meeting for ten minutes.
The children prayed silently in the assembly hall for some time.
Note: Away, back, down, etc., are placed before adverbs of manner.
Eg: She went silently back. (wrong)
She went back silently. (correct)
Read the following sentences:
Annie is an architect. Annie is working in a private company. Annie is a very hardworking person.
Here instead of writing Annie every time, the noun Annie can be replaced by the word she. Thus, the sentence can be modified in the following way:
Annie is an architect. She is working in a private company. She is a very hardworking person. Now let us look at another example:
Raju built a palatial house. He is a rich man.
She and he are called Pronouns. Pronouns are words which are used as substitutes for nouns.
Personal Pronouns depict ‘persons’ in many forms.
- First-person: refers to the person who is speaking.
- Second person: refers to the person who is spoken to.
- Third-person: refers to the person being spoken about.
He, she, it, they
|Personal Pronouns||Subjective Case||Objective case||Possessive case|
|Second person||you||you||Your / yours|
Uses of it:
- To refer to non-living things or animals.
Eg: Look at that picture. It is beautiful.
This is a whale. It is the largest animal on earth.
- To express time and distance.
Eg: It is 5 am.
It is only 2 kilometers from here.
- To represent a previously mentioned person or thing.
Eg: He drinks alcohol and his wife doesn’t like it.
This is a diamond necklace. It is very costly.
- Introductory it.
Eg: It was Hema who helped me to write this letter.
It is not easy to solve this mathematics problem.
- It as a subject for impersonal verbs.
Eg: It seems that he is busy.
It appears that he is losing his consciousness.
- The pronoun it is used as a substitute for child and baby.
Eg: The baby is crying. It might be hungry.
The child itself has done it.
- Reflexive pronouns are used when the subject and object of a sentence are the same. They are formed by adding –self/selves to personal pronouns.
|Personal pronoun||Reflexive pronoun|
- The reflexive pronouns must be placed only after the verb or the object.
Eg: You should not hurt yourself.
The team blamed themselves for their failure in the match.
Note: Emphatic pronouns
Reflexive pronouns used for emphasis are called emphatic pronouns. They are used to emphasize both the subject and object.
Eg: The Chairman himself congratulated him.
He carried the heavy box himself.
- Interrogative pronouns are used to ask questions.
Who, whom, whose, what, which
Eg: Who is your favourite author?
What is your aim?
Uses of Interrogative pronouns:
- Who, whom and whose are used only with persons.
Eg: Whose bottle is this?
Who is the author of the book Oliver Twist?
- What is used only with things.
Eg: What is the matter?What happened to your car?
Note: What + be…like?
Eg: What does he look like? (asking about someone’s appearance)
Also note: What is he? (asking about someone’s profession)
- Which is used both with persons and things.
Eg: Which is your pen?
Which of these plants is native to India?
- Distributive pronouns are used to indicate members of a group separately.
Each, either, neither
Distributive pronouns take singular verbs.
Eg: Each of you will be given a notepad.
Neither of them is sincere.
- Neither and either
Neither and either are used to talk about two persons or things. Neither means ‘not the one and not the other person or thing’.
Either means ‘one or the other of two persons or things.’
Eg: Neither of them was invited to the function.
Either of you can sing a song.
- Neither…nor and either…or
Eg: He is neither optimistic nor intelligent.
Either he or his sister is responsible for this callous act
- Reciprocal pronouns are pronouns which indicate a reciprocal relationship.
Each other, one another
Each other is used to refer to two persons or things
Eg: The brothers loved each other.
These two kings fought against each other.
- One another is used to refer to more than two persons or things.
Eg: We can all trust one another.
All the people in my village know one another.
- Indefinite pronouns are used to refer to persons or things in a general way.
Everybody, everyone, nobody, nothing, all, every, each, many, few, one, some, both, etc.
Eg: One of my students has passed the exam.
Nothing is impossible.
- Each, every, both
Each and every take a singular verb. Both takes a plural verb.
Eg: Each player knows the rules.
Both players know the rules.
- Some and any
Some and any are usually used with plural nouns. However, some is used in a positive sense and any is used in a negative sense.
Eg: She has bought some vegetables.
She hasn’t bought any vegetables.
Note: Some and any are used with singular nouns to refer to something which is not specific, as in the following cases.
Eg: Some intellect has done this.
Any fool will easily solve this puzzle. Both…and is suggestive of a combination. Eg: He is both clever and bold.
He likes both coffee and tea.
Compounds of some, any and none such as somebody, someone, nobody, no one, anybody, anything, etc. take a singular verb.
Eg: Somebody cleaned the table.
Anyone can draw a picture of a flower.
- The use of One
Personal pronouns like he or she should not be used to replace the indefinite pronoun one.
Eg: One should love his country. (Incorrect)
One should love one’s country. (Correct)
One should obey her parents. (Incorrect)
One should obey one’s parents. (Correct)
- Demonstrative pronouns are used to point out a specific person or thing.
This, that, these, those
Eg: This is the actor who won the National award.
These are the boys who played the game in the classroom.
- Demonstrative Pronouns can function as adjectives.
Eg: These students are very creative.
This book is very interesting.
- When demonstrative pronouns are used as adjectives, they agree with the nouns in terms of their
Eg: This girl is a dancer.
These girls are dancers.
- Demonstrative pronouns are sometimes used for emphasis.(also called double possessives)
Eg: This pen of mine. (instead of my pen) This bag of yours. (instead of your bag)
- Relative Pronouns are pronouns which describe the nouns that are mentioned before it.
Who, when, where, which, that
Eg: This is the boy who is interested in directing an action film.
These are flowers which were brought from Chennai.
- The use of Relative pronouns who, which, that.
- Who is used for persons.
Eg: He is the one who has cooked the food.
She is the woman who is interested in teaching.
- Which is used for animals and things
Eg: This is the park which we used to visit in our childhood.
He has written a book which is yet to be published.
- That is used for persons and things.
Eg: This is the book that I was searching for.
The box that was kept on the table is found missing
Read the following sentences:
The examination will be conducted on Monday.
He is working in a bank.
What do you think is the purpose of the underlined words? The words on and in indicate the relation of a noun or pronoun to other words in a sentence. They are called Prepositions. They are usually placed before nouns or pronouns.
188.8.131.52 Simple Preposition and Phrase Preposition
Simple Prepositions are single-word prepositions.
Eg: in, at, on, above, up, with, since, between, besides, of, within, without.
Phrase Prepositions are certain word-groups which function as prepositions.
Eg: along with, instead of, because of, due to, apart from, owing to.
184.108.40.206 Use of Prepositions
1. Prepositions used to express time
- At denotes exact time.
at nine, at midnight, at dawn, at the beginning of the meeting, etc.
Eg: The party will begin at 7 pm.
We reached our destination at noon. Note: At is also used before festivals.
Eg: Maya saw her nephew at Christmas.
- On is used for days, dates or part of any day.
on the evening of 10 June, on the morning, on the afternoon, etc.
Eg: Can I meet you on Monday?Her birthday is on 23 March.
Note: On is not used if ‘day’ is preceded by an adjective.
Eg: The old man visits the mosque every day.
- In is used for
a) a period of time
Eg: You should submit the report in the evening.
b) months and years.
Eg: I am going to Kashmir in December.
c) to indicate the total length of time taken to complete an activity.
Eg: This bus will take you from Kottayam to Kochi in an hour.
Note: He is on time.
Here on time refers to a scheduled time. He is on time indicates that he reached at the scheduled time, not early or late.
He came back in time for my wedding. Here in time means not late.
He arrived in good time.
Here in good time means without the risk of being late.
- Within denotes an action which was/will be completed within a certain time period.
Eg: The teacher ordered the students to finish their project work within a month.
The articles for the college magazines should be sent within a week.
- For is used to denote the duration of an action.
- Eg: She had been living in Dubai
Sita was playing online games for hours.
- Since indicates a point of time in
Eg: The child has been missing since
I have not been working since last year.
- During is suggestive of duration.
Eg: The kids were playing during break
Krishna learned cooking during the
- After means at a later time.
Eg: Meet me after your examination.
Can we talk after lunch?
- From is used to indicate the starting time of something.
Eg: The shop is open from 10 am to 5 pm.
He was deaf from birth.
- Until is used to denote the continuance of an action to a certain
Eg: They played tennis until it got dark.
Please wait here until I come back.
Note: Till is used as a variant of until
2. Prepositions used to denote place
- At is used to indicate a particular place or location.
Eg: He is standing at the railway station.
Taj Mahal is located at Agra in Delhi.
Note: He is at work. Here, at work denotes a place of work.
He is at/in the office. Here, at/in the office means to hold an official position.
- In is used to indicate places in general: names of countries, continents, large towns, capital cities, etc.
Eg: Sudha lives in Chennai.
Merlin was born in Australia.
Note: In is used before the words village and town
Eg: He likes to stay in a village.
- On is used, if the place of work is not a building.
Eg: The villagers are working on a plantation.
My brother is employed on an estate.
3. Prepositions used to denote movement
- To is used to denote direction or destination.
Eg: He is going to the library.
Into is used to denote entry into a particular space.
Eg: The warden came into our room.
- Through is used to indicate the passage from one point to another.
Eg: We walked through the woods.
- Up indicates movement towards an elevated point.
Eg: The fireman climbed up the ladder.
- Down is used to denote movement from a higher position to a lower position.
Eg: The puppy fell down the stairs.
- From is used to denote the beginning or starting point of a movement.
Eg: Are you coming from your college?
- Over is used to denote the movement above the top of something.
Eg: The eagle is flying over the clouds.
- Across denotes movement from
one side to another.
Eg: The Sardar Sarovar dam is built across
the river Narmada.
- Under refers to below or beneath
Eg: He is hiding under the bush.
220.127.116.11 Usage of other Prepositions
- Between and among
Between is used when two things or persons
are referred to.
Eg: The Palk Strait is situated between
India and Sri Lanka.
- Among is used when more than
two things or persons are referred
Eg: Sam is the wisest man among us.
- Beside and besides
Beside means by the side of.
Eg: Please sit beside me.
Besides means in addition to.
Eg: Besides these toffees, we need a cake.
- In front of, opposite and beneath
In front of means a position ahead of
someone or something.
Eg: A tall boy is standing in front of me.
- Opposite means on the other side.
(facing each other)
Eg: He took a seat opposite her.
- Beneath is used to indicate a lower position.
Eg: The money was hidden beneath a pile
- With and by
With is used for instruments.
Eg: He drew the picture with his favourite
By is used for agents or doers of an action.
Eg: Macbeth is written by Shakespeare.
- Up to
Up to indicates a limit for doing something.
Eg: He spent up to Rs. 20000 monthly for
- In and into
In is used to denote:
|Position||Maya is a clerk in a school.|
|Dress||She looks gorgeous in that traditional attire.|
|Surroundings or condition||The children were playing in the rain|
Into is used to denote:
|motion or direction||The swimmer jumped into the pool.|
|change in state||The wooden pulp is converted into paper.|
Note: Certain prepositions are used after several verbs, nouns and adjectives. For eg:
Agree to someone Resemblance to someone
Depend on something Fondness for something
Apply for an interview Desire for something
Anxious about the results Progress in something
Busy with work Compete with someone
Proud of something Angry with a person
Suitable for someone Jealous of someone
Interest in something Obliged to someone
Love for music Grateful for something
Devoid of something Similar to something
Look at the following sentences:
He was not well, so he went to hospital. Meet me after the class.
What do you think is the function of the above-underlined words? Here the words so and after are used to connect a group of words. Such terms which are used to connect words or groups of words together are called Conjunctions. They are considered connectives or linkers.
Eg; And, but, because, however, neither…nor, either…or, though, etc.
18.104.22.168 Types of Conjunctions
1. Co-ordinating Conjunction
Co-ordinating Conjunctions are words which join units of equal importance.
And, but, so, still, for, yet, then, or, etc.
Eg: The doctor advised the patient to take rest, and to take medicines on time.
She danced well, but she could not win the prize. What do you want; tea or coffee?
He is interested in medicine, so he joined the MBBS course.
2. Subordinating Conjunction
Subordinating Conjunctions are words which connect the main clause with a subordinate class. Some of the Subordinating Conjunctions are: Because, however, since, if, before, after, that, since, lest, though, till, when, whenever, while, even, although, as if, despite, in spite of, etc.
Eg: He is angry because his friends teased him.
I have not even heard about such a place.
We can go to the museum if you are free tomorrow.
You should practise well lest you should fail.
He is so brilliant that he can easily complete the task.
Maya talked as if she knew everything.
It is a difficult task; however, you have to finish it soon.
Though it was raining, we went to play cricket.
Although she is rich, she leads a simple life.
When we were kids, we used to play together.
While we were walking to our home, we saw an elephant.
In spite of his hard work, he failed the entrance test.
Despite the cold weather, we all went swimming.
Note: A main clause is a group of words which has a subject and a verb. Subordinating clauses are groups of words which depend upon another clause to get a complete meaning
Correlative Conjunctions are co-ordina-tors used in pairs: Either…or, neither…nor, both…and, not only…but also, no sooner…than, hardly/scarcely…when, whether…or, etc.
Eg: He is neither too happy nor too sad.
No sooner had she heard the news, than she rushed to her home.
She is not only optimistic but also graceful.
You can either spend this money or deposit it in a bank.
Both Teena and Kavya are selected for this job.
This soldier is brave as well as generous.
Analyse the following underlined words:
Hurrah! We won the championship.
Ouch! It hurts.
Oh! I forgot to take the key.
Interjections are words used to express sudden emotions or feelings. They help us to understand the emotion of the speaker. Interjections are usually used at the beginning of a sentence. They do not have any grammatical relation with any other part of the sentence.
22.214.171.124 Interjections are of different types
- Interjections indicating happi-ness: Hurrah!, Wow!, Yippee!
Eg; Hurrah! My son cleared the entrance examination.
Wow! What a thrilling victory!
- Interjections indicating praise or approval: Well done!, Brilliant!, Bravo!
Eg: Well done! You got the promotion.
Brilliant! She settled the dispute in a short time.
- Interjections indicating surprises: Eh!, Oh!, What!, Ah!, Gosh.
Eg: What! You got a gift from your teacher. Oh! He got appointed as chairman.
- Interjections indicating pain or grief: Alas!, Ouch!, Ah!, Oh!
Eg: Alas! We lost the main documents.
Ouch! I cut my finger and now it is bleeding.
- Interjections indicating doubts: Hmm, Uh, Er
Eg: Uh, Shall we go?
Hmm, Is everything alright?
| 1) Given below is a list of nouns. Categorize them into different groups.
Malini, Germany, committee, village, Taj Mahal, team, crowd, cat, teacher, Brazil, man, table, panel, soil, jury, silver, tea, school, building, England, family, egg, sand.
2) Fill in the blanks with suitable articles.