Grammar: parts of speech
Words falls into different categories
Parts of speech
Today’s lesson is about grouping words in a way based on the things you can do with them.
These groups are called “parts of speech” by linguists and allow us to concisely describe the behaviors of groups of words.
Most languages distinguish at least between nouns (“thing words”) and verbs (“action words”), adjectives (“property words”), and adverbs (“description words”).
Why this is important…
English is one of the few languages in which words do not change much. Verbs can form a past tense (“I started”) and the
ing-form (“starting”) and nouns have a plural (“house” ~ “houses”), but that’s essentially it.
Languages like Spanish and Russian however have a lot of different forms for different words.
The available forms depend on the kind of word: you can put “I start” into the past tense (“I started”), but you cannot do the same with “tree” (a noun, “I treed” is not a thing) or “dangerous” (an adjective, “I dangeroused” is not a thing either).
Consequently, the “rules of forms” strongly depend on what kind of word you are looking at.
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